Opposition member Julian Fraser, who can be described as one of government’s biggest critics, has said government should be applauded for their leadership after last year’s unprecedented hurricanes.
“The task that the Premier and his Cabinet has is an unenviable one and they need to be commended for the work they have done so far,” Fraser said.
“However, at the same time, we still have to ensure that we keep check on whatever is going to be done going forward,” he added.
He made the statement at a community meeting in his Third District constituency yesterday, January 30.
The former Leader of Opposition, however, said he does not support the government’s proposed Recovery and Development plan for the British Virgin Islands.
One of Fraser’s major concerns about the plan is the United Kingdom-sanctioned body that is referred to as the ‘Recovery and Development Agency’.
According to local government, the Agency is responsible for the delivery of action plans in a timely, transparent, accountable and efficient manner, and is proposed to have a five-year lifespan.
UK trying to regain control
However, Fraser believes the Agency is a ploy by the UK to retake control of the BVI. In a previous address, Fraser suggested that the UK’s actions can push the territory into modern-day slavery.
“It (the Agency) actually takes the place of what the government is doing. Government will be abdicating their responsibility to a board. How do you commit people to something over which you have no control over?” Fraser questioned yesterday.
“I cannot in good conscience tell the people of the Virgin Islands [and] my district that I will support something like that.”
He said the Agency is the UK’s way of saying it does not trust the BVI to properly manage the £300 million it has offered in loan guarantees.
Effectively, a loan guarantee is a promise by one party (the UK government) to pay the debt of a borrower (BVI government) if that borrower cannot repay.
Fraser also raised an issue with some of the shortcomings in the plan such as a lack of proper funding for local sports.
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