Progressive Virgin Islands Movement leader Ronnie Skelton pledged to build 10 homes a year in low-income areas. (Photo: PVIM / FACEBOOK)

During a week of panels, rallies and radio shows, Progressive Virgin Islands Party leader Ronnie Skelton said he wants to cut payroll tax, reduce government wastage, lower insurance premiums, and build 10 affordable homes every year for the “less fortunate.”

“We did it already when we had less money, so we can do it again,” he said of the homebuilding pledge during an Eighth District rally at East End Park on Friday.

He also explained that he wants to raise the amount of non-taxable income from $10,000 to $15,000.

“This money that we give to you, you’re not gonna put it in the bank,” he said. “You’re gonna go out and spend it to buy furnishing or food or whatever you need. And it’s gonna go back into the Treasury.”

D-8 rally

The Eighth District rally also included a panel discussion. Though the PVIM is not offering a candidate in the district, party members discussed various plans for the territory.

Fifth District candidate Wade Smith spoke of a need for “a comprehensive disaster plan in the event of another disaster,” and said the infrastructural issues facing his district are “a microcosm of the entire BVI.”

He also mentioned sports tourism as a way to bring in revenue and provide students with scholarship opportunities.

At-large candidate Lesmore Smith stressed his commitment to geriatric care and his work with the Brewers Bay Community Centre.

“The elders are the foundation, they are the bedrock, they are the shoulders of giants which we stand on,” he said.

First District candidate Sylvia Moses explained her plans to rebuild the Isabella Morris Primary School as a trade school or junior high school in response to requests from residents in Carrot Bay.

Her other promises to her district included improving the West End ferry dock and the road that leads to it, beautifying the area, and reviving sports tourism.

She also expressed the need for an electronic system to more effectively collect revenue.

On Saturday at a Third District rally in Sea Cows Bay, at-large PVIM candidate Shaina Smith proposed to staff and fund the National Business Bureau well enough to provide funding to entrepreneurs and “empower young Virgin Islanders to own a piece of the local economy through their creativity.”

For the youths

Other initiatives that Ms. Smith suggested to help young residents include increased funding for early childhood education, after-school activities and tutoring programmes.

She added that she would try to partner with the National Bank of the VI to facilitate small business loans.

“The goal of our government will be to take care of the most vulnerable in all society and enable these persons to take care of their families more comfortably,” she said as she cited statistics that residents in the lowest income bracket make less than $13,500 a year. “The struggle is real.”

Ms. Moses also hosted a District One rally in Carrot Bay on Feb. 13, in addition to Mitch Turnbull’s Second District rally at Meyers on Monday.

Mr. Turnbull, reading off of a laptop, pledged to rebuild the Second District basketball court, repair the streetlights, and fix the roads for the residents of Spooners Estate.

Interviews

In 284 Media’s interview series Mr. Skelton expressed his support for the decriminalisation of marijuana. He declined to give an answer on gay marriage, but said it should be left to a referendum. He said he did not support the legalisation of abortion.

Fourth District candidate Karl Scatliffe said he supported legalisation of marijuana and abortion, both with restrictions, but not the legalisation of gay marriage.

Mr. Turnbull said he is in favour of decriminalisation of marijuana, but not gay marriage. He did not give a definitive answer on abortion.


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