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Ex-FS L. Allen Wheatley blasts Unity Gov’t; Pleads for help for youths

- said the Unity Government is causing a cash flow problem, which could lead to crime & other problems
Former Financial Secretary Mr L. Allen Wheatley has said there is a cash flow problem in the territory and the Unity Government has to take some of the blame for it. Photo: Facebook/File
Bush cutting contracts allowed persons in the community to make some money for the Christmas season, however, due to the CoI Recommendations, the practice has been interrupted. Photo: VINO/File
Bush cutting contracts allowed persons in the community to make some money for the Christmas season, however, due to the CoI Recommendations, the practice has been interrupted. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had said in October 2022 that his Unity Government was using the opportunity to improve the bush-cutting exercise and was working on the necessary documents to hire bush cutters through the Public Works Department on a regularly basis. Photo: Facebook/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had said in October 2022 that his Unity Government was using the opportunity to improve the bush-cutting exercise and was working on the necessary documents to hire bush cutters through the Public Works Department on a regularly basis. Photo: Facebook/File
EAST END, Tortola, VI- Former Financial Secretary Mr L. Allen Wheatley has said there is a cash flow problem in the territory and the Unity Government has to take some of the blame for it.

He said if the cash flow problem continues without intervention, there could be an increase in crime, among other negative issues.

Non-payment by Gov’t causing ‘havoc’

In a nearly nine-minute commentary on social media, Mr Wheatley said there is a growing frustration within the business community as well as the “street side of this community” regarding cash flow.

“Now I am asking the Premier and all Members of the Government to listen what I have to say very carefully; the lack of payment to the business community for service already rendered is causing major havoc in terms of the business being able to function effectively.

“The Government, because it is not paying its bills, is causing too much problems for the business community, too much trouble. That is going to wreak havoc when persons are unable to give staff bonuses on reflection of their performance during the course of the year and other things. Some businesses have issues even making payroll this month because, again, lack of payment by Government. This is a reality.”

Stopping of bush cutting contracts ‘a bad idea’- Wheatley

Mr Wheatley also slammed the government for not providing the usual year-end bush cutting contracts to groups of persons, particularly young people.

“I am telling you, that is a bad idea, a mistake.”

In October of this year, the Unity Government of Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) said delays in attending to bush cutting throughout the territory were because his government was changing the way these contracts are awarded, so it could be compliant with recommendations made in the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report.

Premier Wheatley had also said, said despite the delays, the government was using the opportunity to improve the bush-cutting exercise and was working on the necessary documents to hire bush cutters through the Public Works Department on a regular basis.

“Please, for God in heaven's sake, the little bit of trust yall have in my ability to know what I am saying, for years, even before my time as FS and even during my time and post my time, every Christmas season, as a matter of fact just before carnival, we always issued some bush cutting [contracts] so the young people of this community could get some work, they could get to buy a little Christmas gift for their children, their girlfriends, whatever..and be able to have a little cash flow in their pocket to look like people.

“The lack of bush cutting is rendering that not possible. That is bad, especially politically. You going to get a lot of backlash if any of you are trying to run early next year,” Mr L. Allen Wheatley stated.

‘We need to get cash flow on the streets’

Mr Wheatley continued that a programme where curb walls were painted and other sprucing up was done via small contracts has also been discontinued.

“We need to get those things done. We need to get cash flow on the streets…the street benefits, the businesses benefit and you as politicians benefit.”

The former Financial Secretary also said there could be an increase in crime if the situation continues, adding that not everyone will be able to ride the hard times without cracking.

He claimed that it was about a month ago that he was nearly robbed by someone on a scooter and he was forced to drive to the police station to shake off the robber.

“I am extremely fearful that if these young people can’t get their monies by legitimate means, they are going to find illegitimate means to do it.”

‘Get it right or face retaliation of the people’

Mr Wheatley also urged the elected representatives to go around the territory to see for themselves the state of roads and the overgrown bushes at the sides of roads, adding that he gets calls from persons every day complaining about them.

Mr Wheatley said it is unacceptable that the Christmas season is upon us and the tourists have returned to such an embarrassing state of the territory.

“I am not asking you to go back to any tactics that the so-called CoI people have a problem with. The CoI is not the government, the CoI is not the people, the CoI is not the tourists. We are suffering from a lack of vigilance right now. You have to pull the trigger to get this country running right...because one thing I can promise you, if you get this place running right you have the support of the people.

“If you don’t get it right, you going to face the retaliation of the people. That retaliation is not going to be a good thing.”

28 Responses to “Ex-FS L. Allen Wheatley blasts Unity Gov’t; Pleads for help for youths”

  • YES! (14/12/2022, 13:19) Like (28) Dislike (13) Reply
    Allen you hit every nail on the head. They have forgotten about the youth of the country. The unity Gov is not a well rounded body. They are just there for show. The country is falling in shambles. Allen you should consider running in the east. You got my vote.
    • MiAll (14/12/2022, 21:06) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      The youths Forgot about themselves. Is it that funds from those bush cutting contracts are so much that they can last the contractors for 10 months or the contractors only have needs two months in the year? Allen is well educated he had better encourage the youths to get educated and either create jobs or try to be gainfully employed otherwise the entire BVI will become a real ghetto.
    • the rock (15/12/2022, 05:52) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
      Allen this not only about the youths, we have who depended on those contracts to feed and cloth they families, but it waa the big bad auditor who was againt that process so she terminated it and our government had not the balls to stop.her!
    • controversial (20/12/2022, 10:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      A good message although the very wrong messenger... if he was to advocate for the street, he should be advocating for microbusinesses that the street can work in all year round, not just bush cutting and not only at christmas and carnival... mr fs wat small business do you propose for the street???
  • Two Way Mirror (14/12/2022, 13:45) Like (41) Dislike (7) Reply
    Bush Cutting?! Nothing wrong with outsourcing but this form of work is to mask the dire failures of our education system both past and present. Back in the 70's we went from high passing rate with higher standards to now lower passing rate with lower standards and the rate of dropout is much higher than before. So young people cut bush maybe around two times a year and for the other 10 months what viable employment are the youths doing to sustain themselves......selling weed?
  • UK Own (14/12/2022, 13:46) Like (11) Dislike (15) Reply
    Well Said Bro.Wheatley talk to your cousin he needs to have you as his advisor not those who suckling up to the Slave Drivers. Change must come #2023.
  • idea (14/12/2022, 14:34) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    I'm not sure if it is costly but I think the government should give each person a monthly salary to clean a piece of the roadway. That person is responsible for a section and they have to make sure it is kept clean or also no pay.
  • SPOT ON (14/12/2022, 14:53) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply
    If they don't pay their vendors, they shouldn't pay themselves. You are spot on Mr. Wheatley.
  • Sincerely Concerned (14/12/2022, 15:27) Like (31) Dislike (4) Reply
    With all due respect, sometimes when I read certain things on our media platforms it makes me question whether we will ever progress as a territory. Bush cutting contracts?? Public Works Department is severely understaffed...wouldn't it make more sense to reroute the money from bush cutting contracts to such a department and hire more men/young people so that they have work ALL YEAR ROUND as opposed to just during Christmas season? That way you have more people hired, and enough to cut the bush across the territory. Give money to the streets to help curb crime?? Why not invest the money in PROPER youth development centres and programmes that TEACH our young people to WORK HARD and the RIGHT morals as opposed to them thinking that it is okay to rob just because they're not getting money? How about investing in a well established rehabilitation programme for individuals who have served time in prison to help them to not follow the same path that led them there in the first place? We need to stop with the bandaids/plasters and think DEEPER, think FUTURE. I am not saying that government doesn't need to pull its socks up but mehn, we've got to come up with better ideas.
  • Correct (14/12/2022, 15:32) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
    Look at the state this place is in. The place is overgrown with bushes, the damn branches slapping up your car windshields. The less violent prisoners that is sitting up in the prison doing nothing should be the ones cutting the bush and cleaning up the Island. What is so difficult about that. The money that is wasted on these bushing contracts is just wasteful and stupid. Use that money to create some type of program for the youths. I just got to shake my head and keep it moving.
    • @correct (14/12/2022, 17:38) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      That makes a whole lot of sense to me. Outside of here inmates makes office furniture, motor vehicle license plates or they have a seamstress that goes into the prison and teach the inmates how to sew and make the officers uniform.
  • My only comment (14/12/2022, 15:37) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    This unity Government is one big joke. They are in way over their heads. I am apt to believe they don’t give a shiznick about the people of the territory.
  • Loose mouth (14/12/2022, 16:38) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Whenever I hear about nothing is being done for the youths it makes me angry. What exactly does this mean? Growing up bushing cutting and garbage collection was done by people from the Islands. Much money was not in it. . In recent years, due to the amount of money given by Politicians, who saw it as a way to attract votes and other reasons that it became a monetary "quick fix". Our youths needs to do more than bush-cutting at Christmas and election times. There are many ways they could become permanent, productive businessmen and women. Many have used their God given abilities and are doing more than sitting and waiting for Goverment handout. As I said sometime ago, a person from another country could come here today and find a job tomorrow while these same youths who once held good jobs quit them after two weeks and go sit on the "block" amongst some of these people who are talking. What does Mr. Wheatley means when he talk about " you have to pull the trigger to get things done? He just may be taking but in light of the trigger-happy thugs in our community who are using guns in high daylight to murder our youths it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. With so much concern for our youths, he should use this forum to appeal to them to restrain from "pulling the trigger" instead of talking aboutbretaliation.
  • pat (14/12/2022, 16:47) Like (1) Dislike (13) Reply
    Free the Drew
    • controversial (20/12/2022, 10:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      not a chance.... dey should do the reverse lock him up for longer.
  • No hate just love (14/12/2022, 16:50) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    As bad as the slow premier is I will rather him that racist John
  • Mustang (14/12/2022, 20:12) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    We raising a storm in a tea cup about bushing cutting. How about a fuss about high end high paying jobs. Is bush cutting the best opportunities for youth? Has our education system fail them? Or the economy fail them? Someone has to cut the bush but can’t that be done with a non/ low -skill crew at PWD. Outsourcing is managed competition and has its place. Let’s fight for better education and better job opportunities for youth. Sick and tired hearing about what former civilians did when they were in service. You had your time but now it is someone else’s show. It is ok to criticize based on the actual performance of public servants, not we may have done. On the issue of government not paying for service provided, point taken. It is an abuse of the contractors who provide the goods and services. The contractors met their contractual obligations and government must now do its part. The Premier needs to run interference to make sure contractors get paid in a timely manner. Furthermore, the Premier should set maximum time frames for processing invoices. And should have a dashboard that tells him in real time if procedures are being followed. Contrctors should not be used to fund government operations. If a contract is issued means that there is money to pay for it. So what is the problem. If money is not available, don’t issue a contract period. Are contractors paid interest for delayed payment?
  • my2cents (14/12/2022, 20:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Personally I think the COI ended all these things but ppl have depended on them for so long they don't know what else to do for $$$. And if those things were to continue as they were happening, we would be under UK direct rule already and much more would've been lost. That didn't happen but systematic change was forced upon us. Who really likes to be forced to change? I don't think it's an issue with the temporary Unity government but that things have changed and will remain changed, and who can't adjust to change will not survive.
  • I agree (14/12/2022, 20:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    They need to invest more into the youths. Bush cutting is not the answer. There is nothing for them to do in this one horse town.
  • Fe (14/12/2022, 21:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    All this goverment is one joke never seeing this no orther goverment in the vi
  • who to blame (14/12/2022, 22:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is it NDP Neil Smith , PVIM , VIP Jeremiah Frett or NUG it Jeremiah Frett to blame

    Multiple Choice
    Therien lies the puzzle
    Wait - Why bush cutting was taken away … Under Whose Government set this action in motion :
    a) NDP b) PVIM c) VIP d) NUG
    Choices made out of badmindness come back to haunt us
  • tola (14/12/2022, 23:01) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I cant wait for election Drew missing mehson. Kye and them need to get out.
  • question (14/12/2022, 23:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    So what do the struggling youths do for the other 10 months of the year when they are not “cutting bush”. What a progressive society buddy where bush cutting has now become a crutch for our young people…This place has truly become sickening. I don’t see how this is a solution in any form. It is a 1 month bandaid at best. This is how we empower our youths??
  • Question Cont’d (14/12/2022, 23:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    How about finding a full time job?? If people can come from all over the world to find work in this little place I see no reason why our youths can’t do so too if they really want it. I’m so tired of the stupid excuses and they over reliance on “government”.
  • needed (15/12/2022, 03:18) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Many of the youth don’t want to work full time jobs. They want to live with moon and be taken care of. Sad but true. The Bush Cutting contracts And similar short term contracts are good for them. They would be piss poor performers at a full time job they don’t want to be at. The government pays enough salaries to non productive workers. Go in almost any government office and that is evident. More short term/ limited contracts please. Just make sure they do satisfactory work.
  • Big easy money. (15/12/2022, 05:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Most youths don't want no small money every day Job.
    They are after the quick big money..An every day Job calls for much desciplined and commitment, most youth ain't built for that... Don't blame government for what the youths chose to do. !
  • Retired and Owed (15/12/2022, 11:18) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Meanwhile, for many years now, the lack of increments payments to retirees and those still on the job for service already rendered is not only causing severe financial hardships and suffering among many, but is also causing very serious psychological and emotional challenges for many. To not pay people what they have worked for is cruel, mean spirited, evil, ungodly, unchristian and inhumane. We have a group of elected demons, not officials with a human heart, who look out for themselves…
  • @Allen Wheatley (15/12/2022, 14:47) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I don’t understand why we are complaining about overgrown bush when it was reported in the House of Assembly that they could not find work for the guys of Public Works to do (yet they collect a pay check for very month).

    I don’t understand why an educated man such as Allen Wheatley is advocating for once a year hand outs for the youths instead of better educational- and full time work opportunities. We don’t want the boys on the corner for ten months out of the year waiting for bush work. Their children need to eat year round so they need to work year round.

    Stop putting a plaster on the sore. Let’s fix the root cause of the issues instead. It begins with improving educational opportunities. Encourage the boys on the corner to seek to improve themselves educationally and to seek full time employment opportunities. There is no place in this world or community for laziness and those who know better should not encourage it.

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