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Budget Standing Finance Committee (SFC) started today, Nov 23, 2023

Two days after Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) delivered the second budget address of his young premiership, the House of Assembly (HoA) today November 23, 2023, has gone into the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) of the House. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) delivered his 2024 Budget Speech on November 21, 2023. Photo: HoA/File
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) delivered his 2024 Budget Speech on November 21, 2023. Photo: HoA/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Two days after Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) delivered the second budget address of his young premiership, the House of Assembly (HoA) has today November 23, 2023, gone into the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) of the House, for the proposed 2024 budget.

During SFC deliberations, public sector agencies and central government ministries, departments, and units are called upon to testify and justify their budget requests and most often, argue for more funds.

This is where members get an opportunity to go through the Appropriation Bill clause by clause. The SFC is closed to the public and most often, funds are added with the final figure coming out higher than what the Minister of Finance had delivered in his Budget address.  

The Ministry of Finance, including the Financial Secretary (FS) and senior staff in the ministry are present throughout the SFC meetings to answer questions and be the main resource of the committee. The FS is also questioned by legislators about the Territory’s debt, financial reserves, and other fiscal matters. 

Budget debates to come

This process usually takes about two weeks and it must happen before the legislators debate the merits of the bill called the Appropriation Act.

In the past, some members have raised concerns about the lengthy process and have discussed ways in which to reform the SFC, which sometimes have public officers waiting around for two days to be called. The committee is chaired by the Speaker of the HoA.

It is unclear when this year’s process will be completed or when the budget will be debated. Under the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government, legislators have returned to the HoA to pass the budget in December, so the Bill can be ready for January 1st of the new year.

14 Responses to “Budget Standing Finance Committee (SFC) started today, Nov 23, 2023”

  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (23/11/2023, 18:39) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    What is the most important thing to happen is not biggest figure of the budget that counts, but rather how the the figure that will be agreed by the ruling Party in power will spend the $$$ figure.
    True there will probably be a few adjustments needed here and there, but at the conclusion of it all, will our finances (the people's money) will be justly spent? No, no, no! Don't you bet a penny that it will. Why not? That which had never before happened, will not happen. It is that simple because "It is not in man that rule over other, politically or otherwise to direct his/her steps" or deal with others (neighbors) justly or fair-minded, be it here be it there.
  • pat (23/11/2023, 19:12) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need cameras in the room
  • Happy Thanksgiving (23/11/2023, 20:35) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    In 2023 not having these proceeding public has continue to be a disservice — it’s a political manoeuvre more familiar in places overseas like Cuba, north Korea and Russia
  • my two cents (24/11/2023, 04:17) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    When they adding money to the budget please remember; Hospital ambulances, dialysis machines, CT scanners and lab equipment very much needed
  • Bell View (24/11/2023, 04:21) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    I heard on zbvi the man arrested and charged walwyn critical of the 2024 budget! Myron is a complete idiot! Thinks he knows it all and he knows NOTHING!!! He's nothing but a BIG 'OL PRETENDER!!!
    • @Bell View (24/11/2023, 08:34) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      The real idiots are the people obsessed with a wall but have nothing against the 52 blocks of empty walls at Joe's Hill. We focus on the one wall built and still serving its purpose today. How about the walls that should have been built. They're called cisterns and apparently the newly built schools have none! Is that not the real idiotic-ness? We need a wall at the airport to block the primer from all his idiotic trips. We need a wall from east to west, like the Great China Wall to travel on by foot or donkey because there's not point in driving or walking on the roads if they can't be fixed. We talk about who was arrested and charged WITHOUT CAUSE. What about who HAVE NOT been arrested and charge when there is overwhelming cause. That country under witchcraft because there is no way I want to believe it is the mentality of some people to be plainly and simply IDIOTIC.
      • @@ bell view (24/11/2023, 09:52) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
        The houses were build by ndp and the same Myron was in cabinet; set of hypocrisy trying to spin the facts
        • duh (24/11/2023, 13:28) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
          The buildings were re-purposed under the NO DIRECTION, WRONG DIRECTION, VIP government which is why they are empty today! Only VIP could take a very good thing and make it absolutely useless. ONLY VIP. Plain and simple!!!
  • trevor (24/11/2023, 08:30) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am confused
    The city of Cincinnati OH has a city budget of about 350 million, close to ours.
    But they have 300,000 people (10 x ours) and much more infrastructure to build and maintain.
    How are they doing that? What are we dong wrong?
    • @ trevor (25/11/2023, 08:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You fools always comparing apples to pumpkin some of you Wants the government cake and to eat it to.
      Typical child.
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (24/11/2023, 10:39) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    After the conclusion of the Standing Finance Committee has been done, and the ruling Party agreed on a budget figure, the core question still remains, will our finances be wisely spent in the people's best interest? No it won't. It has not happened, not even once since the Democratic System began over twenty-six hundred years ago in Greece, neither will it happen because of excessive greedy-minded mindset that is bent to overlooked the need of accountable political leadership for their employees, the people of the BVI best interest.

    We here in the BVI cannot change the Democracy, but it is possible to practice it in a more humane way, if first see other needs as our responsibility to act positive, rather than negative to the community needs. Only then will democracy be what it was originally meant to be.

  • RealPol (24/11/2023, 16:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    As a general comment, government can,” Do anything it wants to, But it cannot do everything.” Translation it will never have the money to do everything needed; it will have to plan and prioritize. The following is an applicable quote by Bush Professor from another commentary, “ Ministries, Departments, Divisions, Branches, etc, must adopt to the new normal of doing more with fewer resources; they must focus on maximizing allotted budget efficiency. Their success should be measured by how well they employed allotted resources to deliver the most services to the most people.”
  • Jimmy smith (24/11/2023, 17:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is quite clear from those marginal increses in the government budget is that they are playing with those numbers in the macro fiscal unit they have mo actual figures for the last five years or more smoking mirrors
  • X ministry of finance staff (24/11/2023, 17:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was delighted to have played a small role in sharing the magic of the annual budget process

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