Though spared by Tropical Storm Lili, the Virgin Islands suffered a double whammy of dire economic news this week. On Tuesday local papers reported that unemployment on St. Croix has now broken through the 11-percent level. And today the on-line V.I. Source papers reported that the territory's bond debt now exceeds $1 billion. That number is almost beyond imagining: It means that the debt burden is $9,724 for every man, woman and child in the Virgin Islands.
I salute the media for the research that went into these reports. These facts have been purposely withheld from the public by the Turnbull Administration. The truth will out. and well before Election Day.
A vibrant, strong economy creates jobs for our people and puts money into government coffers in the form of taxes, fees and permits. Without a growing source of revenue, the Virgin Islands government, or any government for that matter, will never be able to repay the billion dollars we have borrowed.
We now have several thousands of people unemployed, people who will not find jobs because no new businesses are opening. And yet, each of these unemployed people and every other man, woman and child in the territory has a debt of $9,724 hanging over their heads. Until we have leadership that understands this issue and will stimulate real economic growth and realistically manage the revenues we do have, the situation will only get worse.
The Turnbull Administration has mortgaged our futures, our children's futures and their children's futures. We all know that we must do better.
John de Jongh
Candidate for Governor
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EVERY RESIDENT HAS A PUBLIC DEBT OF $9,724
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