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Hon Penn predicts bleak future for VI without expat workers

-says local economy will collapse should expats workers leave the territory
Virgin Islands Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) is predicting a bleak economic future for the territory should expat workers leave and fuel a labour shortage. Photo: VINO/File
Since taking office, the Government of Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has vowed to prioritise the employment of Virgin Islanders, while providing opportunities for the importation of skilled labour should the need arise. Photo: GIS/Youtube
Since taking office, the Government of Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has vowed to prioritise the employment of Virgin Islanders, while providing opportunities for the importation of skilled labour should the need arise. Photo: GIS/Youtube
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Virgin Islands Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) is predicting a bleak economic future for the territory should expat workers leave and fuel a labour shortage.

Pointing to a collapse of the VI economy, during the Tuesday, December 14, 2021, budget debates Hon Penn said the reality on the ground is that that the territory needs imported labour.

VI needs expat labour – Hon Penn

“The size of the VI’s economy, if we have full employment of all VIslanders and we sent out all the persons that come to the VI to work, the economy would collapse,” he said. 

Hon Penn continued, “The VI economy is such that it requires investment, persons coming from external to be persons providing some of the skilled labours that we need and we need to focus on where we can transition in terms of our people in as much areas as possible and I think wherever is possible."

He said in the VI, local businesses require a certain level of imported labour to be able to function.

“Mr Speaker we now have a situation where our Labour department has put and created additional hardships for persons and businesses to operate in the territory. Mr Speaker, you have a Labour Minister making comments that we will flush them out!,” this was done in September 2017 he stated.

Too much red tape @ Immigration Dept – Hon Penn

The Leader of the Opposition said another area of concern was too much red tape at the Labour Department.

“At a time where businesses have been down many of them over 16 to 18 months, a time when the economy is beginning to move again, we are now putting undue red tape and pressures on these businesses to get the skills that they need to get the economy going especially long-serving employees who have been working with these establishments,” he said.

The Opposition Leader further added that it is now his understanding that Work Permit renewals are now taking three months to process on average.

“A business that has been down for 16 to 18 months trying to get themselves back up on their feet have to now struggle under the burden of the policy of this administration to get themselves moving. Mr Speaker that is where the Government’s policies are creating hardships on businesses going forward," he complained.

Since taking office, the Government of Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has vowed to prioritise the employment of Virgin Islanders, while providing opportunities for the importation of skilled labour should the need arise. 

37 Responses to “Hon Penn predicts bleak future for VI without expat workers”

  • Real Talk (15/12/2021, 11:04) Like (43) Dislike (8) Reply
    Well stop your pals from forcing this experiment on everyone including the expats. When this war is over and there is a Nuremberg 2.0. We will be sure to give you guys up for the death sentence. Let’s see how much you can take when your feet’s off the ground a noose around your neck
    • To “Real Talk” (15/12/2021, 11:56) Like (8) Dislike (20) Reply
      You are one Sick F***!!
      • @ To “Real Talk” (15/12/2021, 12:57) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
        You just soft, they killing us all whether it happens in a short period of time or in the long term, some people can’t provide for their family because they losing their jobs over an injection. Many women are having miscarriages, it’s getting serious now. Look at the flow employees for example they got mandated and the government ain’t even commenting on it or trying to help in some way or the other and if you wanna say flow isn’t a government body. The government ask the banks for a grace period for us after the storms. To deny someone human rights especially when it comes to freedom should be a heavy price to pay. Change don’t always come by marching and praying if you don’t have action behind it. Y’all been brainwashed for too long. This none sense won’t end unless we end it. Leave people alone let them live and you wouldn’t have to worry about people being a “Sick Fk”. You gonna be a sick F when you get tired of having to take boosters and you realize your 5yrs in with no normalcy for you or your kids.
    • @Real Talk (15/12/2021, 12:53) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
      You need to change your name TO FAKE TALK.
  • Smh (15/12/2021, 11:05) Like (66) Dislike (3) Reply
    We need the Expat labour force in order to survive or we are doomed.
  • dead man (15/12/2021, 11:17) Like (11) Dislike (28) Reply
    It’s clear the ndp hate locals he is carrying out funny man policies
  • my2cents (15/12/2021, 11:36) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is a non issue imo
  • Sue said it (15/12/2021, 11:59) Like (37) Dislike (4) Reply
    Marlon, sit down with Mitch, Myron and Fraser, put whatever grievances you all might have against each other and start fresh. Lay out a good solid plan and send VIP to the curb packing. VIP get back in office, we are so doomed.
    • I am with sue said it %1000 precent (15/12/2021, 14:36) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
      Truth, If those four team up lay out a good solid plan, they can knock VIP CLEAN OUT OF THE WATER. Don’t worry about what the nay sayers have to say. Just look forward and do what you have to do for the future of the Country and the people that comes FIRST. The COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE NEED TO EXHALE.
    • Correct (17/12/2021, 05:43) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Sue said it.. you are sooooo right. Come on Marlon, Get Mitch and Myron let's do this. The 3 M with purpose and plans for the father. Let's forgive and forget and make it happen.
  • Black Sheep (15/12/2021, 12:10) Like (23) Dislike (4) Reply
    The stone that the builder refused always become the head corner stone … lot already left and a lot more plan to leave soon .Everything have a way of back firing.
  • hmmm (15/12/2021, 12:34) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    Not doomed but life would surely not be the same as it is now.
  • Sam (15/12/2021, 15:07) Like (21) Dislike (7) Reply
    when the member talks about expat workers he does not mean caribbean people

    The elected member is very concerned due to the fact that local costal enforcement officers have the nerve to question the expats with charter companies(operating in bvi waters)

    the caribbean expat workers that contributes to teaching our children; renting our houses; take care of our children are called all manner of nick names.....

    however the expats with the boats and trust companies and private villas, when they say jump we must ask how high

    the caribbean expats who seeks to forward some money to their families have to pay taxes whereas other expats electronic money transfers pays nothing

    my people dont be fooled with the expat speech when you go labor department you mostly seeing the caribbean expats standing in line for hours on end whereas the other expats documents being hand delivered

    double standard
    foolish talk

    • Sankofa (15/12/2021, 18:48) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Sam l couldn't agree with you more. You're absolutely correct. They don't have the balls to confront the real enemies that are living amongst us. And this is not racism, it's true facts at no time when they talk about expats it's usually about our sistrens and brethrens from other Caribbean islands, that mental slavery still exist in some of us minds. The Europeans are not expats? Take a look at all the trust companies in the territory and then draw your own conclusion. If it was expats from other Caribbean islands that owned them "" Oh Lord the complaints would be endless. Stay woke black people free your minds. Know thy self.
      • facts (19/12/2021, 04:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        There is a well known black sister who them back in a corner because she down island and trying to run a business, if she was white non of this would happen, open your eyes people
  • DE YEAR (15/12/2021, 15:12) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
  • bvi (15/12/2021, 15:22) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need expat workers. Who say we don't and wouldn't in the distant future. For me though its a balance. As a nationalist i say we also need to prepare our own people to be charter yacht captains, builders etc.
    • @bvi (15/12/2021, 17:04) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
      Good idea. Problem is locals here don't want to learn or do construction work, they don't want to spend the time it takes to qualify as a boat captain. Most couldn't even tell you to the nearest degree the latitude and longitude of the BVIs without using a device.
  • Hmm (15/12/2021, 16:21) Like (6) Dislike (25) Reply
    That’s bullsh**t. It was fine before the majority rolled in it’ll be fine when they roll out. Stop making them seem they are more than they are and that we can’t survive without them. That’s a horrible mentality for a local/politician to have. Good to know what side you stand on.
    • @ Hmm (15/12/2021, 17:09) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Indeed the BVIs can survive without ex-pats but prosperity will be illusory.
    • Jack and Jill (16/12/2021, 07:22) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Hmm sorry to burst your bubble but you are fooling yourself. God forbid all expats leave the BVI it will not look good the BVI and l am sure you know that. Someone mentioned that the locals don't care about learning about construction, farming etc. Their primary concern is getting rich quick through illegal activities and much more. Think twice my friend. Who is going to rent your very expressive apartments, clean your yards etc. If the Europeans leave where will the fancy ladies work? The ones who like to over dress, paint their faces with make up to out do each other? Got my drift? Let's go to Education your locals do not go into the teaching career like their grand and great grandparents did. Especially to work with the special needs population. I can go on and on. So put that in your pipe and smoke it. With that foolishness you here talking. Lastly there are no longer pure local it's a whole lot of mix up and mix in...... SORRY
    • Tumb up (19/12/2021, 04:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Hahahah hello, you don’t have to be so angry, we are leaving, isn’t that what y’all asking for, stop getting work up , most of us soon gone in January, peace out
  • hello (15/12/2021, 17:08) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Marlon since when you so care about expat workers or is it Myron you’re sitting talking to at 7?
  • resident (15/12/2021, 19:40) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Time to drain the swamp at the next election....
  • Smh (15/12/2021, 23:19) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    If everyone on a work Permit went on strike for a week, we would have some serious serious problems.
    • SUSS (19/12/2021, 22:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Talk the things.look how people a pack up and going serous o
  • pipe (16/12/2021, 02:19) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    As a Virgin Islander I am so disappointed, First funny man then Min, of Health now Marlon - If you can not represent we quit. or be fired next election. We vote not expats.
    • Covid19 (17/12/2021, 12:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      U all will pay the tax an rent when they leave an do the work..ask your self why they here in the first place.....u all want to be like american but island man an tortola smaller than all them island
    • voter (19/12/2021, 04:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      When we leave you will continue to vote, good luck to you on your votes
  • @ truth (16/12/2021, 13:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    If everyone on a work permit went on strike for a week, we would have some seriously hungry people in some countries. Talk Dat. As long as the US dollar is available in BVI Marlon foolish talk will be nothing but FOOLISH TALK. He should be more concerned about the injection that is being used to depopulate the planet. The new so called variants are nothing more than scare tactics to get the clueless to line up for the so called booster. Every injection weakens the immune system more and leaves you dependent on another one just like a drug addict. This is what Marlon should be worried about.
    • jack frost (16/12/2021, 22:26) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      The US dollar is on its death bed( it soon soon DEAD). When that dollar dies which is very soon most of us will cry blood. The US is losing value people. The expats l am sure have gardens of food in their country, so they will be able to eat and sell food. Where is the farming in the BVI ( not the backyard ones) which consist of mostly flowers. So truth is correct if permit holders and expats leave there will be problems for us.
    • US dollar (19/12/2021, 04:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Hungry you say, wait, don’t you see the people them moving to the United States, wait, isn’t there a plan to go independent, hungry, you sound so stupid, we all going hungry now, you not seeing that the US dollar not even here anymore
  • island man (16/12/2021, 19:53) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The expats don’t habor jail escapes and don’t go st marteen for illegal aliens to go to the usvi that’s why I want the uk
  • Covid19 (17/12/2021, 11:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well u see some people think because u come here to live they are better than u that is the mentality here..that why every one love to ask where u from...
    But alot off u all never visit non off them island they are more develop than here..most people here for america if u have to live here 20 yrs just to get papers why stay...leave it for the I from here mentality...
  • musa (17/12/2021, 19:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need mitch and ronnie skelton as our leader for 2 terms and we all will have a better bvi
  • Dictator (18/12/2021, 11:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    time to dust off the mckinsey report. it was all there. how much did it cost? but no political will to deliver
  • hungry (19/12/2021, 04:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am here working for the US dollar and still can’t see it and all now I waiting for my money to eat and pay bills, yes I here and still hungry, so what’s the point of staying for this is so call dollar

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