Premier of the Virgin Islands, Honourable Dr. Natalio D. Wheatley, delivered the 2024 Budget Address in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly earlier today, with a fiscal package totaling $382.67 million.
The theme of the 2024 Budget is, “Planning, Priorities, and Progress: Building a Sustainable Nation”, which according to the Premier and Minister of Finance, presents “the overwhelming evidence that the economy and our people have developed and have demonstrated an awe-inspiring level of resilience in the face of a myriad of challenges and shocks.”
Major allocations in the 2023 Budget include: $54.36 million to the Governor’s Group, $23.62 million to the Premier’s Office, $39.52 million to the Ministry of Finance, $7.91 million to the Ministry of Financial Services, Labour and Trade; $12.55 million to the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change; $53.38 million to the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports; $95.92 million to the Ministry of Health and Social Development, $74.95 million to the Ministry of Communications and Works, $19.16 million to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development; $16.11 million to the Constitutionally Established Bodies, $58.17 million is allocated to Pensions, Public Debt and Funds Contributions and $15.1 million for miscellaneous expenditure.
Out of the total budget, $367.95 million is designated for recurrent expenditure — addressing ongoing operational costs, while $70.9 million is allocated for capital expenditure, which focuses on investments in long-term assets and infrastructure.
Premier Wheatley stated that in deciding which projects needed to be accelerated, the Government, together with the team in the Ministry of Finance and other Ministries looked at the impact – whether social or economic – that initiatives would have, and how these aligned with the needs of stakeholders, from ordinary citizens to public and private sector workers, to business person and investors.
The Premier also emphasised economic achievements and successes within the economy that continues to result in positive implications for the overall development of the Territory, despite global economic shocks and domestic challenges.
Premier Wheatley said, “Madam Speaker, the Virgin Islands economy fared well, and we will continue to rely on the resilient spirit we have demonstrated in the response to the storms we have weathered. We must strengthen ourselves for the journey because there are tests ahead.”
The Premier thanked his Ministers and Junior Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and all Public Officer for their contributions and ideas, adding that they exemplify what it is to work as a team. He also made special appreciation of Acting Governor, Mr. David Archer and his team, and the leadership team across the Public Sector.
The full 2023 Budget Address can be accessed on Facebook at username @BVI Government or via the link https://www.facebook.com/BVIGovernment/videos/664365719224975
The Government of the Virgin Islands remains resolute in the promotion of the overall development of the Territory through commitment and sustainable transformation.