My Dear people of the Virgin Islands, Good Day and God’s Blessings to you in this Holy and Festive Christmas Season.
I am pleased to advise that the 2020 Budget was assented to by His Excellency the Governor on Friday, 20 December, 2019, and was also Gazetted on the same day.
This is a proud and special achievement for your new Government.
We all would be aware that it has been a very long time since any sitting Government of the Virgin Islands has been able to successfully complete all the stages of the Budget process on time, before the next fiscal year.
We will also be aware that during the last Budget process in April 2019, your Government promised that the next budget for the Territory would be pass on December 15, 2019. We promised to move from a transitional budget to a transformation budget and so we did. A promise made! A promise kept! And, a promise delivered!
This process includes the Budget Call for ministries and departments, Cabinet’s Approval, First Reading of the Appropriation Bill in the House of Assembly, the Budget Address read by the Minister of Finance, deliberations of the Budget through Standing Finance Committee Meetings, the Budget Debate, further deliberations in the Committee stage of the House of Assembly by all Elected Members, the Second and Third Readings, of the Appropriation Bill, approval of the Budget by the House of Assembly, and then the ascension of the Appropriation Act, as passed by the House of Assembly, by the Governor.
This means that the Territory will be able to start the New Year with a budget in place.
It also stands as a testimony to your Government's commitment to the principles of good governance.
Your Government extends sincerest thanks to all who have contributed to this achievement.
Happy Holidays to all. Indeed, together with BVILOVE let us make 2020, the best year ever.