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VI facing cost-of-living crisis over inflation- Shaina M. Smith-Archer

- BVICCHA Chairman said global inflation trickling into VI
Mrs Shaina M. Smith-Archer said as a result of global increases in prices and inflation rates as much as 12% outside of the VI, those prices have started to trickle into the VI economy. Photo: Internet Source
BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVIVVHA) Chairman, Ms Shaina M. Smith-Archer has raised as troubling, what she called a cost-of-living crisis in the Virgin Islands as a result of imported inflation that has trickled its way into commodity prices. Photo: Facebook
BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVIVVHA) Chairman, Ms Shaina M. Smith-Archer has raised as troubling, what she called a cost-of-living crisis in the Virgin Islands as a result of imported inflation that has trickled its way into commodity prices. Photo: Facebook
FISH BAY, Tortola, VI– BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVIVVHA) Chairperson, Ms Shaina M. Smith-Archer has raised as troubling "a cost-of-living crisis" in the Virgin Islands as a result of "imported inflation" that has trickled its way into commodity prices.

Mrs Smith-Archer was speaking on JTV’s the Big Story with host Cathy O. Richards on August 16, 2022.

Cost of Living Crisis 

“The biggest thing right now, whether we want to call it this or not, we have a cost-of-living crisis, and the cost of doing business is linked to the cost of living so one of the biggest struggles again is for business to try to maintain normal prices."

Mrs Smith-Arched added; however, that as a result of global increases in prices and inflation rates as much as 12% outside of the VI, those prices have started to trickle into the VI economy.

“When we go to the grocery store, we have to close our eyes at check out because of the sticker shock, so it isn’t something where persons are just trying to profit,” she added.

The BVICCHA Chairman noted, “A lot of it is in reaction to what is happening in the global market that is going to translate back to here,” she said while adding that local businesses are looking for alternate suppliers to get the best prices for local consumers.

Public/Private address to issue 

Mrs Smith-Archer, touching on inflation mitigating measures, said the Government can step in a negotiate with the private sector stores to make essentials more accessible to families who need them the most.

She said in the case of the VI, the government can negotiate for concessions in sales tax, import taxes or energy.

Pointing to a similar initiative in Barbados, Mrs Smith-Archer said the Government can negotiate with the major supermarkets for the provision of essentials at a lower cost.

She also called for more to be done as it relates to the reduction of the cost of electricity, “If the price of electricity is being driven by the price of oil, then we need to look for fuel from other sources”, she added.

21 Responses to “VI facing cost-of-living crisis over inflation- Shaina M. Smith-Archer”

  • Obvious (22/08/2022, 09:13) Like (23) Dislike (15) Reply
    The word 'Crisis' is a bit over dramatic in this article. Economic inflation is a fact of life. Some years are worse than others but there will always be inflation in the free world.

    A crisis is when your country(say Ukraine) is invaded by a neighbor country(say Russia) for no valid reason.
    • @obvious (22/08/2022, 09:41) Like (10) Dislike (9) Reply

      What is obvious is your lack of some research from talking sh** about "no valid reason"...damn dummy.

      After all the lies and propaganda from mainstream media with covid you still believe what these people say?! You must be one of the useless people that the WEF talks about that the pandemic was designed to get rid of...did you take the jab? Obviously you did! How you feeling?

      • Really (22/08/2022, 11:47) Like (1) Dislike (10) Reply
        Best comment. They clearly don't know depopulation through vaccines means and not just the covid 19 Mark of the beast vaccine but all vaccine even the ones we had. New technology MRNA biotech weapons vaccine the new world order vaccine crispr technology gene editing, so many have humans walking around tola
    • @obvious (22/08/2022, 11:35) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
      Disagree. We have a crisis on our hands when people cannot afford food. Today I purchased a handful of items and it cost $300. A couple years ago it would of been $80.
  • Ulisses (22/08/2022, 09:18) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    9.1 percent inflation and not a word.
  • Wind, Solar & Tidal Power (22/08/2022, 09:25) Like (29) Dislike (1) Reply
    “If the price of electricity is being driven by the price of oil, then we need to look for fuel from other sources”..... well. what a lightbulb moment (excuse the pun!).
    Let's think about wind, solar & tidal power a bit more - all should be relatively easy here in the BVI!!!!
  • Well (22/08/2022, 09:48) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    The maths is simple the rich shall live but the poor must die becaus this thing is been going on for a long time and no one seem to care
  • Shaina my friend . (22/08/2022, 10:27) Like (30) Dislike (0) Reply
    You don't understand how whole sale business works...Whole sales like RTW / One Mart they have old inventory in plenty but when they raise the price on the new inventory the old ones that was bought at a cheaper rate goes up also. So they are making a lot of Profit... So, don't say they are not making extra profit. They are.
  • Financial Guru (22/08/2022, 10:40) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Shaina is indeed correct and our government aint doing a damn thing bout it. Ppl here suffering and going cause crime to go up. A hungry man is an angry man.
  • ccc (22/08/2022, 12:26) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Shana playing her usual politics she is not electable bottom line
  • reality (22/08/2022, 12:29) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply

    The reality is that there needs to be an investigations into the stores in BVI. The R**** one has a monopoly in importing most of the products in the BVI and so they dictates prices a super profit levels. For example fruits some times you go into the R**** one and the fruits marked up at hundreds of percentage are rotting then they try to put the spoiled fruits on sale at cost and eventually have to pay labour cost and transportation cost to take it to the dump instead of selling at a reasonable price initially with resultant larger sale volume and minimal spoilage.

  • talk & talk (22/08/2022, 12:34) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    one minute we urging the people to get going with our agriculture one minute we sit back complaining

    Whatever the cost VI People will pay the bill
  • BVI EC (22/08/2022, 14:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Electricity up there with rent $450 last month $632 this month and mans dont even be at home
    • Gut (23/08/2022, 07:24) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Nobody gets bills like that unless they wasting and use ac. Switch stuff off and your bills will drop. Simple.
  • Hmm (22/08/2022, 14:57) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everyone ripping us off. Grocery store. NHI everyone.
    Supermarket does have a few cents less and call it sale but NHI telling you infront your face they not paying for any testing that cannot be done locally. Local doctor recommended the test to further diagnosis someone sicknesses but NHI not covering the cost. Well then the government need to bring in ppl and equipment at the hospital to do such testing
  • Stop It (22/08/2022, 16:16) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Stop trying to hold down the guys moving their things on the side. Money must flow
  • E. Leonard (22/08/2022, 20:06) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    In convo with fam in both the VI and USVI , the concerns about the skyrocketing cost of the proverbial basket of good is the same. Inflation is a global problem which was exacerbated by Covid pandemic and is a major contributing factor to rising inflation, ie, too many dollars chasing too few goods. Other contributing factors include, supply chain issues, heavy demand and low supply, heavy import, etc. The VI imports most of its needs, ie, food, fuel, clothing, furnishings, appliance, transportation, electronics, , construction material, medical supplies, etc. Consequently, suppliers in the US, Canada, UK, China,etc, pass their rising cost onto VI importers. The VI is indeed in a cost of living crisis, though it is not yet in a hyper-crisis, and residents at the low end of economic are disproportionately impacted. A major problem with few solutions to ease the pain on the poor. What are the options ?

    Some options include:
    a. Temporary reduction on import duty,
    b. Conservation of utility usage, ie, electricity, water, etc,
    c. Substitution of products,
    d. Merchants voluntarily reducing profits on basics, etc,
    e. Government can roll out a Universal Basic Income ( UBI) initiative for the poor. Generally, UBI pays a periodic stipend (weekly, monthly, yearly) to residents,
    f. Car pooling, park and ride, public transportation

    • CONSUMER (23/08/2022, 08:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @E. Leonard, how will this suggested UBI work? How long will it last? What will be the income qualification? Is this public assistance by a fancy name? Can you explain the Substitution of products proposal?
      • E. Leonard (23/08/2022, 17:32) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply universal basic income:” a government program to alleviate poverty through periodic, fixed, direct payments to every citizen. “ To implement a UBI programme in the VI, government would have to make some changes, ie, means testing. What is in a name, ie, UBI, public assistance, welfare, etc. The name does not change the real needs of those at the bottom of the economic ladder. The needy were overcome by events (OBE) beyond their control. Generally, when the price of a preferred product escalates, consumers may substitute the product with a less expensive/cheaper product, eg, tea for coffee, etc.
    • Consumer.1 (23/08/2022, 20:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @E. Leonard, seem reasonable and doable:
      1. a, b, and c are readily doable
      2. d, e, and f heavier
  • Cultural Shift (23/08/2022, 17:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Not too long ago, most homes in the BVI had back yard gardens, lowering their food cost. However, starting in the 1960s with the roll out of tourism and the roll out of financial services in the 1980s, this practice started to change. Now, it is at a low level. Admittedly, the majority of BVI residents live in multi-family homes. Nevertheless, more backyard gardening can occur.

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