17 December 2012

Budget Address of British Virgin Islands Premier D. Orlando Smith




1. Madam Speaker, I move that the bill entitled, Appropriation Act 2013, be read a second time and that in so doing invite this Honorable House to extend its customary indulgence, in permitting me to read the Budget Address.

2. Madam Speaker I would like to first thank God for the good fortune of these islands during the past eight months and more as we have been spared the wrath of natural disasters that affected many of our neighbors in the Caribbean and the North Eastern United States. Allow me to also express my sincerest appreciation to the people of the BVI for being patient through this period of significant challenge.

3. I am today happy to say that in keeping with our strong maritime traditions, we have weathered the storm of the global economic down turn, and righted the ship; it is now time to adjust our course onwards on “the path towards economic growth”. Madam Speaker on this course we will need all hands on deck.

4. Just over a week ago the US reelected President Barack Obama. Many of us experienced a great sense of euphoria at this outcome, but we noted that the very next day the stock market plunged, driven by concerns about a slowing economy in Germany and other parts of Europe; and of course the debate relating to averting the 'fiscal cliff' began in earnest. It is no secret that our economy is hitched to that of the United States. We use their currency as our only tender, the greater part of our tourism comes to us from or through that country, we import most of our goods and services from there, and many of the investors among us hail from that nation as well. We therefore know and must bear in mind, that a
sneeze in the US economy inevitably results in our catching the flu, and so we must maintain focus on the outcome of developments in the US over the next several weeks.


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