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I don’t support Recovery Agency bill either — Penn

Marlon Penn

Another member of the National Democratic Party government has objected to the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Act and has requested more transparency from Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

That member is backbencher and Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, Marlon Penn.

Penn made his position known during the ongoing Recovery Agency debate in the House of Assembly on Friday.

“I do not support this bill in its current form. I made that clear privately and I’m making it clear publicly now,” Penn said.

Premier, put everything on the table

Penn also made it clear that he is eager to see the territory recover; adding that residents in his constituency and the wider territory have been struggling under the current state of affairs.

However, he reasoned that legislators have a responsibility to make decisions and policies that represent the needs of residents, and not wants of the United Kingdom.

“We have to be more forthright with information as well,” Penn added. “Everything has to be on the table in this discussion [on the Recovery Agency] … Premier, everything has to be on this table — no exception”.

“I look forward to us making a decision that drives the economic development of this country forward. I look forward to us putting the right tenants in place to ensure that we have a strong foundation moving forward from the heels of this disaster,” he said.

Of the five government backbenchers, only Dr Hubert O’Neal has expressed support for the Recovery Agency.

The Recovery and Development Act will be put to a vote among the 13-member House of Assembly.

And if the parliamentarians fail to agree to establish the Agency, the BVI will miss out on the United Kingdom’s offer of a £300 million loan guarantee.

The territory needs to borrow millions to rebuild and restore the hurricane-battered British Virgin Islands.

Damage to the BVI after the September 2017 hurricanes is estimated at $3.6 billion.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

31 Comments

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  1. Hmmm says:

    This guy has no w—-.

    • ViMan says:

      A vote against recovery is a VOTE AGAINST BVI!

      Stop playing politics we need roofs above our heads

      • Really? says:

        The point is that at this stage no one can say that a vote against recovery is a vote against BVI because no one knows what the heck this recovery plan entails. Some people only see money and turn stupid. What are the strings attached? What are the legal implications? The premier has proven himself NOT to be tr——– and NOT to be c——- to make good decisions on behalf of the BVI over and over again.

        If the plan was so good for the BVI, why is the premier hiding details from his own backbenchers. If he can hide from them, what the heck is he hiding from the people of the BVI? Last time I check, this is a democracy. The people of the BVI needs to know full details. Or else, the premier needs to explain what the heck he is hiding and why! Backbenchers, thanks for standing up for the people because we don’t know what other big mess that whoever is going to get the BVI in. I get the feeling that when the true details come out, a lot of people will be thanking you for standing up.

    • Reform says:

      We have been hobbled by corruption for too long. This behavior has undercut the purpose of having a government – to deliver services to the people to improve their lives and to provide infrastructure and education.

      Let’s be honest, the only reason the ministers would reject the support being offered us is because they resent the transparency requirement. This highlights the fact that there is something more in it for them than for us.

      A vote against accepting the terms of the $300 million fund is a vote against the people. If the loan is rejected we should create a new constitution and do away with self serving ministers who are treating our country as their piggy bank.

      • L says:

        What loan you talking about. We haven’t applied for any loan as yet, and the UK isn’t giving us a loan. It is only a loan guarantee, and it comes with a lot of conditions. Conditions we don’t know about because the Premier isn’t telling us everything. How can a man vote for what he doesn’t know about?

  2. Longshanks says:

    That’s it then. A majority appear likely to vote against. Talk about cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. If the BVI puts in place the recovery agency (which is simply to ensure transparency and an absence of corruption) then it can borrow up to $400m with annual interest savings of $7.5m. That money would be invested and by investing would stimulate the economy hugely. It would also enable development to secure the BVI’s future prosperity. If it does not enable itself to access that money then the likely alternative is to borrow from SSB (using the funds of its people’s security and pensions) there will be corruption and petty thievery and many people and businesses which currently support financial services (which pays for everything else) will lose confidence and it will influence where long term investment is made. It also increases the probability of the 🇬🇧 taking more control of the government’s finances. Brexit was a stupid decision by the British, Trump was a stupid decision by the Americans, the BVI doesn’t have to compete in the race for stupidity.

    • Woke says:

      They need to stop fooling ppl with BS! Under the MTFP and protocols UK will still have to approve ALL borrowing even if its from Social Security. It is blatantly irresponsible to give the people false hope that SSB or local banks are an alternative. The BVI is a dependent Territory and while we sustaib ourselves Britain is on the hook if we cant pay our bills. Thats a fact and no amount of ranting and history lessons will change that. People need to pay attention and hold these guys accountable.

    • Albion says:

      If we ever needed proof that legislators will put their own selfish personal political ambitions ahead of the needs of the people of the country, we have it now.

      The country desperately needs capital to held rebuild our infrastructure. The UK is willing to guarantee those loans so that we access the capital markets cheaply. All they want is oversight over how the money is spent.

      But a few backbenchers and opposition members whose careers are going nowhere sniff a chance to manufacture an artificial dispute and try and advance their own ambitions. And for that they will sacrifice anything. Even their own people.

      Just to be clear – these are many of the same people who previously were crying out for *more* oversight, and *more* accountability in terms of Government spending. Now suddenly there is a political advantage to them to changing their opinion 180 degrees, so they will, and they just don’t give a damn what that does to the country.

      • PANDORA'S BOX says:

        … If a responsible group takes over spending they will likely uncover Pandora’s Box and the long list of how our money has been misspent going back a long time.

        We need to push the restart button.

      • daniel says:

        and follow this m—–o who should not be any where near making a decision. let us analyse –only way he can enter the house of assembly is a with a t——– ——- —— for the members. … because they think dr. smith is too gentle……….and most of them are sitting in the house because of his personality

  3. rastarite says:

    Step up and borrow de money… It’s the only choice!!

  4. The Die Is Cast !!! says:

    Past is Prologue.

  5. Who are you for? says:

    These two bit gangsters are holding this country back. All the uk is requiring is that govt does what it should be doing anyway and act transparently and honestly with the money. This requirement should be met with “of course, we would anyway as we are acting in the best interests of the country” but some of our politicians find that difficult to do- why? If you cannot do that you should not have a place in government

    We need to start rebuilding. It has been too long. We are getting too far behind.

  6. Confusion says:

    Yes clueless , Speak up !!!!!

  7. Vote them out says:

    Corrupt bvi politician need to go – these guys want corruption over transparency!

  8. Corrupt says:

    All politicians who vote against are corrupt and guilty for lettering is sffue

  9. Sky says:

    I need to see this bill if available to the public please, where can I get a copy?

  10. Pride VI says:

    These politrics killing us. UK WE NEED HELP!

    VOTE AGAINST RECOVERY , WE VOTE YOU OUT!

  11. Confusion says:

    Borrow the money you say . but what’s the use , they will not help individuals rebuild home and finances ..they will just misuse it .

  12. WAKE UP VI UK PEOPLE says:

    You all really clueless, it is all fine and dandy to say yes borrow the money and as the matter of fact most of what you all said is true to your opinion but understand what the members are also saying to each and every one of you.

    THERE ARE LOTS MORE INFORMATION UNDER THE TABLE THAT THE PREMIER DID NOT BRING FORWARD. HENCE, YOU ARE BEING HELD HOSTAGE AT AGAINST YOUR WILL FOR ONLY SOME OF THE INFORMATION GIVEN. DELORES ALSO MADE IT CLEAR THAT ALL THAT OUR PARENTS, GRAND PARENTS, AND GREATS FOUGHT FOR CAN BE EASILY TAKEN AWAY WITH THE STROKE OF A PEN.

    DO YOU WANT TO TAKE THE CHANCE OF THIS OCCURING JUST BECAUSE WE ARE IN NEED????????

    THE SAD THING IS MANY OF YOU PEOPLE LIKE THINGS EASY AND WILL SELL YOUR DAMN SOUL TO THE DEVIL FOR A PIECE OF BREAD BUT WHAT HAPPEN WHEN THE BREAD IS FINISH? YOU NEED MORE BREAD DUMMY AND THEN WHAT?

  13. Bottom line says:

    It has nothing with ministers not supporting the cause for the UK to borrow the money. The thing is WE all want to know what is disclosed in the documents deemed classified as it pertains to WE. They can all support it but in the end would it be what they wanted for BVI? Let’s see the documents to be sure WE making the right choice and not selling the country blindly. Who knows, the documents may have the beef island airport runway project as the main recovery undertaking and not we that need new roofs. Open your eyes people WE need these document to really know who for WE. We all know what happened when they made the BVIAirways deal so lets not be fooled again. Demand the documents or else

  14. Lordie says:

    Funny man bloggers gone crazy nah boy!

    We ain’t supporting any bill that goin put my children and their grand children lives at stake who will have to pay this loan back under a thiefing cabinet who run our treasury broke and now crying like babies for help. Hear them accepting their corrupt past yesterday? We waiting for next election.

  15. HolySPIRIT says:

    God is looking down in anger..thieving politicians fighting for their greed and not be supervised and responsible to GOD and our people. GOD help us!!!we need recovery and we need it NOW

  16. Kinte says:

    Yes the whole documents about the deal should be on the table for all to see but it seems to me what they are all the most upset at is the fact that the British Goverment is mandating that they have that department for transparency.
    Seems to me that ther biggest gripe seems to be the establishment of that office as they dont want any oversight of hpw the money is being spent.

  17. General says:

    They plan on using social security money….that money belongs to retired and health benefits not skelton…they should have and audit on how some people earn what they have today as local.to know how trusty they are to be in government offices. .

  18. Myo says:

    I see our elected officials are between a rock and a hard place. I read the bill and it needs to be drafted better to benefit our people. They are locking the hands of the elected officials.. may as well they stay home. Our constitutional rights should count for something. I have listen to the house and from
    What I understand from most, if these changes they require is fixed in committee stage, they have no problems supporting the bill. They don’t seem to have a problem with an agency but a problem with the draft bill wording.’ If we don’t be careful our people will not get the work.. we will be paying back a loan and outsiders gone with the money. I heard one minister misleading the people about the money right around the corner.. making it sound like when we get
    The money it would be distributed to the people.. he well knows it will be in the hands of the agency to decide. chances are we will not see this money until sometime in October/November. That minister knows how the system works so he need to stop misleading the people.
    This money will not be given to help anyone with roofs etc. read the bill People. Maybe they should all vote yes on it and vote out the premier as leader. My personal
    Opinion, this bill should have been sent to the public to vote on it. It’s unfair for the premier to ask his government to vote on a bill that is so critical to this country and the people when they only received the draft a few days ago. Not good Premier.

  19. Sam the man says:

    Well we know for sure now why they named the “No Direction Party” for sure now – because they don’t want to go in the direction of good governance, accountability and transparency….it’s only an excuse to say we won’t make another mistake like $7m for an airline that never flew …. By agreeing accountability for how a loan is spent from the UK this and other financial fiasco’s would be avoided! But that’s not what the government wants is it , no sir, they just want what THEY want – should form a new party….the “MDP” – My Direction Party…..!! None of this is in the National interests, the arguing, procrastination, spin and attempt to obtain more power than they can responsibly handle from the UK – just continue and miss out on the $400m recover loans you foolish selfish politicians

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