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‘A lot of people suffering’ over rising prices in VI- Hon Smith

- calls on legislators to ensure Gov't relief efforts make it to consumers
Deputy Speaker At-large representative in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) Hon Neville A. Smith (AL) has called on his fellow legislators to keep an eye on rising prices in the VI as it pertains to commodities. Photo: HoA/Youtube
Meanwhile, Opposition Member Hon Carvin Malone (AL) said he has had conversations and debates on how to reduce the cost of items coming to the VI, pointing to supply and shipping reasons as one of the reasons. Photo: HoA/Youtube
Meanwhile, Opposition Member Hon Carvin Malone (AL) said he has had conversations and debates on how to reduce the cost of items coming to the VI, pointing to supply and shipping reasons as one of the reasons. Photo: HoA/Youtube
DUFF’S BOTTOM, Tortola, VI– Deputy Speaker and At-Large Representative in the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) Hon Neville A. Smith (AL) has called on his fellow legislators to keep an eye on rising prices in the VI.

During the Continuation of the Sixth Sitting of the Fourth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly on August 9, 2022, during the debate on a 5% reduction on customs duties, Hon Smith said VI legislators must ensure savings are passed on to legislators. 

“Prices are really ridiculous, you cannot go in the supermarket and buy anything for $100 anymore, with $100 you coming out with one bag, so we have to make sure that this happens because a lot of people really suffering over this,” Hon Smith said.

“Unless we put measures in place to keep an eye on what’s going on, it will happen again… We have to make sure that when we get this break, we also give a break to customers,” he added. 

Cost of goods higher in VI

Meanwhile, Opposition Member Hon Carvin Malone (AL) said he has had conversations and debates on how to reduce the cost of items coming to the VI, pointing to supply and shipping reasons as one of the reasons. 

"I go to other places, and the cost to get it [goods] there is muss less than the cost to get it here in the BVI, they think we have more money," he added. 

Hon Malone said that translates to 'pressure' and it is visible on every shelf and for every item in VI stores. 

The Opposition Member said legislators need to sit around the table and find a balance between offering relief that reduces government revenues since those reliefs often do not make it to consumers. 

"It 5% here, 5% there, can't really see it on the shelf because it's 20% by the time it reaches you, and when you look at it, government coffers are down," he said.

39 Responses to “‘A lot of people suffering’ over rising prices in VI- Hon Smith”

  • facts (10/08/2022, 13:20) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    It’s ridiculous!
  • y (10/08/2022, 13:24) Like (7) Dislike (9) Reply
    U need to help the people look at u .look like your name sheepdog
    • @y (11/08/2022, 19:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Envy and Jealousy is why you made that comment. Where is it going to help the Territory? Try and aid in finding resolutions and avoid holding grudges. You only hurting on the inside .
  • LOOKS LIKE (10/08/2022, 13:36) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Commentator (10/08/2022, 13:42) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    brilliant insight,,,,,yawnnnnnn
  • Local (10/08/2022, 13:46) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    What happens to the salary review the former Premier says they will complete in a year? Well, a year has gone a long time. Pay up all outstanding Increments, then give all civilian servants a raise. The last time civil servants got a raise in salary was in 2008.
  • rubber duck (10/08/2022, 13:57) Like (6) Dislike (24) Reply
    I love sheep he certainly has my vote. Did you noticed how slow wander treated him too not offering him the speaker work
    • faith (11/08/2022, 10:15) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      An Elected Member cannot hold the post of the Speaker. The Speaker must me appointed by the sitting Government. The Deputy Speaker, however, is usually a backbencher
  • Really (10/08/2022, 14:15) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    Sheep doesn't even know the truth and he is a sleeping sheep also. Great tribulation get ready because the winter season is coming and over 5 billion people are infected with all kinds of viruses that totally break down their immune system. Deadly Russian roulette game, new booster coming soon for all the drug addicts. Bread will be a day pay and you better believe it will happen. I hope you all know who you all are trusting with your life because they are carrying you to the slaughter house. Every movie on Netflix,movies,tv show and kids cartoon they all push this mRNA Vaccines and zombies. I am amuse how people can see what's going on tv and still take the deadliest Vaccine ever which you can see is killing people world wide. I pray for all the sheep even this devil worshiper one who is also behind killing people with prices. Where is the price control no party has fixed it because they have bosses and they have to do what they are told or else they will be fired.
    • HMMM (10/08/2022, 15:01) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
      Oh please shut the hell up!! So brained washed ain’t funny…. Annoying
      • @strupes (11/08/2022, 06:54) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
        Exactly and a lot of them thinking this way didnt take the vaccine and lost their lives.
        • Really (12/08/2022, 08:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          You see when the time comes. You don't even have sense to look up the information because if you didn't you wouldn't be saying what you said. I will never never take any pills or vaccine ever. I am protected by the Almighty Creator which you don't respect,you respect and worship the Elites who works for the devil. Your the brainwashed skunt. I have wisdom, understand and knowledge to get pass this AGENDA 21 which is a depopulation agenda which your too sheep to know. Go do research clown because anyone that took the death shot no longer have human rights WOW. I am replying to a robot which is you
  • WOW (10/08/2022, 14:49) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Only. Now you see that. Think you said poor people not living in Tola
  • black bird (10/08/2022, 14:51) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    What has BVI politics come to? Each time I read what is being discussed in the HOA I am baffled. The level of discourse, the grammar, the depth, the trivial things of name calling and kindergarten topics. WHAT????? Have these guys listened to developed countries discuss the business of the people and learn from them. Project the issues like them? I am so weary, truly at a lost for words of our "politicians" immaturity to hold a worth while topic outside of accusations of name calling and who say what about them and the media, and the cows, and the dogs, and the bush....... Who do I vote for in up coming elections? Father help us all. The world is hanging it's head.
    • Citizen (11/08/2022, 09:12) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      Shut your A@@. Have you ever listen to those UK ministers when they are in their house.
      • Gold House (11/08/2022, 16:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Yes, they are rowdy in a British way as it seems that's the way they do their thing. But the point is that they discuss issues, international and domestic, with far reaching implications on the world's stage. It is eye opening to listen to them and the gutsy way they present without fear to address each other.
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (10/08/2022, 14:53) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    True, but that is why you and others were elect to do something about it. Stop talking . Begin doing, Hon. Neville Smith.
  • 1st district original (10/08/2022, 15:11) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    What the hell do they care about the people other than saying words from the dictionary without true meanings. In the woods man gained more weight and sheep made more ah we own money since them in council. Hope them remember that they will one day be living anong us again! God don't sleep!
  • resident (10/08/2022, 16:12) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well put action to your words. Start doing something about it. Make that issue one of your platforms. See what can be done lobby your ministers to increase our salaries not yours. You can do a food basket for families who earn minimum wages. There are so many things you can be doing instead of going in HOA talking. You know very well talk is cheap.
  • @ blackbird (10/08/2022, 16:24) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    That was well neatly put ????
  • east (10/08/2022, 16:24) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    We with sheep all the way !
  • y (10/08/2022, 17:18) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    It's all of you have the country like that me son
  • E. Leonard (10/08/2022, 19:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Like the rest of the region, the VI imports a high percentage of its food. Food insecurity is a serious issue as is the skyrocketing cost of living. The cost of living was rising before the Covid pandemic which has exacerbated the rising cost of living, ie, supply chain issues, shortages, pent up demand, inflation (lots of money chasing few goods, etc. Inflation is rising across the globe, hitting small locales like the VI disproportionately hard, especially residents at the low end of the economy ladder. What can government do in easing the pain of the skyrocketing cost of living?

    To me, government have few cards to play in lowering/easing the cost of living. It can reduce custom duty, hoping that merchants will pass on the savings to consumers. This action can lower government revenue, impacting delivery of services. It will have to weigh revenue v. residents assistance. It can try persuading merchants to take lower profit. That may be a heavy lift. It can try UBI (Universal Basic Income), ie, provide residents at the low end of economic ladder with a monthly cost of living allowance. For others, the UBI can be means tested. It can run for 3-6 months or until inflation stabilizes, whichever comes first. Yes, the UBI has a socialist tinge but people are suffering and worrying about being able to meet basic needs, not economic ideology.
    • @E. Leonard (10/08/2022, 22:41) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @E. Leonard, three things:
      1. The BVI operates on capitalism
      2. The BVI government is broke
      3. Universal Basic Income is a novel and theoretical idea for the BVI.

      The UBI has promise to help the truly needy at the bottom of economic ladder. The questions I would have include: a) what would it cost the government, b) who would qualify, c) what would the ceiling of the allocation, d) what is the duration of allocation, e) how do taxpayers feel about such a programme or plan of action. I must admit that UBI is thinking outside the box.
    • Undercover Observer (11/08/2022, 07:56) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Covid, inflation, supply chain, demand, high import, remoteness from major markets, limited competition, etc, are all factors driving up the cost of living in the BVI. But the biggest factor driving up the cost of living is greed and pricing. There is no reasonable pricing structure in the BVI. Merchants shameless exploit customers. They exploit the lack of competition. Everyone expects that merchants must make a reasonable profit. But geez sum bread mon. Have a conscience, have some compassion, have some care and concern about your customers. Leonard, your UBI idea is novel and needs further discussion and debate but it will die on the vine. The idea of socialism in the BVI will interestingly freak people in the BVI. Here is news flash. Socialism is not foreign to the BVI. It is not some dystopian fantasy. It exist in the BVI as it does in most other places. There are few pure capitalist or socialist countries; there are mostly hybrid. Many may call for price control but it is not an effective strategy, for the BVI does not have centrally controlled economy. Businesses are run by the private sector. Price control often leads to shortages and poor quality.
    • UBI (11/08/2022, 09:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      What is up wid this UBI ting? Can I, we, hear more.
    • Quiet Storm (11/08/2022, 12:17) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      “It can try persuading merchants to take lower profit.“ E. Leonard, I know that you know better than what you are proposing. Merchants voluntarily lowering their prices. Not with these Shylocks. You would quicker see pink pigs flying.
    • Concerned and Curious Taxpayer (11/08/2022, 18:49) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Mr. Leonard, it is just a suggestion but who will be eligible to receive the UBI, what will be a reasonable payout, how long will the payout last, will the payout just be for food or it could include rent, etc?
  • Looking (10/08/2022, 19:44) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Gas is down in America but it still up here.When it went up in America they didn't hesitate to raise it here but it pause on coming down.Gas is at an average of $4.01 - $4.03 in America
  • Ferry Monster (10/08/2022, 20:16) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Deal with the overpriced ferry services to St. Thomas. The ferry companies are draining blood out of their passengers and you guys are turning a blind eye.

    The pandemic is now endemic. They are no longer observing Covid rules so why are we still paying Covid prices? Even with the increase in gas prices being considered, ferry travel to the USVI is still wayyyyyyy too expensive.
  • lol (10/08/2022, 22:28) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The level of discourse is appalling and embarrassing and not at the level of a real country. I really think the high school and college students will do a better job because they will actually conduct research, properly debate and bring solutions rather than just mouth off randomly.
    • @LOL (12/08/2022, 20:01) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why do you think these shysters are interested in actually conducting research and properly debating anything? Hon. Smith always brings forward actual issues in the community that needs immediate attention. He, however, never has a solution and right after he sits and votes for things that would make his pocket bigger. Somebody need to ask him if he is willing to vote to reverse that Bill that would make him as a first time politician eligible for a pension when a non-politician civil servant has to work for 33 1/3rd for a full pension. And also how much he charged the people of the Virgin Islands for that stage that was just erected in the Festival Village, this year and the years before. Value for money is not something that we enjoy in the BVI and the Government is responsible for the high cost of building and many other things in this country. Unfortunately, they are unable to come up with ideas as to how to fix things but simply use the time in the House, Our House, to point out what we are going through as a populace, things that we are very well aware of as who feels it knows it.
  • 999 (11/08/2022, 06:15) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    the politicians really do not care about what the people have to say and the issue we go through look around some homes still in shambles from 2017 and the government shutdown during covid 19

    the politicians who comes to your door just before an election once elections done all the political visits and phone calls gone

  • okay (11/08/2022, 08:05) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Please raise the Social Security payments according to the price rises of everything in the BVI. If the SSB could give away 45 million to Fahie for covid, to give his friends and family, why can't elderly people get enough for the basics. Yes internet is a basic, as is a phone, as is food, medication and money for electricity and water bills. Why are people who are retiring today, who paid in max getting $2,000.00 each and every month, and those who paid in max and retired 6 years ago getting barely $1,100.00 why? This is the real, BVI's nasty Little Secret, that no one wants discussed. Come on the SSB has enough money to pay a Social Security benefit to those who paid in, that allows them to live decently.
    • @okay (12/08/2022, 13:42) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      The max Social Security contribution is increased every year. Therefore those retiring now would have paid a higher dollar value in contributions when compared to a person retiring 6 years ago.
      Consequently the person retiring at present pension payment will be higher
  • Citizen (11/08/2022, 09:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The UK have their hands tied. They can't even help people anymore. They labelled all of them as thieves and criminals. The old people have to go through all bureaucracies to get help, while they rolling out all kinds of aides for their people.
  • musa (11/08/2022, 14:36) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Look who talking about prices tell us how much you get for the tents &stages for festival ..... without a dime popeye vvvvvvvvvex 1 timer
  • stop (13/08/2022, 15:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Tell this old man stop Darking his side brow.

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