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BVI economy in doom | I wish God’s blessings during our ‘sadness’

While delivering his 2018 Christmas message, Opposition legislator Julian Fraser has a painted grim picture of the BVI’s economy.

He pointed to the current state of the territory’s finances and what he suggests would be an unfavourable future.

“Just this year we had to borrow money to balance our budget. That was a historical first. It meant that we are making less money than we need to support ourselves. The definition for any country that has to borrow money to pay for its operations is ‘broke’,” Fraser said.

He then noted government’s of $580 million Recovery and Development Plan; a large chunk of which is being funded through a loan guarantee that the United Kingdom government has offered.

The loan guarantee amounts to the US equivalent of £300,000,000.

“The question I ask, is how are the people of the Virgin Islands going to benefit directly from this money? The question you must ask yourself, is who has to pay back these loans, and when will they be paid back?” I think you know the answers,” said Fraser who further noted that the European Union is after the BVI’s financial services industry.

“I sincerely ask God’s richest blessings upon you during your time of sadness,” Fraser said.

Notwithstanding his statements, Fraser bid residents a merry Christmas.

Below is Fraser’s full address

A Merry Christmas to all: both residents and visitor’s of these peace-loving Virgin Islands, particularly my constituents of the Third Electoral District. 

I am Julian Fraser, Representative for the Third District. Each year I like to start my address with a recap of the economic state of the territory.  And unlike last year which due to the lingering effects of Hurricane Irma I was moved to deviate, this year I shall continue.

We have approved the Recovery and Development Plan with a total expected expenditure of $580 million over the next several years.  Of this money, the UK Government has promised to guarantee loans of up to $426,000,000.

The question I ask, is how are the people of the Virgin Islands going to benefit directly from this money? The question you must ask yourself, is who has to pay back these loans, and when will they be paid back?

I think you know the answers.

Just this year we had to borrow money to balance our budget. That was a historical first. It meant that we are making less money than we need to support ourselves.  The definition for any country that has to borrow money to pay for its operations, is broke.

The EU is after our Financial Services, and there is a good possibility we can end up being blacklisted if we fail to meet their demands. 

Let us all pray that this is not the case.

While clearly this is a day of joy and celebrations, it is my duty to reflect on the past year and give God thanks for his goodness to us for our spared lives. Am also obligated to be a source of comfort to those in our hospitals or at home afflicted with ailment.

I also mourn with those who have lost loved ones in the territory, and in particular my District, which in my view seemed to have had a disproportionate number of deaths when compared with the rest of the territory.

I sincerely ask God’s richest blessings upon you during your time of sadness.

The tough times experienced this time of year couldn’t seem to come at a worse time, but because we have Christ our loving Savior to look to for strength and comfort, we overcome. 

On this Christmas day I know many of you are experiencing tough economic times, especially on the heels of Hurricane Irma.  And that we are not equally equipped to meet the challenges, but rest assured that I am with you.

In these Virgin Islands it is seldom ever possible to measure hardship through failure, because we Virgin Islanders have been conditioned to always put our best foot forward. 

Mindful of that fact I continue to remain grounded, and always remember that though you may not express your difficulties or sorrows, Christmas is not about me, but about you.

It was on this day some 2020 years ago Jesus Christ was born, and ever since that day, during this season the true churches celebrates the birth of this virgin-born child who is born to us, the son, who is given to us, the Mighty God, the Son of David, the everlasting King.

My People of The 3rd District, and the entire territory, I extend my heart to you in whatever sadness you are confronted with this Christmas Day.  Be it due to a personal ailment, or that of a family member or friend.  Be it due to a loved one being incarcerated, or hospitalized, I pledge my continued support to you.

I am quite aware, that by the time this message reaches you, the caroling from the night before would have stopped, and the serenading may be at full blast. 

But as you sit down with friends and loved ones to enjoy the day’s meal, and salivate over your delicious pastries, particularly Tart and sweetbread, I want you to enjoy yourselves in the true spirit of Christmas. 

For if ever there is a time to celebrate it is now.   After all, “Hark! The Herald Angels singing”, was a call to listen intensely, to hear the angels give glory to the New-Born King.  Just as they celebrated then, on that day to be known as Christmas Day, you are expected to celebrate now.

In closing, let me say on behalf of my wife Kharid and myself how thankful I am to the people of The 3rd District for their expressions of love and confidence in me, for having me as their Representative for this my 20th Christmas. 

I thank you.

And may I extend greetings to all the people of the territory, particularly my constituents, both those at home in the B V I; and in St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, United States Virgin Islands.

May each of you and your loved ones both near and far, have a Merry, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

 

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

24 Comments

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  1. PU a party that can be trusted says:

    FRASER TO THE RESCUE

    Like 1
    Dislike 12
  2. Anonymous says:

    Whenever “you” go asking, borrowing, begging, which ever word you chose to use in today’s market place,the Uk, EU, former slavers, former and current enemies of the state and people, you are asking for serious trouble.

    Many have long since believe his words that the UK and now the EU have and are still eyeing our financial institution with a grudging and greedy eye.

    Money and wealth are the engines of their deoxyriboncleic acid, one. It is not within their psyche or conscience to see a human of African descent with wealth and feel comfortable about that, two. They will do within their power to deprive him of it. We had better wake!

    They always feel that they are entitled to that and all earth’s wealth. That is why these and other lands across the globe have British, USA, French, Danish, Portuguese, Spanish and others affixed to them.

    Given that those words are true, it would be our own fault if we nothing to protect our only institution that our ancestors and our resources built for us to manage today.

    The Honorable Minister will also have to share some responsibility if he just gives a speech and does nothing else but give up, knowing the end result of a UK and EU take over, and not join the front lines to avert such a disaster.

    We do want the model that is playing out in South Africa today, where we have full political control and voting “privileges, but control 0.001% of the wealth.

    No, no! Not in the BVI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Case closed!!!!!!!!!

    Like 6
    Dislike 13
  3. Political insight says:

    Wow a politician who understands the situation and is not afraid to say so. The financial sector situation is not a new revelation just as hurricanes are not a new relavation. The fact is that the Territory has been and presently not prepared to cope and survive either. What made America great is the fact that the country invited people from other lands to live, invest, set up businesses. This made the country flourish. Unless this is embraced by the locals there is no hope for the Territory and the end is coming. Wake up people of the BVI and allow the Territory to flourish. If not you can only blame yourselves for your demise.

    Like 13
    Dislike 3
    • @ Political insight says:

      While I do understand your position, you cannot compare America with the BVI. America has vast amount of resources they could afford to embrace the concept you are suggesting. On a small island with limited resources, the locals have a right to protect what’s theirs. Why do you think that although we are a territory of the UK, it’s citizens cannot automatically become citizens here. The drafters of our constitution were aware that We are just too vulnerable for your concept to benefit the citizens of the BVI in the long run.

  4. Moses says:

    We learned a lot this year.
    We learned that need to think about spending our money and after loosing 7.2mil we Lea were that we need to conduct due diligence before acting.
    We also learned that we need a long term plan that we all understand and we can use to measure how well our elected officials are doing.
    We understand that our current leaders have left us broke and broken. Our Minister’s legacy is the dump that’s on fire, our broken schools, our broken roads, our unreliable electricity, our unreliable power supply, our unreliable water supply, our unreliable and expensive internet service. Now we are learning that the country is broke and with the changes in the financial service industry we will likely have much lower income.
    We need a change but we also need to remember the terrible mistakes that were made so that we don’t repeat them again.
    We will survive despite the exceptional leva

    • Tourist says:

      Virgin Islanderers move like a racist cult against other countries. They do not appreciate help. They have hatred. Violence in killing one another. Incest causing mental instability. The local would say them para. A former African slave country makes no sense.

      Like 10
      Dislike 6
  5. Goodness says:

    Fraser FFS!!!! The economy is doomed yet you will campaign on house, land, jobs and contracts for all. Pick a battle and stick to it. After Irma and Maria destroyed this place we havent laid off one govt worker, cut salaries or missed any loan payments. Stop the fearmongering and grow up!

    Like 13
    Dislike 6
  6. Political Observer (PO) says:

    This is a bleak outlook, a bleak picture. The painting is no Vincent Van Gogh master piece; it is a plain vanilla. The BVI under the Wheatley Admin weaned itself off of grant-in-aid in 1978 and at the time, it had a surplus. Today, some 40 years later it is broke and floundering. Prior to the decimation by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the BVI was dangling precariously off the financially cliff, the catastrophic category 5 hurricanes have pushed it “clean” off the financial cliff. The BVI was punched and knock off its financial footing.

    Nonetheless, it needs to rebound and regain its financial footing. This is one of the more challenging times in the history of the VI. In a few weeks or months, Virgin Islanders will be racing to the polls to elect a new government. The new government must have the vision, skill…..etc to chart a new course to lead the BVI out of the current financial and economic abyss. Looking ahead, it cannot be politics as usual; Virgin Islanders need to put country first, focusing on self interest will drive the VI into a deeper and wider abyss. This should be the best of times; however, though it is not the worse time, the worse of time can be seen from here. Nevertheless, felices fiestas.

    Like 11
  7. BVI says:

    PLEASE DO NOT VOTE FOR PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE YOU LIKE THEM….VOTE FOR PEOPLE LIKE FRASER WHO CAN GET THE JOB DONE

    Like 6
    Dislike 14
    • facts.. says:

      fact is he will just make things worts with his outlandish ideas…..funny how he always says all ya instead of we!!
      we all in this together….even though u can ruan away to the USA fraiser, we all in this together.

  8. dj says:

    So many years we’ve been making our own beds– and now have to sleep in them. We show hate for the tourist who come here to spend money. We hate them when they open business here and do nothing to help them succeed. (but we do complain)
    We have missing money everywhere– from phoney airlines to cost overruns for docks and fire houses. Look at what we have done at long beach- jost with the pot sale at Foxy. WHO wants to keep coming here? Pizza at beach bar 38.00 steak 85.00 we are cheating people and now they know it. My fellow men sitting all day watching women clean up roads and beach– while they sit on behinds “complaining”.
    Let tax more, lets regulate more, lets unwelcome the tourist because we have other industries to rely on.

  9. Anonymous says:

    During the last administration of the of the VIP in Govt of which both Fraser and Andrew were apart, they had a hiring freeze and they were borrowing money left, right and centre to make ends meet. It was so bad, to a point that all lending institution foreign and local cut them from borrowing. That is the definition of a country being BROKE without a safety-net. The only hurricane that hit us then was VIP. After which the NDP reopened the doors for borrowing and put money in the reserve. Meanwhile removing the hiring freeze. Opened doors for the unemployed,raised the minimum wage, built a cruise pier, improved the condition of the roads and drainage.built the hospital,the park, improved the ports of entry etc. Then we were hit with 18 inches of rain that would have caused a flood anywhere it had rained for that long, then an off the charts hurricane Irma and a her backup sister Maria. Yet no one was sent home and no salaries cut. in addition we have borrowing powers with a safety-net. The country is not broke, we just have a major set back. If we were we could not have afforded the much needed 1 mil wall or pay 7.5 mil to a deceitful company in the intent to improve our visiting tourist travelling to the BVI experience.

    Like 6
    Dislike 7
  10. Bottom says:

    Had a call today. Piece of real estate I had been interested in. They came down in price suddenly. I think I’m going to invest elsewhere.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  11. Why? says:

    Yes, apparently there’s no perfection in politics, (especially).
    However, in my imagination I can still hear Quito Rhymer singing about “Millions and millions and more” driving around Virgin Gorda celebrating the NDP victory over the Vip. The Vip was being accused of being reckless with our moneys; and yes, there were some projects that went over budget. But is there any comparison with what has happened to us at the hands of the NDP? I can’t imagine them coming back to the voters begging for another chance; to do what? As far as I’m concerned, the NDP experience is the nightmare, like Irma we never thought we’d experience ne

    • @Why says:

      The reality is that we the people are the problem. You give out contracts to everyone and you are called corrupt. You put measures in place for qualified persons to be awarded contracts and you are called out of touch and a sellout. Being a politician in the BVI is a very slippery slope and if you don’t ‘play the game’ you will be sent home swiftly.

  12. Hmmm says:

    Keep F———- out of leadership. He’s a negative person who is a dictator.

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
  13. Not afraid. says:

    All of them are a set of liars , sets of babies cowards , need help need s God.. people the more nagetives you speak over the govermen country nation’s it happens , because word have power .

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