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22% of VI population 'considered poor'- Mitsy J. Ellis-Simpson

22% of VI population 'considered poor'- Mitsy J. Ellis-Simpson

Independent Territorial At Large Candidate Mitsy J. Ellis-Simpson has launched her electoral campaign, with the aim of bridging the gap between the poor and the wealthy, improving education and healthcare systems and ensuring that the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) has a social security system that works for the most vulnerable and marginalised, including single parents, elderly and youths.

“Your next government needs to be one that creates an environment that will allow our people to have opportunities where we can flourish and have a good quality of life. This will not happen if we chose candidates that cannot move beyond ideas or candidates that care about themselves, instead of service to you the people,” Ellis-Simpson said while speaking at her official campaign launch at the Bandstand in Long Bush on April 5, 2023.

Education the 'passport' out of poverty

In pointing out areas of focus she noted are of great concern to the territory, Ellis-Simpson first turned her attention to the education system, noting that through an improved education plan investment must be made in children and support must be given to young adults and single parents. She further urged young people to make education their number one priority.

“Education is your passport out of poverty. My aim is to ensure that you have the best chance in this country to have a sustainable education and a great future,” Ellis- Simpson said.

She added that one of the greatest challenges hindering education is a breakdown in socialisation, which she claimed hinders learning ability.

She said children are exposed to aggression, bullying, violence and promiscuity, while some homes and community areas are unsafe for them.
Mitsy J. Ellis- Simpson said she will commit to having an assessment on socialisation issues in schools and their impacts and will advocate for a new department or unit of socialisation and reform to provide support to students and implement policies for addressing these ills.

22% of VI considered poor- Ellis-Simpson

As a priority, Ellis-Simpson said she will commit to having an assessment on socialisation issues in schools and their impacts and will advocate for a new department or unit of socialisation and reform to provide support to students and implement policies for addressing these ills.

She then turned her attention to the social protection system in the VI, noting that a government that cares for its people will ensure that it has a social protection system.

“We must address the increase in poverty in our country. There is about 22 percent of our population that is considered poor and the Virgin Islands is very vulnerable to the increasing poverty, “Ellis- Simpson pointed out.

She noted too that the people of the VI who are vulnerable to natural disasters receive no exemption for crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

These issues, she stressed, have increased vulnerability in the population and absolutely nothing substantial has been done to uplift the people.

“What was an eye opener for me was the amount of job loss that occurred during COVID-19 and the catastrophic hurricanes Irma and Maria…These shocks are indicators that we must strengthen our social protection system and to fight against poverty and build our human capital in this country," Ellis Simpson re-emphasised.

Ellis-Simpson is running as an Independent At Large Candidate after failing to secure a spot on the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) elections slate.

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