Minister for Finance, Premier Ralph T. O’Neal announced last week that, based on a revenue projection exercise just completed, a shortfall in revenue of 5% is expected when compared to the revenue projections made for the budget of 2009. But, Premier O’Neal said that despite the fallout of the economy, residents have maintained proper living standards.

He explained, ‘Though the economy has been predictably worse than in recent years, the government of the Virgin Islands has thus far been able to maintain the standard of living of its citizens at enviable levels, and intends to continue to strive to keep it this way.’ He tried to assure that the Virgin Islands is not steep in financial problems as seen in other British Overseas Territories.

Giving further projections, Premier O’Neal noted that the ten year projection indicates that with current plans for development there will be a ‘noticeable, though not alarming decrease’ in the Territory’s cash balances during the next two years, that is expected to rebound by the year 2012.

The Premier said that while he will not go as far as to indicate the exact amounts of the cash balances government currently have, he can state unequivocally that as of the end of last week the government of the British Virgin Islands had enough cash in its accounts to carry them through 90 days of operations at the present expenditure levels as stipulated in our financial principles and guidelines.

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