Chairman of the National Democratic Party Hon. Myron Walwyn said that the comment that he made during the official launch of the NDP’s At Large candidates on 19 January that “USVI is eating our lunch” was taken out of context.
During the At Large presentation Hon. Walwyn said “I love our neighbours in the USVI, but they are eating our lunch. They are eating our lunch because our tourists have to pass through St. Thomas to get here.”
However, since that comment was made there has been some discussions in the community where persons have accused Hon. Walwyn of causing division between the USVI and the BVI.
This baseless accusation has not escaped the attention of the NDP Leader who addressed the matter on 28 January during the NDP radio programme. Hon. Walwyn said: “At the launch I tried to deepen the Party’s position on the economy a bit more … I was making an analogy when I said that St Thomas is eating our lunch – people understand what I mean.”
“I mean that when somebody leaves here, they have to go down on a boat, they have to catch a taxi and must stop for lunch somewhere. There are taxes in different cases that are built into your ticket; and I am saying that the money that we are spending that way is better spent here in the Virgin Islands by expanding our airport and making sure that things are different,” he said.
In further explaining why he stated that that the USVI layover was not conducive to the BVI’s development Hon. Walwyn added: “If we have people coming into the Territory and they come from St Thomas, or wherever else they have to come from, they have to do the same thing catch a taxi etc and it reduces their dollar spent here.”
“I said that and I made the analogy so people can understand what it was and I heard the other day that the members from the Green Team said that I am attacking St Thomas. I knew they were green, but I didn’t know they were that green, and can’t understand something as simple as this. Every single country is trying to see how they can keep as much money as possible…it is common sense,” the NDP Chairman said.
Hon. Walwyn added, “When you take money out of your economy you are making somebody’s country richer and you are making your own country poorer. If you can’t understand that simple concept as that then you really have no call representing people because this is really fundamental.”