BVI News

Don’t delay! Stimulus recipients told to inform how $$ were spent

Premier Andrew Fahie

Amid heightened public scrutiny on the government’s economic stimulus payouts — particularly to local fishers and farmers, recipients are being reminded to provide evidence on how they spent their grant monies.

Premier Andrew Fahie issued that reminder on Wednesday during a press conference to give a general update on public matters.

The Premier said: “I want to remind the recipients of the various economic stimulus packages. They committed to providing statements to confirm how they utilised the funds provided and to provide data on the impact this funding support had on their ventures.”

“Please, do not delay in sending this information back to the ministries so that we can close off the paperwork and complete our report for what you have done with the money you have received,” he added.

Based on a May 13 statement from the Premier, the BVI government disbursed $7,414,082 worth of economic stimulus to businesses across the nine electoral districts in the territory.

Another $6.1 million was given to local fishers and farmers since the advent of COVID-19. These monies were part of a larger $40 million grant the government took from the Social Security Board to fuel its Economic Stimulus Plan. The Premier has said an internal auditor continues to perform a monthly audit on the funds dispersed to date.

Public interest in the stimulus packages reached a new high after the leaking of two documents showing the names of beneficiaries and amounts they received from the government’s COVID-19 Fishing and Farming initiative doled out last year.

The contents of the list — some of which Fahie said was inaccurate and incomplete — raised many concerns among members of the public.

The government has since been reviewing the authenticity of the list and how it might have leaked.

The Premier recently said Opposition Leader Marlon Penn was the only person outside of his government to receive a copy of the official list. Fahie made it clear that him saying so was not meant to be an indictment on Penn.

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44 Comments

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  1. Embarassment says:

    You had no intentions of asking for any records of how the money was used. Only now doing that because the lid has been blown off. Most of the people on that list were neither farmers of fishermen and you know that. What information you expect them to be able to bring forward now? They must go pull up other people okra tree and plant in them yard? Andrew continue to make a mockery of good governance and continue to treat the BVI people like they are idiots. We on to you this time.

    Like 90
    Dislike 107
    • How says:

      The money was spent the following. A third to Foy and his cronies and the rest bought new cars, boats and shopping sprees. There you go!!

      Like 41
      Dislike 56
    • No words says:

      @ Embarrassment, there are no other words that could have expressed this better. The Premier really needs to go digging for some integrity in his character. These ‘farmer and fisher folk’ need to ignore him. They did not go into the Treasury and take this money. Somebody gave it to them and the person with ultimate responsibility is the Premier.

      Like 35
    • Incorrect says:

      Your post is filled with inaccuracies. I cant speak to the fishing and farming list but, I actually received a little aid under another head, after applying and the cover letter that came with the check stated that I was supposed to provide evidence of how the money was spent – documentary evidence. BVI is always short on facts and long on gossip. Can we please recognise in all this that there were genuinely needy people who were assisted by the grants. That included people like me who worked and paid taxes in this country for more than 50 yrs and never before was reduced to putting in an application for Government assistance. And I am no VIP crony either! Just recognize that times are hard now, people need help and some got it. Can we please keep that in mind instead of demonizing people.

      Like 47
      Dislike 15
      • Nice says:

        Happy that you received assistance in your time of need. You should go ahead and provide your evidence of what the funds were used for. Your name as well as everyone else’s on the official list of recipients of assistance, should be accessible as a matter of principle and accountability. It is not to shame people but these are public funds and they should not be doled out in secret. We would also wish to understand what is the plan for those persons who have misapplied these funds? Asking for a friend – the 40MM from the social security ‘future-proofing my basic needs’ fund which will not return.

        Like 10
        Dislike 17
        • Deh Watcha says:

          I keep saying that Social Security has a lot to explain in this whole thing.

          – Who qualified and why?
          – Who did not qualify and why?
          – What was the qualifying scale for basing the
          amounts given.

          Same as with these stimuli. Some person(s) sitting somewhere said, yes $13,500 is good, $9,000 is good.

          Someone has to answer to these things.

          Like 7
          Dislike 7
        • @Nice says:

          Here is where I disagree with you. I have no objection to putting in documentary evidence on how the money I received was spent. Mine is easy because the documentary evidence regarding what the grant was required for was provided with the application and certain receipts were already provided though to be fair not all at this time. However, I do not agree that because I received public funds my name and the basid of my request for assistance should be broadcast to the public. Auditors, police, investigators, commission of inquiry – yes. John Public – absolutely not! Whichever Government offical, the police, the audit department can investigate me up and down I have nothing to hide about how I spent the grant, but I simply do not consider that somehow public money means my business is aired to John Public. If only my name, no problem, but not my business. People been getting Govt assistance forr years and somehow only now it needs to be public? Why? So the gossip mongers could have something to snear about when they pass me in the street?

          I am for accountability and transparency but as one who is what many would call an indigenous BVIslander who toiled in this country when BVI ppl were stigmatized for being poor and backwards by even our USVI neighbours, one who didn’t run to the USVI when getting green cards was easy and moving to STT or USA was in style, I am frankly insulted by the vitriol directed at ppl like me who for once had to seek a little help. If they publishing ppl business my move is dont stop with the covid grants, publish everything. Unless they doing that I highly object and would suck salt and pay it back before I am comfortable with my business on the street. Where in the world is ppl business (details underpinning the request) in the public domain. Listen….

          Like 5
          Dislike 5
    • Bummer says:

      Singing….”Under de bus .. under de bus… de big brown bummer throw dem under de bus”

      Like 1
      Dislike 4
  2. What Ah Joke says:

    Here we are again. Lord Father, put your hand and your foot.

    Like 20
    Dislike 21
  3. Certified Accountant says:

    Answer, A new Mercedes 4×4, Thank you, Minister.

    Like 36
    Dislike 2
  4. Incredible corrupt leaders says:

    Government staff on full salary pay received gifts up to $22,000. If this is not Commission of Enquiry information I don’t know what is. Lock these guys up!

    Like 55
    Dislike 11
  5. Share my Cheque says:

    Then tell me what you did with your cut so i can finish with my report.

    Like 21
  6. watch his face says:

    I convinced that he don’t want to go heaven. I would like to see a competition between Andrew and Trump to see who could mislead people the most. I believe it would be a tie.

    Like 23
    Dislike 32
  7. heckler says:

    The VIP viper strikes again…wow!

    Like 10
  8. 1st district says:

    Mr. Primer, thanks for the money that helped me complete my retaining wall,fix damages on me and my sister’s house, having afew villa retreats at Smuggler’s Cove and ask them girls from Long Bay what they did with theirs. But dont forget to collect a full report from the fisherman them in Carrot Bay. I gone here🤣

    Like 23
    Dislike 21
    • @1st District says:

      Don’t forget his little crony on Frenchmans Cay, who bought land, jeep, scooter, $3,000 handbag, lavish weekend trips, big chains, expensive shades and the list goes on. When they like to showoff the world knows all.

      VIP must go. I don’t understand how these people sleep at nights.

      Andrew has destroyed the fabric of this community in the space of 2 months.

      Poor leadership, poor followers, poor advisors.

      Bunch of bushman.

      Like 33
      Dislike 41
  9. Wise Guy says:

    Can’t wait to see ‘them’ in handcuffs and haul off to Balsam Ghut. The people who he gave our taxpayers dollars to, knowing that they were neither farmers or Fisher folks what does he expect to hear about how they spent the money? Smfh.

    Like 17
    Dislike 24
  10. Quad says:

    Made my triple outboard fishing boat into a quad. Thanks Premier.

    Like 20
  11. Investigate says:

    Marlon Penn seems to be implicated in the reason for this leaking. Did the leader of the opposition facilitate this information reaching public….

    Let’s have an investigation into who the minister might have allowed preview in said material.

    Marlon Penn has to go! NDP cannot lead BVI in this COVID time.

    Like 43
    Dislike 34
  12. HAHAHAHAHA says:

    That’s so funny. Don’t know about you all but I was trained by prominent BVIlanders and destroy all records on receipt of funds.

    Also, don’t know where to submit. Would it be to the person that gave the money? In a “timely manner”(never), of course!

    Over(thumbs up)/Under(thumbs down) on them getting a report out on use of funds before the next election.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  13. West says:

    Big thank you to the leader of the opposition. The one who would drive around the village anouncing about TRANSPARENCY and your government working for you. Mr Primer right NOW YOU ARE WORKING AGAINST THE PEOPLE ÀND YOU..YOU ATE NOT WORTHY TO BE OUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF!! WE IN THE WEST ARE VERY DISAPPOINTED IN YOUR STYLE OF RULING!!

    Like 14
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  14. Some really need to says:

    I realy think those businesses that got more that $10.000. And indivisuals who got more than $5,000. Really need to submit their report as to what purpose were the monies used for..

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  15. @ FACE & HECKLER says:

    A SHOWDOWN BETWEEN TRUMP AND THE BROWN BOMBER WOULD BE EXPLOSIVE / DUT I GOING WITH THE BOMBER / AND A VIPER IS NOT THAT LARGE

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
  16. REALLLLLY!!! says:

    Do you really think they will submit honest accounts??? Be real!

    • And says:

      Many know of many who got but were neither farmer nor fisher folk. This is definitely a cover up. Why didn’t the subject minister deal with this?

      Like 6
      Dislike 7
  17. Only now says:

    So tell me how you will retrieve the money that was given to those who either didn’t need it or that didn’t deserve it. There has not been ONE stimulus since last April for the needy or those who lost their jobs or need to feed their children and pay their rent. The USA is helping small businesses with a stimulus that does NOT have to be repaid and that’s major amounts. What has this government done for small businesses that have had to go out of business? Not a thing.

    Like 10
  18. too little too late says:

    My daughter and SIL recieved a small business stimulus. Each paid employees, rent, electricity bills, insurance and more. It didn’t cover everything. They could probably rebuild the apportionments, but weren’t asked to keep stubs etc.Because of the nature of their businesses, both were closed far longer than most.

    My husband and I paid our employees FULLY out of pocket.We were concerned there might not be enough to go around and support those in need.

    Feel free to call us idiots.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
    • Decent says:

      You’re no idiots. Just decent human beings. Your business will be blessed and continue to prosper for it. That one thumbs down is my big dumb blind thumb clicking the wrong one by mistake :(.

    • Same here says:

      I did the same thing (NHI, Taxes, Social Security, Salaries) and sent in proof of my spending.

  19. Lol says:

    Before receiving a penny, they should have had to fill out paperwork, to include where their business was located, # of persons employed, typical production and maybe a checklist of areas where the stimulus would best benefit them. That way you at least had some vasic info from jump on how the stimulus would be used by this sector.

    Expecting 100s of farmers and fishers to now and in some kind of report is nonsense.

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  20. Ausar says:

    Am I missing something here?

    Isn’t a “stimulus” supposed to be used to stimulate an economy by any means neccessary?

    So, If I chose to use mines on personal gains, and not on business issues, why is this an issue?

    My goodness, IT’S AN EFFING STIMULUS!

    ORRRR, was it not truly a stimulus, but instead a stop gap to keep businesses open?

    If there were no protocols put in place as to the spending of these monies, and the subsequent reporting of receipts to governmental/banking officials, then the joke is on the issuer of such stimulus, NOT THE RECIPIENT!!

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  21. Well Sah says:

    Cock mouth kill cock

  22. Anonymous says:

    I bought a boat with rodholders..don’t fish much tho.Were do I send my gas been bills?

  23. VI Gyal says:

    Mr. Premier! we all had to fill out the necessary paperwork and provide proof of business. You have not even provided your documentation to the COI or the list and you here talking. Yes you did provide a letter requesting such, but you also have to do your part.

    The COI is not the receiver of stimulus matter it is how you justified who you provided the funds too.

  24. @Ausar says:

    By whatever name is was called, it is effing PUBLIC FUNDS! When the government is spending public funds, there must do so responsibility and with accountability. You have the unmitigated gall to stand there and ask what should it matter if the money was spent on personal gains rather than business issues? The public funds were not given to you to spend as you choose. If you were fortunate enough to receive a “stimulus” you shouldn’t have received the funds in the first place as it sounds as if you are far from needy. Folks like you are the reasons this Territory will never prosper. That air of entitlement and lack of moral character among the people…that right there!

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  25. 1st district says:

    @Ausar, tell me how after the meaning of “stimulus/stimulate can a wall, bling, once a week fishing, gardening on a pre..existing garden can stimulate an economy. Did you see the kind of money on the list. Well here, schools to fix, supplies for clinics and I can take the whole day listing. That math teacher knows all about RUBIC. Which one did he use? No respect for the people and their money. PUT IT BACK IN THE TREASURY!!

  26. BVI Future says:

    A few months ago, the Premier stated that he does not print money. The economy is in scramble because of the pandemic, so where is all this money coming from? Mostly, it is coming from taxes and from Social Security. My fellow BV Islanders, some of us are feeling the effect now. Some will feel later when they are ready to retire. This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with good governance and vision. We need leaders who will provide for those who are in need while safeguarding the best interest of the country’s economy. Do you think this is what we are receiving?

  27. @Ausar says:

    Well yes, the business stimulus was to enable residents to buy food and necessary goods during a time that no money was coming in.

    We were told that the farmer and fisherfolk stimulus was to help those in food production feed themselves but also expand and upgrade their facilities or methods so that we can become more self sufficient. Don’t forget, there were shortages in the US (still are) and we were all concerned.

    The issue is that some people find more than a few of the names on the leaked agricultural stimulus list don’t ring true as people engaged in food production. If some recipients were awarded tax and social security money for work in which thy do not engage, then the joke is on US, the workers who pay Social Security, duties and tax.

  28. Grants says:

    It’s called a stimulus grant. At a time when a artificial closure of the economy occurred many people incurred losses.

    Why should farmers and fisherfolk, one group that received COVID-19 stimulus be rushed to report now because of a leak?

    Will the businesses including trust companies be required to do the same?

    Will the individuals who received from the COVID-19 district stimulus be required to aswell?

    People aren’t political pawns to be rushed or scapegoated when the gossip starts. They said apply and people did. Then they said there’s more money left over for more people to apply.

    What I am not hearing is from people who applied and werent approved. If anyone one should be outraged it’s them if there are any.

    There was a global stimulus movement. If you as a business owner don’t apply during the start of Covid & lockdowns because you think you have enough…..

    People already shared info while applying. There was a process while no one expected much considering our territory’s track record of underperforming for the people & overspending on projects, while the US was giving out 1.5k checks. You think well shoot it can’t be more than them but it can’t hurt.

    Now the question is what will they do with that info now that it’s politicized towards pacifying opinions of people who had a chance to apply for Covid aid and seemingly didn’t.

    At the end of the day everyone should have gotten something. Besides the farming and fishing those list haven’t been leaked.

    With all this drama I don’t think they should be revealed to the public. In the future make sure no one will be left out & educate the community that government stimulus is an opportunity that people should not feel guilty to apply for.

    I don’t think it’s fair to act like the people did wrong if they got a grant in the midst of Covid as happened the world over. I don’t like this insinuation that anyone who got a grant didn’t meet the reqs or is nefarious.

    Which is exactly what people will think when they see names on a public list with money next to a name because people always judging each other.

  29. YOUTH says:

    This Government helped much more people during covid which is the worse pandemic in over 100 years than the last government helped after Irma. More of of us thank and appreciate the efforts of this government than the few who have been assigned to try to bash them.

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