BVI News

Governor told: Prove UK not after control of BVI purse, put their conditions, flexibility in writing

Governor Jaspert (left) and Premier Fahie.

Governor Augustus Jaspert has been challenged to give more than a ‘verbal assurance’ that the UK is willing to give the territory time return to compliance if it breaches the BVI-UK Protocols for Effective Financial Management agreement and borrows more than 80 percent of its recurring revenue.

Premier Andrew Fahie issued that challenge on Tuesday while noting that the BVI is likely to breach that 80 percent ratio if the UK fulfils its promise to give the BVI a £300 million (roughly $426 million) loan guarantee to facilitate hurricane recovery.

Fahie said: “The Governor acknowledges that it is a likelihood that the VI government can become out of compliance with the ratios if we accessed new loans … I want to thank His Excellency for giving that verbal commitment on behalf of the government of the UK, but we need to have that in writing.”

“We need to have it in writing before we sign any documents … So unless these ratios are adjusted, or suspended, the Virgin Islands runs the risk of exceeding the levels set and being accused of defaulting on the terms of the guarantee. In addition, the Virgin Islands could be accused of defaulting on the conditions that were set out in the Protocols for Effective Financial Management and those have not been given to us in writing to this date that they would be relaxed,” he added.

Is UK truly after control of public purse? Not a question of ‘who is right’

And while responding to the governor, who refuted government’s claim that the UK wants the Recovery & Development Agency (RDA) take control of the territory’s finances, Fahie said now is not the time for “bickering and confusion”.

“This is not a matter of who is right. This is a matter of what is right for the people of the Virgin Islands,” the Premier said. 

Put your views on funding in writing too

The Premier also wants Governor Jaspert — as the representative of Her Majesty the Queen — to clearly state, in writing, his views on which funds should be channelled through the RDA.

“The Government of the Virgin Islands have been saying that certain funds such as proceeds from insurance claims and budget surpluses ought not to go in the RDA Trust Fund. I am relieved he agrees because officials of the RDA have been claiming otherwise and this should be put in black and white in the law governing the RDA,” Premier Fahie said.

Premier Fahie was at the time speaking at a community meeting to discuss the UK’s conditions to offering its loan guarantee.

The discussion continues on Wednesday on Virgin Gorda.

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14 Comments

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  1. vip heckler says:

    They all does be in weekly cabinet meetings together so why he don’t ask the governor for this face to face ??

    Like 34
    Dislike 1
  2. Hmmmmm says:

    Why should the governor state his views on the RDA when the legislation passed in the HOA, for which Fahie voted in favor, clearly outlines how the RDA is funded, what monies must go through the trust/RDA etc? This was already debated and is in the legislation so the Premier need to stop playing games with people.

    Like 42
    Dislike 3
  3. Clabos says:

    123 UK must go.

    Like 4
    Dislike 28
  4. Mr. Governour says:

    Don’t do that. Just who the H*ll this Island Country boy think he is. The power has gone to this man’s head. Four years is around the corner.

    Like 15
    Dislike 7
  5. vip heckler says:

    I really cant believe that fahie voted “AYE” to this RDA board and here acting so naive. It makes me wonder if these politicians does read what they sign

    Like 20
    Dislike 2
  6. BIG QUESTION says:

    SO IS HE NOW ON THE SAME SIDE WITH MITCH, DELORES AND FRASER MAY I ASK? OR IS IT THAT HE IS PLAIN OUT FLIP-FLOPPING?

    Like 12
    • Anonymous says:

      The vote was 10-2 but if a lot of yall was following the debates you would know that although the others voted yes this was one of the few matters that a ruling government brought to the house and did not have much support even from members of the ruling government.

      These are just a snippet from articles during the time

      While no lawmaker appeared to doubt the usefulness of such assistance, both the bill’s initial and final opponents argued that the conditions set out by the UK were insulting and represented a retrograde level of colonial control.

      “Because we were hit by two hurricanes, all of the sudden [the UK] sees an opportunity now to take an advantage of our vulnerability,” said Health and Social Development Minister Ronnie Skelton (R-at large), who ended up voting for the bill. “Instead of trying to help us, all of these rules are coming down. … If they are taking my constitutional rights away from me as a minister to give to anybody else, I have a problem.”

      During the debate, many more lawmakers expressed that sentiment than the final tally reflected: Prior to the bill’s committee stage, it was unclear whether it had the votes necessary to pass. In addition to Mr. Skelton, who did express an openness to considering amendments, four out of six backbenchers spoke out strongly against the bill; another, Marlon Penn (R-D8), voiced his qualms with certain aspects of it; and both opposition members raised concerns as well, leaving open the possibility that a seven- or eight-member majority could have come together to reject the act.

      Junior government minister Archibald Christian said he regrets ever voting for the implementation of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) because the group is now beginning to act as if it is an independent government.

  7. Citizen says:

    Am crying for my vote back. What king of Rookie politicians running the BVI?

    Like 16
    Dislike 4
  8. Change is coming says:

    Fire the white man and give Skelton the position!!??

    Dislike 10

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