Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Ronnie Skelton described the treatment meted out to the Territory by its mother country the United Kingdom following hurricane Irma as disgraceful.
While speaking in the House of Assembly recently Hon. Skelton announced that the United Kingdom has not been exceedingly generous with the Territory following the destruction of Irma. Hon. Skelton stated that he detests the way the UK government has interacted with the BVI.
“Today we have built this country not with the aid of the British as far as every step of the way the British was a stumbling block before us. Now we were hit by hurricanes, it is true that we made some mistakes. All countries make mistakes, but here it is before they come in and say let’s build schools and hand the keys over to the Minister of Education so our children can have an education. They have no interest in doing this stuff and this is what bothers me. We got secondary high schools from the Canadians,” Hon. Skelton pointed out.
Further Hon. Skelton explained that the Territory has faced difficulties sourcing funding for rehabilitation. “Everyone don’t want to give us any money, because we supposed to be under the British and they are supposed to assist us. It is becoming a problem and it is making us look like we are prostituting ourselves because we in a bad way and we need funding and we need to help build our country. This is sad. To get a few dollars we have to agree with every single thing like we are the worst country in the world.”
The Minister for Health and Social Development said that the manner in which the Territory is being treated is equivalent to economic slavery: “This cannot continue. It’s making you feel that they are taking over our country, that we are going backward. Instead of physical slavery we are going back into economic slavery.”
“How is it that all of a sudden we’re all this bad? Are they seeing gold or oil under our country that they want it…The dignitary came here, they gave us sixty something million dollars – we got a few trucks, but the majority of the money was spent in the…police officers and so on –when they agreed to in the constitution that they are responsible for security but they haven’t given us something that the people can feel.”
Hon. Skelton said that the United Kingdom government should have fixed the schools, built police stations, or build something tangible. However: “All they are saying is that we are a rich country and the British taxpayers money cannot go to our country.”
“I think this is disgraceful and everybody all about giving people hundreds of million dollars to do nothing, and we have a need. I don’t want to deal with your money, just go and do the things to help us fix the schools. Come and build our roads. You use the money and build the roads so that you know that we did not take any of it to do anything else. This is becoming a sad situation.”