BVI News

I agree with UK’s strict conditions; BVI’s own fault

Neil Smith

Former financial secretary and incumbent Executive Director in the Office of International Business, Neil Smith has said he agrees with the stringent borrowing conditions imposed on the British Virgin Islands by the United Kingdom government.

Smith said, had the leaders of the territory done the ‘right thing’, those measures would not be necessary.

“Whenever the BVI create a liability – because we are part of the United Kingdom – somewhere along the line their treasury has to back it. That’s the case from the time we became self-governed. What they are saying to us is if we are going to create those liabilities, [we must be] be responsible. And to me, that makes sense,” he said.

“All I am saying is we could impose these standards on ourselves so that they don’t have to tell us anything. This is where we are losing control of the BVI. This is where we have to get people to force us to do the right thing! And we know what to do!”

The former financial secretary was, at the time, responding to questions and statements from Chairman of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association Louis Potter, who publicly criticized the UK on their strict measures.

Potter levelled fresh criticism yesterday during government’s recovery plan consultation with members of the clergy, non-profit organizations, and service clubs.

But, Potter is not the only official who has knocked the UK in recent times. Government minister Ronnie Skelton blasted the UK weeks ago for what is being described as the second-rate treatment to the BVI.

He made specific mention of the £300 million in loan guarantees, which is a promise by one party (the UK government) to pay the debt of a borrower (the BVI) if that borrower fails to repay.

Skelton suggested that the UK was treating the BVI as a ‘prostitute’.

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  1. Hank Greenberg says:

    hallelujah to that

    • @Hank says:

      Neil was the financial secretary. It was his job to make sure all the ducks were in place financially. He can sign financial documents that the poor Premier would not even know about because he had the power to do so. He was the FS and now he here calling the grapes sour. This government is no worst than any other in other countries.

  2. Wow! says:

    Oh the irony!

  3. Kinte says:

    They are correct in the way they are acting towards the B.V.I. With the corruptness of the various politicians from top to bottom why should they be responsible for you defaulting. The B.V.I. is one of the biggest if not the biggest offshore place for those hiding there money and does it benefit the islands. THAT IS A RESOUNDING NO. It only benefit the corrupt politicians …

    • @Kinte says:

      There is no hiding of money here in the BVI. The BVI is a leader in offshore incorporation of companies.

      Your statement shows an amazing lack of knowledge of the industry that is one of the main income earners for your country. Please, read a little before posting that nonsense!

    • @ Kinte says:

      Name the banks in the BVI where the money is. Just a point of clarity, Trust Companies and Registered Agents that set up these companies don’t have secret safes in the back with cash for each company. Ironically, the money that you speak of is held in banks in the same Jurisdictions that are labeling us. As the other poster said, do some reading and proper research before vomiting nonsense on the blog.

      • @@ Knite says:

        True the actual hard cash might not be in a bank vault here but offshore incorporation is a piece of a much larger puzzle that has and still enables such activities…

  4. Interested says:

    Neil,Neil Neil as FS,shouldn’t you have been instrumental in seeing that they did the right thing?
    I do agree that we got ourselves into this situation.

    • @Interested says:

      If only life was that simple. I am certain he advised them BUT they are the ones we elected and sadly so

    • Albion says:

      If you look at Neil’s history you will see he continually *tried* to the right thing as FS. He tried to stop Ministers overspending budgets, he tried to clamp down on no-bid contracts and extra appropriations. And where did it get him? It got him fired. Government Ministers don’t like people who don’t tell them that they can do whatever they like however they like.

  5. Thank you says:

    Thank you, Neil, for stating the obvious so eloquently. We are running round, passionately, trying to bite our OWN tails. Why does anyone have to tell us to be responsible for ourselves? Show how you will pay for what you borrow. Britain doesn’t want us crying at her doorstep for a bail out next year. We consistently behave like immature brats. When we don’t get what we want, “I hate you mommy.”

  6. I FROM HERE says:

    Yes UK, put hard restrictions on the BVI borrowing because these politicians is a set of greedy and senseless SOB!

    Street sense beats book sense any day of the week!

  7. Careful driver says:

    I wonder what Skelton is really objecting to. Surely not to transparency and accountability of government? Why would he be concerned about that?

  8. Maggie says:

    Case in point. They don’t want the clamp down agreement from the UK because they just want to have a access to continue to steal while the people of this territory pay for it.

  9. bojan says:

    yes Niel ta;lk the truth they do tooooooo much $]it with monies because its not coming out their pockets every project overf spend on and still not finish bad investments every thing we the tax payers never gain on.

  10. Watcher says:

    Any lender or guarantor is going to impose conditions on a loan. If Skelton and Potter and the like think this is wrong they can always go and borrow the money without the UK guarantee. Or may be contribute some of their own.

  11. Joseph says:

    The USVI government next door receives lots of US grants and loans…which are wasted, because the Federal Government is too lax.

    Stop begging.

  12. SIR whatever says:

    Smith against a Smith .. Well Premier wrong

  13. ReX FeRaL says:

    Sad this bloke come talking now when he held one of the most powerful post in government.

  14. are you serious says:

    Where have you been; on mars??

    he was always been saying that the BVI needs to be more fiscally responsible, and tried to support all the Governments in ensuring that this was the case by recommending many systems to do so while supporting the elected officials. Obviously they do not want to be responsible, sideline people like him, and prefer to blame everyone else for their lax and irresponsible behaviour.

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