BVI News

Gov’t seeking funding from UK to assist residents left unemployed by COVID-19

Premier Andrew Fahie

Premier Andrew Fahie has said his government will be seeking funding from the United Kingdom to assist local residents who became unemployed because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Premier Fahie made the announcement during a special sitting of the House of Assembly on Friday, March 27, stating that the initiative is one of many in the works by his administration.

“In our plan, we also heard from the governor that the UK is willing to help the OT’s (Overseas Territories) and we are going to put forward that we want that all of our unemployed, for a certain time, be paid at least minimum wage from a grant from the United Kingdom,” Premier stated.

He added: “I have already asked the Governor to inquire into this and have those funds start to be ready so that when we meet the presentation with the plan, that the monies that come from the UK will directly reach and touch and affect positively the lives of the people, and will not be lost through all kind of technical bureaucracy.”

Premier Fahie, who is also the Minister of Finance, further said the United Kingdom can rest assured that all monies granted to the government for this initiative will be put in an accountable and transparent system for the people of the BVI to directly benefit from.

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  1. interesting... says:

    Was wondering why the politicians had been emphasising “British” Virgin Islands for a change, rather than the usual “These Virgin Islands”. The Governor also seems to have started dropping his usual “British” during his addresses. Surely no-one could be playing politics in a time of crisis?….

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    • Rubber Duck says:

      Use the 800 million dollars in the Social Security fund.

      That’s what it should be for , not just to pay civil servants massive pensions and bail out the relatives of the board.

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      • Webster says:

        What are you saying? Civil servants pensions are not paid from social security money. You need to do your own research and understand your findings before you comment.

      • Observer says:

        @Rubber Duck – As far as I know, it’s only persons who work in the private sector whose contributions have been paid and have made the age of 65, get old age pension from Social Security. Government’s pensioners I believe are paid from its Reserve (until such time as civil servants are allowed to contribute to the pensions).

    • Why says:

      Why should the U.K. assist you in anything. You hate the white man, you constantly refer to the U.K. as colonizers and enslavers, you resist to comply with any of their requests yet you cry for them when you need something. You wanted to govern yourselves then do so and stop asking for handouts. Instead make ALL the corrupt politicians open their bank accounts and offshore accounts and provide some help from the money they stole. You are a despicable people not worthy of any assistance whatsoever. Live or die in your own misery.

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      • Despicable says:

        The US is going to be sending out checks to their citizens. The Belonger garbage that dropped their offspring in the US will be the first clambering for a check that they don’t need or deserve. May those that did this rot in Hell.

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  2. lol says:

    So we are asking the UK for money? This must be reverse psychology…

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  3. Hmmmm says:

    Where’s Social Security? Or are too many business owners not paying taxes and you know that those that apply for compensation will be turned away?

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    • What a thing to tell the Queen says:

      What is going on??? Who and how many people in BVI already lose their jobs? Are we counting on the unknown after all the inaction taken since hurricane 2017??

      Have we not heard that UK is swamped with Corona, even PM and Prince and what is not being reported?

      Do we not know how many people coming from UK with the virus and infecting inocent people??

      Why don’t we leave UK out of this?? even the ship they are planning to send to BVI would we not be better off without them??

      Premiere you have been doing well so far, but I think you better reconsider this UK assistance thing. Look unto Jesus. He is the answer, not UK.

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      • What!!! says:

        “Jesus is the answer” You must be joking

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      • Richard says:

        You’re an idiot

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      • V4 says:

        Good luck with the Jesus angle, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t decide who lives or dies, takes young people in road accidents, children with cancer, sends people to war and he doesn’t stop or create viruses all this is created by human beings. Do not single anyone out, this is everyone’s problem there is always someone trying to play a race or religion card. you are naive at best and that’s being polite

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  4. Hodgie says:

    Where’s our Social Security monies? If the paying people can’t benefit in this case. Please scrap the Social Security once and for all. Thanks in advance.

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    • 007 says:

      You have to apply for social security in order to get it. It just doesn’t fall in your lap. Anybody who was paying social security are eligible to receive benefits none are turned away. You will not get a million dollars but you will get something based on what you been paying.

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      • Hmmmm says:

        Did social security covered unemployment or cases such as what we are in? I don’t think so. But not many people has lived or will live to collect a SS Chequers and therefore SS should have some funds, of course if not all was lost in the stock market downturn.

        In any event, BVI should consider unemployment benefits as part of its SS system.

      • Really says:

        @ 007. You are right that people whose social security deductions have been paid will be entitled to rec. benefits, however there are currently only certain benefits that are paid, e.g.:
        – Maternity leave
        – sickness benefit
        – Disability
        – Death benefit (to spouses and children under 18)
        – Funeral Grant

        I may have missed one or two. Outside of these (and being aware that we do not pay Unemployment as US), which other benefit were you referring to, i.e. unless the Director of Social Security will initiate some form of grants as a result of the hardships created for a number of persons as a result of the unforeseen pandemic.

  5. Disinterested says:

    The VI is 1 of 14 UK Overseas Territories(OT); the VI is partially self-governing and is financially self supporting with an approx $1B Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and an Operations & Maintenance (O&M) budget of $414M(2020 budget year). Additionally, it has $$$M in its unreserved fund. So why can’t government fund the pay of displaced employees, at least temporarily, and focus need on medical help?

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  6. Haycraft says:

    I’m okay financially. But for those who aren’t. We shouldn’t be looking to the UK for help at this time. The Social Security Board will have to do it’s part. The government won’t have much choice here but to return some of the money these unemployed people being paying for years. I’ll be watching to see if the present administration have the people at heart.

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  7. Shame says:

    Begging today. See, we don’t know the future. Sometime back BVI people was cursing UK now today they on their knees begging.

    Social Security should be able to assist.

    Ayo waste the money – overrun projects – pier park hospital ESHS wall the lost plane

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  8. SOS says:

    Andrew open your mouth and tell the people the reality of their situation. The richest country in the world is now on its knees.

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  9. Musa says:

    Just for a start no rent no water bill no electricity bill

    Like 11
    • Devon says:

      The premiere don’t need to announce this one. My money is to buy food and water. I’m home on cerfew. Not sure when I will receive a next pay cheque.

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    • Observer says:

      @ add to rent, water an light, phone & Internet. These are very crucial, plus food to eat.

  10. schemers says:

    I guess all that independent bravado went out the window like Puerto Rico.
    BVI govt is unsustainable and just relies on the generosity of UK and wealthy donors.

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  11. Mark says:

    So here we go again wit this begging UK for money. We already had it hard just getting hurricane relief now we gotta wait for more years just to get this one.

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    Go ask your God Richard Branson that pays no taxes to the UK. But I guess beggars can’t ask a beggar. The UK have they own problems and can’t help anyone else. If BVI gets a cent from the UK, It will be hell to pay from the UK Citizens. If the UK have money to send to other countries then they could afford to help the 5% who were left out in the coronavirus bill. The sun doesn’t set on the empire but it setting today.
    I thought BVI wanted independence, now y’all bawling for the UK who y’all scorned when things were good. GO ask the politicians who stole your money. Go knock at their doors. Go ask the families who have benefited from sweetheart deals from the government.

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  13. Frigup says:

    This isolation and ongoing pandemic is not going away anytime soon. The BVI relies heavily on US visitors and they will not be out of COVID-19 for months – maybe a year. This season is OVER. The BVI cannot expect bailouts from the UK, who are themselves in dire straits. It’s time to approach the banks for long term loans at cheap rates and give households enough money for survival. Many locals and expats are wealthy enough to sustain themselves but thousands ARE NOT. Make plans now!!!

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  14. Overseas says:

    Mr. Premier, I hope that you get the stimulus package from the UK to help the Country. On another note, America is going to start issuing checks to the citizens and small business owners. Also if anyone owes child support, they are not qualified nor will they get a check.

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  15. Strategy For Upcoming Months says:

    Gov’t to borrow $10 Million from SSB and advance over the next 3 months sums to those earning less than a certain annual amount to pay rent, buy food and basic supplies. This shouldn’t be available for those who are able to work from home and still receive a salary, Make sure the system is fraud sealed. $10M is nothing compared to the $100M they were talking about for earthquake insurance.

    Have a mortgage payment freeze for 3 months for the unemployed or for those whose mortgage payments are substantially dependent on rental income from unemployed persons. This does not apply to employed persons or those still able to collect on rents from employed tenants.

    Reduction in the cost of insurance premiums. Freeze on electric bills up to a certain amount for householders (that way householders conserve energy and avoid abuse of the system).

  16. Quiet Warrior says:

    Like the US, the UK was slow off the line, down playing and calling the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) a hoax and nothing more than the flu. As a result of this lackadaisical attitude towards the virus, now the chickens have come home to roost. The US now leads the world (more than China, South Korea and Italy) in the number of confirmed cases (111,164), along with 1850 deaths.

    Like the US, the UK is paying the price for its slow and lackadaisical attitude towards the virus. Prince Charles, the heir to throne, and PM Boris Johnson have contracted the virus. The reality is that the UK has its own needs and challenges. The elephant in the room in all this is the UK taxpayer who wants their tax dollars to go towards funding domestic services, since VI and other Overseas Territories don’t pay any taxes. It is the same attitude that the US residents have towards Puerto Rico, USVI, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. The Francophone countries have a different relationship with the French regional countries, ie, they are overseas departments of France.

    On the other hand, during the days of colonialism, forced Slaves free labour was exploited to produce commodities to ship back to the UK for use in its factories to create work for Britons, helping to build wealth. The only people that didn’t benefit from the exploited labour was the Slaves and their descendants. Thus, it is time for the descendants of those that benefitted and are still benefiting from the force Slave labour to make the Slave descendants whole. Reparation.

    Moreover, Virgin Islanders have always been a hardy and independent group of people. For example, when the planter class viewed the VI as an impoverished place and only good as a bird sanctuary and bolted out the territory, it had to band together to eek out a living with limited opportunity. Well, it cannot depend on the UK and will have to do as it has done before.

    The VI people’s has to unite and marshal its limited resources to create the most opportunities for the most people. The VI in the recent past squandered resources and opportunities and it can’t to it again. The money($7.2M) wasted on BVI Airways, a bruk and troubled airline that had challenges getting and staying airborne, the approx $6M spent on green houses at Paraquita Bay, wasted money on roads and so on is needed now.

    The Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a serious disease; it is not the flu. There is no cure, vaccine and reliable treatment. The best course of action is social distancing. Let’s us stay our a…s inside and obey the quarantine. It is for the public good. And as many others have noted, we must avoid overwhelming the hospital. Stay smart safe standdown shelter in place stay at home.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @ Quiet Warrior
      Maybe you should also be seeking reparations from your African cousins who were the ones that captured and sold your ancestors to the white man.
      The UK have more than paid reparations to BVI citizens by giving the freed slaves vast swathes of land AND allowing millions in annual tax revenues from the UK to diverted to prop up the BVI economy for the 20-30 years.

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      • @Anonymous says:

        europeans were the first in human history to capture and sell their own prople to other white men. That is a fact. europeans weresold as slaves to other europens for centuries.

        Those who know history know that to be fact, so the continuous effort to make that scourge only an African phenomenon is pure hypocrisy.

        Africans did not sell their people as europeans sold theirs. The history states that Africans were loaned out,often individuals who had ran afoul of village law, for a period, but the arab and european got greedy and began to capture and kidnap them for profit.

        After that shift in trust, Africans stopped that practice. Later on after they saw their people being kidnapped and sold, they began to fight back. There are several historical records to prove this.

        This is a synopsis of the true history of Africans and slavery. So stop writing false self serving narratives, because many among us know history and the truth.

        • @@Anon says:

          Where you find this crap you write is unbelievable. It is FACT that the African has always enslaved other Africans that they fought with which was basically any neighboring tribe. They were always looking for someone else to do their work for them just like today. When the Europeans came a new market opened where they could sell their captives off. THIS IS FACT. Stop making up bullshit to ease your conscious.

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          • @@Anon says:

            You are totally using alternative facts/lies. some know better.

            Why is it you have not refutted the other facts.

            Can’t, can you?

            History is our teacher not your unconscienable made up lies.

          • @@Anon says:

            That is the garbage pile of lies your historians have been peddling for centuries. And, you are still thinking along those same untruthfl narratives.

            Where you are now in your thinking and information is antiquated.

            You have failed to evolve into the 21st century and find out that Black scholars have been digging, researching and unravelling truths long hidden by deliberate actions of past white historians.

            You have failed to realize that much centuries old historical truths were passed down to generation after generation.

            You have failed to realize that Black people do not read or trust white historians for truths anymore. Those days are long gone. We have our own now.

            So carry on blogging antiquated nonesense. You will not be educating none of us with it.

      • OHHHH says:

        I know y’all Caucasians are still in disbelief that these little negros didn’t die after you all left us for dead and think you had a part to play in why we are still alive. The UK itself didn’t give us any land or else every BVISLANDER would have had land like the Romneys, the smiths, the Leonards, the Penns. I agree that those Africans also need to pay for their share for the damage but don’t ever downplay what caucasian people did to us and still have systems set against us until to this day.

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      • @Anonymous says:

        “AND allowing millions in annual tax revenues from the UK to diverted to prop up the BVI economy for the 20-30 years.” – Stop lying, the BVI was off grant aid from UK since the 70’s.

    • Bandit says:

      The USVI are included in the U.S. stimulus package. Not like the U.K. that does nothing for it territories.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Great article, with much meat in it, historical facts and other, Quiet Warrior.

    If brother Igwe’s name was attached to it, rest assured the racialist Black human hater would be taking his head off.

    Nonetheless, those people, us, are not yet and still are viewed as less than human. Therefore, the benefactors who are still crippled with that kind of view and psychology; who honor and hoard wealth and; who are not yet humanly evolved enough to accept that a human wrong was done will not acquiesce to reparations for the descendants of their wealth builders.

    And, therefore, do not believe that it must be righted, and who; still vehemently hates the Blackman and who; still does not want to see him acquire any sort of wealth, will not for centuries and beyond respond to or appropriate any such as reperations to him. Such humanity is not within their scope of and human make up.

    With regards to the money that was squandered within our territory, it is believed that the majority of that money was corruptedly redirected into private accounts. Hopefully that is not the case, but many are of that view.

    Sadly also, with regards to the current regime, monetary management confidence is also very low. Indeed, there wer sllpped tongues during the campaigne that have indicated such will be a potential reality.

    Hoping for the best. Hoping they will look out for all of us. Hoping all will be happy in the end, but don’t expect reparations from over there or over there from the european benefactors of the wealth our ancesters created for them.

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  18. Jokes says:

    How about the BVI contribute to the UK to pay the recently unemployed workers? Why should this be a one way street?

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  19. Quiet Warrior says:

    A number of fellow commentators/bloggers are wondering why Social Security is not jumping in with both feet with its supposed $800M war chest to cover the expenses of workers displaced as a result of the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19). Well, my understanding is that Social Security collects contributions from both employees and employers (3.25% each) to cover a)old age pension (65 years), b) old age grant, c)disability pension, d) disability grant, e)survivor pension, f)survivor grant and g)funeral grant.

    Moreover, Social Security collect contributions from active employees and employers to pay for these programmes. It also invest some of the contributions in relatively safe investment instruments to help pay for these programmes. Social Security is not a slush fund for government to cover budget deficits. However, since Social Security invests some of the contribution collected, government can borrow money from Social Security to deliver services; it must pay back the loan though. It seems as though Social Security was not instituted to cover unemployment. Unemployment insurance seem like a collaboration between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labor and Immigration( Department of Labour and Workforce Development).

  20. Ausar says:

    “What a thing”,if religion was of any real help in all of this, the church barons and such, would be out there healing the sick like Jesus did while he was on earth!

    There would be no fear of this disease, and all it’s ramifications! Instead, parishioners and their clergy, too, are on qurantine from this disease!.

    Indeed, religion is of very little help in time of trouble!!!!!

    Now as for Social Security Funds( SSF) to assist during this pandemic, NO; this is wrong!!

    Just like in America where SSF are not being used to assist us in the US Virgin Islands in this time of trouble, it should not be used in the BVI either.

    Pandemic funds, like what’s being proposed by Premier Fahie, is the way to go!

    Continue Premier Fahie, in the begging of our “Mother”, the Kingdom, for continual help during these difficult times ahead!

    It is more so now,that we need our “Mother”!

    And ask for forgiveness for some of our loans, Premier!

    Now is the time!


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  21. island man says:

    Instead of giving ppl money why not provide food (grocery) instead and deliver it to every household.

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