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BVI was headed up a creek without a paddle – Parsons

BVI News Staff - Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Eileene L. Parsons

The depletion of the territory’s reserve fund could have sent the BVI up a creek without a paddle had a disaster strike.

NDP Talk Show Host Eileen Parsons made those comments  during the May 21 edition of the show after ministers of government explained how the borrowing guidelines were breached by the previous government, specifically by the reduction of the reserved fund.

“We need about three months income in the reserves so that if anything happens we could pay civil servants (and current bills), so more or less before the advent of us, it didn’t have enough to cover a three-month period, so if anything had happen we were up the creek without a paddle,” Parsons said.

The borrowing guidelines were acceded to by this government during its 2003-2007 administration. The current Minister for Health, Ronnie Skelton, was the minister of finance at that time. And he explains that the guidelines focused on maintaining fiscal responsibility.

“When we were here the last time, the same time the concerns came up… What we did the last time we tried to get some conditions, or common conditions precedent to be able to borrow without getting Britain’s permission, and in doing that we started the first Financial Management Act which was passed in 2004,” Skelton said.

He explained that the borrowing guidelines stated how government was going to manage all of its business from a financial point of view.

“What has happened since then is we have breached the borrowing guidelines. So once you have breached the borrowing guidelines in order to borrow you would have to go back to Britain,” he said.

The minister explained that the breach in this instance means that if the UK government says that only 80 percent of the recurrent revenue can be borrowed at any one time, the territory cannot borrow 81 percent.

“There were three conditions, and the most difficult one based on how we were budgeting, is the reserve fund (which was depleted). It needed to have recurrent expenditure for 90 days or three months and we didn’t have that in the reserve,” Skelton stated.

The current government’s attempt to regrow the territory’s reserve fund was mentioned on more than one occasion. In fact, $15 million from the 2012 budget has been allocated to the reserve fund, and on January 9 Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. D. Orlando Smith announced cost-cutting measures which he said were to help boost the said fund.

The measures included a 50-percent cut in performance increments in 2012, a seven percent cut in operational expenses of individual ministries and departments, together with a cut in the pay package of elected officials. In addition a 15.8 percent cut was made on discretionary funds (referred to in the budget as Assistance Grants). These cuts the BVI leader anticipates will help to pave the way for a stronger fiscal position.

In his budget address on January 17, Dr. Smith announced that it is imperative that Government rebuilds its recently depleted reserves as security for the future of the territory and its people.

“Madam Speaker, the draft before us today scribes our initial suite of steps towards the correction of the current fiscal un-sustainability of the Government of the Virgin Islands. A number of measures have been made towards increasing our reserve levels and decreasing operational costs,” he announced.

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21 Comments

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  1. doodly
    May 23, 2012
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    e. parson is the cause the bvi going up the creek without a paddle. how is she paddling?

    Reply to this comment
  2. That Clown
    May 23, 2012
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    The mighty myrant the tyrannt trouble me first. Wha happen happen.

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  3. dedevil
    May 22, 2012
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    This ting from up the hill go back under your rock for god sake

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  4. Tired of BS
    May 22, 2012
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    Almost 8 months in power, several consultants given contracts family and friends (Clines) given positions they have no background in and zero to show for it. They could still be preaching piss about the vip? The ndp needs to give us a break from the BS and spin everyday and actually try to achieve something. Look around and listen you can’t fool everybody, we are up a creek without a paddle.

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  5. Rastarite
    May 22, 2012
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    vip fiscally irresponsible

    Reply to this comment
    • Strupes
      May 25, 2012
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      They were fiscally responsible for clearing up the fiscal problem from 2006.

      Reply to this comment
  6. peace
    May 22, 2012
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    I wonder if she was drunk when she was speaking, because rum is her surname. The Lord is humbling her with her one foot and if
    she dosen’t change she will eventually loose the other one. Wicked demon’

    Reply to this comment
    • .
      May 23, 2012
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      Lets hope that you would never get sick and ended up in her position. Remember what ever you throw up comes right back at you.

      Reply to this comment
    • yep
      May 23, 2012
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      2 ah dem dun off long time

      Reply to this comment
    • May 23, 2012
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      It is ok to disagree with another’s opinion but the name calling is ridiculous. Show some respect for the elderly even if you do not know how to respect a lady or a professional. Come on. And please, do not speak for the Lord unless he has spoken to you.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Sisterly Love!
    May 22, 2012
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    The truth hurts! That is why you all feel that way about what she is saying. Your pains will ease!

    Reply to this comment
  8. May 22, 2012
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    I am sooo tired of hearing this bitter, spiteful and out of touch woman it hurts! Why doesn’t she fade away quietly rather than being a parrot for the NDP!

    Reply to this comment
    • THE JURY
      May 22, 2012
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      I fully agree with you, she is always sooo bitter. Never a positive comment other than about her associates. She needs to stop before it is too late.

      Reply to this comment
  9. @ooooo
    May 22, 2012
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    I hope your soul has been saved.

    Reply to this comment
  10. vip
    May 22, 2012
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    it is strange how it had enough money in the kitty to hire all who were affiliated with ndp

    Reply to this comment
  11. ooooo
    May 22, 2012
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    why she dont go and get her old soul saved?

    Reply to this comment
    • Truth Is
      May 22, 2012
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      Worry about your own soul…truth really hurt. Allu government ran our country a muck that is why England did not sign the loan. They did not trust the past government.

      Reply to this comment
      • Maybe
        May 22, 2012
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        Or maybe they are setting this one up…

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      • May 22, 2012
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        Idiot we borrowed 45 million without the backing of England. You all are trying to make something out of nothing. The only reason why England give the NDP this gift is because they signed the financial freedom of this country away to them. One of the leading financial banks in the BVI had no problem in lending the BVI 45 million under the VIP government and you all are making noise over 15 million. Idiot please!!!!!!!!!!! Since you all think that they love the NDP so much lets see if they will get money for the airport and the cruiseship port projects.

        Reply to this comment
        • May 22, 2012
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          It should be clear to everyone that England does not give the BVI any money i.e. (budgetary support). Neither for : Hospital ;Cruise Ship Port; Airport; Roads; Water; Electricity; Medicines; Energy; Nada, Nada, Nada.(Nothing)

          All England wants to make sure is that you don’t come to them, if your money runs out.

          Therefore, once you have enough funds in the reserve account, which is like a contingency fund, you have their permission to borrow.

          England does not give us money – They give us PERMISSION to go and get it ourselves, based on our own standing with the banks.
          ‘Wat a Ting’.
          They have already said, that they are not a Bank….so expect neither LOANS or GRANTS!!!! PERIOD….FULL STOP.

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    • May 23, 2012
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      We only need to worry about our own soul. You will not have to answer for her nor she for you. Stick to the subject.

      Reply to this comment