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Set-up for suicide: UK pulls ‘backdoor move’ on BVI?

The United Kingdom is facilitating the BVI to borrow up to $426 million (just under half-a-billion dollars), though the territory is not legally allowed to borrow more than a quarter billion over a specified period.

Under a BVI-UK agreement called the Protocols of Effective Financial Management, the BVI is not permitted to borrow more than 80 percent of its recurring revenue, which stands at approximately $300 million-plus.

But, the UK is offering a US$426 million (£300 million) loan guarantee to the BVI, which makes the territory free to borrow that near-half-a-billion sum.

And while guaranteeing that sum to the BVI, the UK has not amended or relaxed the protocols agreement.

Backdoor move

Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie pointed out the fault in the House of Assembly on Monday and described it as ‘backdoor move’ from the UK.

“If the UK don’t say while we (the BVI) are getting these loans we (the UK) are going to relax at least that section of the protocols, then they will be allowing us to get loans … and they will hold us responsible for what’s in the protocols, which going to carry the Agency pass five years up to 30 to 40 years,” Fahie said while making his contribution to the Recovery and Development Agency bill debate.

“They setting us up to kill ourselves. Once we sign that bill like how it is we would have officially signed our suicide note. It has to change,” he added.

The BVI must establish a Recovery Agency if it wants to benefit from the UK’s loan guarantee offer.

I want to support Agency, but …

The Opposition Leader said he will support the Agency as long as the aforementioned protocol agreement is relaxed or amended, and if the Premier reveals all other conditions of the UK’s offer.

“I want to say yes [to the Agency]. I don’t want anybody leaving from here thinking I want to say anything else other than yes. But I can’t say yes unless I have all the documentation,” Fahie said.

“I want to know the 80 percent limit in the protocol on borrowing levels must be amended for when we add $400 million to the existing outstanding loans, the BVI … will be subject to penalties from hence [forth], which could be direct rule. Those have to be amended.”

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has repeatedly said that government does not intend to borrow the entire $426 million.  He said government will borrow incrementally.

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32 Comments

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  1. Poly says:

    It would be no surprise if the UK withdraw this offer after all the outrageous and unwarranted flack that they have received from politicians and commentators in the territory regarding the perceived lack of support post hurricane and who could blame them. They have exceeded reasonable expectations!

    • Laughing says:

      The UK expected this. The bill will be tweaked and passed.

    • @Poly says:

      Post Irma i sat in Miami and paid attention to the news and social media. The UK citizen and parliment had NO intent to assist the BVI. That came after pressure was applied by the BVI. They claimed that based on the UNISEF report, that same Fahie questioned the HOA about, claims that each BVI househole makes an average of $42,000 so therefore why should the UK assist us. Know all the facts.

    • @Poly says:

      And what if the mother country sends back and tells her child that its a done matter. Also, we will not be borrowing to the upper limit anyways. I am hopeful that at last we will get value for money under the UKs watchful eyes. Just sign

    • Island man says:

      You people taking this discussion lightly. Ok, I guarantee the BVI will end up like Puerto Rico. Orlando Smith is right. Take the money with the terms and conditions. Leaves social security money alone. I need my retirement.

    • To Poly says:

      You sound so ridiculous. The elected officials want to make the right decision but all the facts must be placed on the table by the Premier. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this.

  2. Hmmm says:

    If there is no real intent to borrow this full amount can we at least have an idea of the proposed amount intended to be borrowed ? With what Hon. Fahie mentioned how much would we be able to borrow without violating the protocol agreement if no changes are made?

    • $$$ says:

      I’m thinking that considering that hospital cost a reported $100 million, that they might need to borrow the full amount and then some. Hopefully with the agency in place, projects will be completed to a pre-approved budget and in a timely manner, whoever gets the job.

  3. TurtleDove says:

    “I want to say yes [to the Agency]. I don’t want anybody leaving from here thinking I want to say anything else other than yes. But I can’t say yes unless I have all the documentation,” Fahie said.

    Why does he or anyone else in government have to beg for the documents with this loan? That’s like allowing a blind man to drive you from Town to CGB….

    • Becsuse says:

      Because some of us are not aware ot may not accept that we do not lack reading skills which includes logic,inference, deduction and common sense. As a result issues may arise needlessly damaging and or embarrassing to the VI it’s people and Government members.

  4. Wendy says:

    Tsk tsk Andrew. Again you are e———-g yourself. Perfect example of why men in certain positions need a ….
    Now that u have brought it to attention,this deal with the UK is even sweeter than I thought. A testament to the confidence that the UK has for the VI under the current Premier.
    By the way It would be helpful if you gave John Q Public a brief history leading up to the Protocols.
    .

  5. idea says:

    If government borrow now our children will have to pay later. Government have already proven none cash worthy, in my opinion. we better work with what we have for the moment, It is going to be harder but better for the future.

    • lol says:

      The interest rates this deal allows us access to are amazingly low, we will never get a sweet deal like this again.

    • Zero says:

      The problem is there is nothing left.. The BVI has lost its income stream and there is no more free money. The financial industry is slowing down and the tourism industry has gone back a decade. Less expats also means less taxes and ss payments.
      It needs bank loans to rebuild and 1% payback of several billions is better that 3%. Don’t even think of touching SS as it’s already been raided and personally I would like my pension.

    • BiyBlue says:

      Recurrent revenue is variable amount so the 80% borrowing threshold will also vary. Amending the protocols yearly to accommodate
      may not be practical. Having
      a reserve amount for the possibility of a higher borrowing capacity in the future makes sense. My thoughts.

  6. Stewie says:

    Anybody that sign any agreement without getting all the information is an idiot. You don’t sign your bank loan agreement without knowing the interest rate and the terms of the loan but you people here begging for government to sign agreement because of your personal desires. Selfish sobs Irma hit me , My house still mashup, I broke but I’m alive. Thankfully I got a job we make it 6 months after the storm we ain’t starving, we got life we don’t need to bend over just for this money. We can find a better way out of the hole without sacrificing the power of the government or the public service. The BVI can rise again just like we did from the 80’s to become a Caribbean powerhouse especially with more educated young people and better access to resources.

    • L says:

      I just love your comment. I agree 100%

    • Kwame says:

      BVI, “a Caribbean powerhouse”! That’s SO funny. We are a corrupted tinpot country that needs to fess up and clean the slate so we can get investors here.
      Borrow the money at this great rate and if the UK wants to control the purse strings who can blame them. I for one would prefer them to. That way I know the cookie jar isn’t going to be raided again.

  7. voiceofthevoiceless says:

    Amazing really but why are we in this position in the first place? Having to borrow 400 million on the backs of our children and their children?

    The old people say save for a rainy day well the rainy day is here but we did not save. Instead we spent unwisely and recklessly like there would never come a rainy day. 32 million overrun and still counting for the Cruise Pier, 50 million overrun and still counting on the Hospital(NHI cannot even pay for itself much less the Hospital), 7 million to BVI Airways, 5 Million on greenhouses we never used, Another couple million on Brandywine beach, 8 Million plus on Beef Island Bridge… 1 million dollar wall…On and On and On…100 plus million and counting…

    We could have done with all that now…

    • VGboy says:

      Excellent points. One has to wonder how much of the $400 million will disappear into off-shore bank accounts in Miami before the rest is actually put to work for the non-politicians

  8. Really? says:

    Simply amend the protocol and get on with getting our territory the much needed funding. Please don’t use a bureaucratic excuse to block this much needed funding good sir.

  9. Hmmmmm.... says:

    Right now the World don’t trust the VI with any money and we all know why. We must pray that President Trump don’t get wind of this and take back the US currency and build a wall between St.John and Tortola.

  10. People says:

    This is all because of poor leadership.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Andrew, appears to not be familiar with ” line of credit” at banks and lending institutions.
    Also,he would have done well to consult with a learned attorney to better understand the terms and the implied understanding regarding the loan amount in excess of the amount stipulated in the protocol. His lack of intellectual understanding is disappointing and embarrassing to the VI.

  12. Capt. Obvious says:

    GET TO YES! Lay all the facts and your positions on the table. Do not hold strong to your positions; negotiate. MAKE THE BEST INFORMED DECISION. WE ARE WATCHING AND WILL ACT ACCORDINGLY!

  13. foreal says:

    Seems no recovery is happening at all reading this.

  14. rastarite says:

    Incompetent report and no sensible responses. I think it shows a lack of understanding by many. First what is the interest, what is the repayment requirements of the principal and can the loan we spread over several years to facilitate the loan protocols. These facts need to be ascertained and then BORROW THE MONEY and get on with it. And yes a competent auditor/accounting firm needs to administer the funds

  15. NDP Rich Friends says:

    Where are your rich friends now NDP? At least 2 or 3 of them put together have the kind of money to bail you and this country out…they have $400M … but what happen now…that’s why you let the Living God be God and not your rich friends…it was a free reign but now you see what your sowing in the last 8 years is reaping for us and this country…

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