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UPDATE - New fiscal protocols mean VI don't have to send budget to UK!

- Fiscal protocols signed for better financial management
Premier Smith (left) shakes Bellingham's hand while Governor Boyd McCleary looks on. Photo: VINO
Government and UK sign the Protocols for Effective Financial Management this afternoon, April 23, 2012.
Government and UK sign the Protocols for Effective Financial Management this afternoon, April 23, 2012.
Ministers, elected members and other Government officials were in attendance at the signing. Photo: VINO
Ministers, elected members and other Government officials were in attendance at the signing. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – "In these protocols, one will not find a requirement to send our budget to the United Kingdom (UK) for approval, nor will one find the heavy intrusive heavy hand of a concerned big brother, but instead will find a commitment by the Virgin Islands to manage itself responsibly, and a United Kingdom Government, who now recognizes that the people of this Territory can and will, if given the opportunity, take care of themselves responsibly," announced the Territory's Premier

Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith, OBE and Minister for the Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham, MP signed the agreement which allows the VI to better manage it affairs and sharing information with the UK.

During the campaign trail leading up to the November 2011 General Election, one of the hottest topics was that the United Kingdom (UK) Government wanted to pre-approve the Territory’s budget before it was passed in the House of Assembly.

In response to multiple questions on the budget, MP Bellingham stated, “We don’t want to micro manage the budgets of Overseas Territories, we do expect to share information... we expect to know what is going on and that’s very important. We actually believe in working in partnership, we believe in building up trust...and we have every confidence that the information will be shared in the future.”

Meanwhile, Premier Smith stated that the last budget that was passed in the last House of Assembly was assented to as it was required by the Governor and “this process will continue”.

Furthermore, MP Bellingham gave kudos to the new Government on how it tackled the challenges it faced when they got into office.

“When Premier Smith came into power he found that the finances of the country had been badly stretched, he found that the commitments made needed to be honoured, so the incoming Government did what any responsible incoming Government would have done and that is put in place measures to face up to those fiscal challenges, and I have every confidence that the Premier is doing that.”

Hence the importance of the newly signed protocol, he added.

“The protocol signed is going to be sharing of information, and so what matters is that we have confidence in each other and he [Premier] has confidence enough to share with me all sorts of information regarding the public finances so we can work together when we can make sure that when the budget is in place it is one that is going to be fit for purpose. The most important thing is to bear in mind that the protocol is going to put the situation on to a different footing to what was the case before,” MP Bellingham told journalists.

VI is a huge success story
For a small country to achieve so much in a tumultuous period, MP Bellingham said, was extremely remarkable. “That success is something we [UK Government] are very proud of and we want to work with you in partnership to guarantee and to protect that success going forward.”

He added, “This demonstrates the BVI Government’s commitment to prudent fiscal management, and returning the finances to a sustainable footing...what you have is a world class financial services centre here.”

The UK Member of Parliament welcomed the Premier’s revision of the Public Finances Management Act, which made it more robust. He also expressed his appreciation of Government’s “increased’ commitment to improve transparency, planning and risk management.

“Taken together this sets to ensure that the BVI Government will have the available means to focus its resources on priorities, and value for money is obtained for the people of the BVI.”

Meanwhile, Premier Smith stated that a new direction is being forged - one that signals a departure from the “old ways of partisanship” towards a partnership that is based on mutual respect and the shared value of doing what is in the best interest of Virgin Islanders.

“My colleagues and I have but one goal in advancing this partnership between the UK and the Virgin Islands. This goal proposes that each side will always consider the position of the other and that we will move ahead on one accord, recognizing that though we may have different circumstances, as a unit we can build off of each other’s strengths to form a mutually beneficial solution and destiny,” he added.

27 Responses to “UPDATE - New fiscal protocols mean VI don't have to send budget to UK!”

  • rock rock (23/04/2012, 20:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Man dem have to send dey budget to uk stop fooling dey people
    • NDP voter (23/04/2012, 22:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      These NDP guys are so political that at a press conference instead of Dr. Smith taking the high ground/road and represent the entire BVI he pull punches blaming the VIP for this and that!!!!...…
  • mother hen (23/04/2012, 20:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was at this press confirence and tis waz pure smoke and I boss
    • Hmm (24/04/2012, 06:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I tend to believe you. The magic word here is protocol, and a protocol comes with a set of rules and procedures, and other things that you are bound by and must do. I sure a lot of you would agree with me that government need to tell us what the terms in this protocol are.
    • break away (24/04/2012, 06:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      jeez um bread give dey pll dem ah break me fren!
  • zeeeeeeeeeeeee (23/04/2012, 20:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    talk show people dem turn reporters wah ah mess
  • she the cat mother (23/04/2012, 20:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Look jokes boss I said it all along the UK will continue to play the NDP as they need to look and learn from Uncle Ralph on how a country is run!!!!!!. VIP and Uncle Ralph is the model on how all political parties should deal with the UK…keep them at bay so they will need you. They guy played Dr. Smith for fool fool that time the budget still got to go to the UK….2016 How long??? Not long!!!!
  • One eye roster (23/04/2012, 20:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Please do not let Mark and Funny man get that 15 million dollars loan to squander on parking lot, fixing school that do not need ah ting and retaining walls after Doc tell we the country broke. Since the NDP got in over a million dollars gone and not one project completed!!!! not even a lil lil 2 by 4 parking lot...the UK need to investigate this…
  • my two cents (23/04/2012, 20:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where is real talk and man down…booo booo budget still has to go to the UK
    • post (24/04/2012, 09:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      They are right on the ndp platinum site where everything they say in support of ndp and against vip is posted
  • ooooo (23/04/2012, 21:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    kedric dont look happy at all..
    • goat water (23/04/2012, 21:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Back off Dr. Pic, "ooooo" he is the only level headed one in the cabinet then Ronnie thank god for them both!
  • ooooo (23/04/2012, 21:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    success story....give vip the credit for sailing us safely thru the economic storm.....thankx captain ralph
    • .... (24/04/2012, 07:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      “When Premier Smith came into power he found that the finances of the country had been badly stretched, he found that the commitments made needed to be honoured, so the incoming Government did what any responsible incoming Government would have done and that is put in place measures to face up to those fiscal challenges, and I have every confidence that the Premier is doing that.” sailing ???Boss man that titanic ayo was talking bout sink off round rock never made it! I see den man pull in west end with dingy!
    • REAL TALK (25/04/2012, 13:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Most of these comments are so damn stupid and sound like a bunch of idiots. Seems like none of them can read. The budget is not going to the UK. The UK is just playing the same roll they have been playing all along. The observation role. VIP had us in a whole all these years. They lose all the cruise ships, they take money from local mouth with the bi water ting. They screw up wid the hospital, the lunch program look like a hog pen, the high schools are way behind time. Our college is 20 years old and still no dorms or accreditation but yet we looking to regional islands for students. VIP totally MESS UP the prospect reef deal and then take 2.2 million to build a 2x4 culinary school. They let the dictator MESS up the airport project now we have to expand costing us more money again which the expansion they doing now was budgeted for when the VIP was in. NEED I GO ON VIP CLOWNS.
      • Achu (28/04/2012, 12:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        The hole start in 2006. It was slowly filling back up. that obvious cause contracts right left and center after election
  • little black boy (23/04/2012, 21:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Could you imagine in the 21st century we are still here like slaves with a white man from the UK directing to us what? Where? and when??? People the colonist has not changed and not one man touching the independent question. What a shame!!! …the more things change the more they stay the same. Free your selves BVI.
  • Real Talk (23/04/2012, 23:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Real talk right here and was awaiting the updated version of the story because our budget ain't going nowhere for preapproval. The process remains the same thanks to good governance BOOM! Talk that hahaa!! I said it already that this would happen. Next stop, the measly 16mil they went to borrow instead of refinancing our debt and getting 30-40mil for infrastructure works. It's small but it's something, looking at how they almost kill the country that little 16mil is like heaven. Best of all when the work start sharing and the VIP contractors start getting their work, the vip candidates won't know how to wiggle their way out of it and bad talk the NDP. Money talks and when mark KILL THEM WID LOVE you will hear the news. hahaiiiee
  • INSIDER (24/04/2012, 07:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The more I read what the UK Minister says the more I say how much we owe Uncle Ralph, Fraser and Dancia for keeping this country together…this is a proud moment for the BVI and the VIP. If we had reelected the NDP in 2007 they would never been able to accomplish this… We should be very proud of the ground work and solid foundation set up and done by the VIP so now the NDP could just sign and smile for the camera. We need the VIP back in power for they have truly built this country and is the undisputed party of the people.
    • local tourist (24/04/2012, 09:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      No one tell you where we was heading? you must be nieve, blind or just ignorant then again you sound stupid, so you must be.
    • Real Talk (24/04/2012, 12:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you even read what the man said??? Please read and come again!! One Billion spent, what do we have to show for it? Nobody blaming VIP as an establishment, we are blaming the ones who were a part of it recently, particularly the last 4yrs. Don't pull that crap! The Celtics cannot tell the Bulls and Heat that they are the best since they won more championships than them during the Bird era. Be responsible for your time, stop piggy backing. The last VIP admin was a huge failure! The UK man basically said you all better thank god for NDP or else....haha!!
      • Strupes (24/04/2012, 22:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        So you really think between electiion and now and with the spending done up to now that the current government build that? say thanks to the previous government for clearing that 2006 bill, because if UK had meet it there you woulda hear thing.
  • facts man again (24/04/2012, 10:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    "the BVI commits to transparency in the management of the public finances is consistent with the highest standards of governance and democracy” what a big joke and when vino publish things that they have hiding they want to kill and close down the site….set of two faced hypocrites that should all be put in a bad and left near the rock rock
  • But wait (24/04/2012, 20:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This ain't the same thing Bermuda sign?
  • fake (24/04/2012, 21:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    look at the last pic with them two in the blue they so interested in what Edmund is saying that time dem so afraid
  • Amazing (25/04/2012, 10:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is quite amazing how this UK representative is being quoted and what he has said has been interpreted way beyond his actual words, of course to the credit of the current administration. However, when the other one came and spoke, it was a totally different story, trying to interpret what he said , but making it not applicable to the credit of the former adminsitartion. Remember people, our people, specifically younger ones are watching and taking in everything, double standards and all. Their eyes are on all of us, especially those who claim to be interested in their well being.

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