Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE has said that his Government remains on a mission to position the Virgin Islands stronger, smarter, greener and better and more resilient following the unprecedented trio of 2017.
Premier Smith was delivering his 2018 Budget Address at the Second Sitting of the Third Session of the Third House of Assembly on March 19 under the theme: ‘Resilience Beyond Recovery’
In his Budget Address, the Premier reflected on the challenges of 2017. He said, in the Territory’s economic performance, the Gross Domestic Product reached over a billion dollars in 2016 at the end of 2017 the provisional estimate is that nominal GDP had declined to $988.8 million.
The Premier added that it was the Territory’s thriving financial services industry that helped cushion the impact of decline in other industries post hurricanes.
He said, “The resilience in financial services sector allowed for the associated strong performance of receipts of Government revenues from company incorporations up to the end of year.”
Premier Smith also spoke about his ten--year vision for the Territory post hurricanes. He stated, “At the end of the first five years the BVI should be well advanced on its infrastructural revitalisation that adequately supports its key industries of tourism, financial services and agri-business including fisheries.”
The Minister of Finance projected that this development will include 21st century transportation network systems, modernised private structures, entrepreneurship, modernisation of our communication networks, transformation of the financial services jurisdiction that offers a wider suite of financial products with greater economic substance.
The Government has forecasted to collect $299,525,366 in revenues over the course of 2018. The total recurrent expenditure is $352, 816, 500. The Government is anticipating a recurrent deficit of $53, 291,134.
Now that the 2018 Budget Address has been delivered, the Standing Finance Committee chaired by the Speaker of the House will examine the Budget document. At this session, public accounting officers will be invited to explain and rationalise their submissions and address questions the committee members may have. On the completion of the Standing Finance process, the Budget will be debated in the House of Assembly.
Standing Finance commences on Tuesday, March 20.
The second edition of the Budget in Brief will be available online at www.bvi.gov.vg. This newsletter is a snap shot of the Territory’s 2018 Budget as presented by Honourable Premier on Budget Day.