Blunder? Gov’t Is Reason For Many Jobless Locals

Melissa Edwards, Senior Reporter | 5 Opinions
Published: May 17, 2017 2:09 pm AST
Hon. Ronnie Skelton, Health Minister
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
In what was quickly pointed out as a slip of the tongue by his colleague, Hon. Ronnie Skelton, Health Minister said that the actions by the government is the reason for many locals being without jobs.

"We are giving away our country and it comes to a point now, even in the Financial Services business, our own people can’t find jobs in them and those who have jobs in them, they're trying to get rid of them," he said recently, while contributing to the Secure Search (Beneficial Ownership) System Act, 2017.

He added, "They are doing it with our help, because we are here passing these stuff. The Minister of Education (Hon. Myron Walwyn) and I are passing these stuff to make sure that people don’t have jobs."

However, Hon. Walwyn was quick on his feet to interject.

"As strange as this is, I want to save my good member from himself. That would be an inside joke and I know he didn’t mean that at all. I had to get up and do this as unconventional as it may be," Hon. Walwyn said.

Minister Skelton then continued, "Yes Madam Speaker, let me continue, I know how to get his attention…So we are here passing these stuff like we don’t have any choice."

He said that regulations have to be in place, but the end result is local businesses bearing the brunt.

"It's our local little businesses that need the protection of corporate structure...Going to find it prohibited to do these things, so whenever liability actions are taken against them, they are personally liable, their whole family is personally liable because of the things we are doing."

The Health Minister argued that the irony is that for decades, the BVI has been able to manage its Financial Services industry and bring it to the point it is.

"It's troubling. We have build this system all the way from what it was from nothing, to now, but all of a sudden we don’t have the ability or capacity, or the educational experience or degrees to be able to manage it anymore."

He added, "Every time you see some foreign person they're bringing in who can speak Russian, Mandarin and all sorts of language, but they are all doing business in the BVI."

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