BVI News

I’ve removed myself from flying first class while travelling on official business — Premier

Premier Andrew Fahie

Premier Andrew Fahie has said taxpayer dollars are being saved because of his decision to give up the option to travel luxuriously when abroad on official business.

He made the remark while responding to questions by Opposition Leader Marlon Penn during Friday’s sitting of the House of Assembly.

“I must tell the public that for different parts of my travel, to help save the government money, I have removed myself from the first class and business [class] and went in coach. I have removed myself from suites and went to regular rooms. But one thing I have never apologized for as Premier is travelling,” Fahie told the House.

“Every time I travel, I guarantee thus far that we have benefitted tremendously as a territory,” he added.

The Premier said he has travelled to Miami, Guadeloupe, Nicaragua, and Antigua.

He promised to provide a detailed account of his accomplishments for the territory while overseas.

“I intend to account for every dime that I spend of the public’s money whether some people like what it is spent for or not,” the Premier said.

He further said his ministers have all been issued a memorandum instructing them to produce a full travel report to Cabinet whenever they travel.

He said this report must be produced no later than a week after returning to the BVI.

“[They are also required to say] what they were able to achieve and bring it to Cabinet so we can lay all these things down on the table,” Premier Fahie said.

More than $80K spent on travel so far

While he did not state how much his decision has saved taxpayers, Premier Fahie said public servants and ministerial travels have amounted to $80,485.43 since he took office.

“Please note that this travel includes travel by public servants for the most part,” he told the House.

“I must say to the people of the Virgin Islands: we cannot fix the Virgin Islands as leaders here alone. We must strengthen our ties in the region and internationally and we must also get out there because there is a lot of other means to help develop this country other than looking for just loans,” Fahie said.

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  1. vip heckler says:

    50 flights sitting in first class cost the same as 100 flights sitting in coach. We just want transparency that’s all

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    • Hmmm says:

      I guess this is to offset the pending legal fees for the unnecessary legal debacle between your Speaker and the D4 rep.

      How did taxpayers benefit from your recent trip to St. Kitts to campaign for the Unity government? Which i thought was of poor taste, as leaders of one country should not get involved in another country political affairs.

      Like 31
      Dislike 5
    • TJ says:

      BVI is good for 3rd world corrupt leaders.

      Like 5
      Dislike 3
  2. lol says:

    gaudeloupe to do what? shake up the bottle?

    Like 15
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  3. sam the man says:

    whilst I appreciate the decision to travel more economically than “air miles Orlando Smith” – however it never seemed to bother anybody – his gratuitous spending of our tax dollars – that was because we anticipated a benefit as a country…when that didn’t come we just did an ostrich and buried our heads… Whilst a little headline seeking this is perhaps a first step to better accountability and I must applaud it…

    Like 7
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  4. TurtleDove says:

    When the Premier and any minister travel on official business they should fly first class. Respect for the position not the person in my opinion. Other government employees should fly coach.

    Like 33
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    • Smh says:

      I’m happy you said that, because that’s what he was preaching on the need of the $115,000. Also, his bodyguard matter (national security).
      I always question why this is a back and forth, don’t govt have a black card? Most travel benefits can be rewarded with other perks, someone with better knowledge please explain if I’m in the wrong.
      Any Advantage, Chase or Master Card offers personal Concierge to book rewards travel. I’m pretty sure something like this can be looked at in the further and we don’t have this debate again.

      Like 5
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      • @SMH says:

        Thank you. You are So correct. Government need the Black Card. No Mister Premier, donot down grade your hotel. All Country leaders and their family stay in hotel suites when they travel. The staff stays in the regular hotel rooms. All leaders fly first class on regular flights.Not to long ago I was on a flight to Miami from ST.Thomas and the Governor was on the same flight in first class.

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  5. More lies says:

    There is first class, business class and coach in many planes. Depending on the flight, first class and business can be different categories. Business class is a step up from coach with bigger seats etc.
    Now does anyone of us who have flown on American Airlines or JetBlue for instance remember the size of the coach seats? Skinny people could hardly hold in coach these days. Can you imagine seeing the Premier in a coach seat? Be logical thinkers. Of course if he is flying Liat he will be in coach because that’s all Liat is. Don’t tell me that when the Premier going to the US or UK that he is in coach.
    Stop believing everything this man says. Use your own common sense!

    Like 23
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  6. any bets? says:

    delta top brass orchestrated that

  7. The Nation says:

    Premier – you have been earning your props. I don’t mind if you spend our tax dollars on first class – you are getting things done and working in the interest of the people – I think you should fly first class.

    Like 4
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  8. B says:

    Business class is nice too.

  9. E. Leonard says:

    The VI has a representative democracy with voters electing 13 members (9 districts, 4 at large) to represent them in the HOA. As a result of the 2/25 general election, VIP captured 8 of the 13 seats and formed the government with Hon Andrew A. Fahie being sworn as Premier and leader of government business. Being the leader of any country, organization….. etc, ie, President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Premier……etc comes with some status, privileges…….etc. These reasonable privileges are a cost of doing business, a cost of governing.

    Moreover, as the leader of government business, Premier Fahie will have to travel overseas to represent the BVI. As such, traveling first class and staying in reasonably comfortable, quality accommodations is a reasonable cost of governing. The Premier should be on par with other attendees/peers at any meeting, conference……etc. It not already done, put a government travel policy in place soonest. Settle these routine, non-core issues so that the focus can be on big picture, core issues. Nonetheless, it is commendable that Premier Fahie is setting the personal example by flying coach and staying in a room.

    Like 7
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    • Quiet Rebel says:

      You are enabling and rationalizing these folks living high on hog. “These reasonable privileges are a cost of doing business, a cost of governing.” Now, this is some deep s…t.

  10. Travel a lot says:

    I only fly Business and First class because there is hardly any space in coach to move.You have people pushing their seats back in your space, you sit in a window seat, you have to disturb someone to get up so you can get out of the row that you are sitting in.

    Like 6
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    • Bruce says:

      Do you pay for your travel. ? That is different than elected officials using government money. Oh unless we are now subjects of the king.

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      • @Bruce says:

        As a matter of fact I pay for my own travel.I use my American Express/Ammex when I travel. American Express is the best card to have. You can charge as much as you like but at the end of the month, you have to pay the whole amount back in full.

        • Bruce says:

          You paying and citizen money, I.e. government money, are different. You have every right to spend your money on 1st class. The Premier is a government employee of the people.

  11. Mick Mars says:

    Already flying first class on land with the new ‘bile, Chief. Doing a bit of cost cutting? I commend you for it albeit a bit late, but still.

  12. Why first class says:

    If the plane crash,the people in first class is the ones who get messed up quicker than the other flyers.You up front in first class, you are getting the blunt of the crash.

    Like 3
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  13. Haha says:

    How can BVIslanders be respected in their own territory when some of you simpletons expect your Premier to live and be treated like a regular Joe.
    It is admirable for the Premier to not expect the perks of the position that he hold but when his own constituents sees having bodyguards, an expensive ride or even flying first class as a problem no wonder the expats have these negative perceptions of the BVI.

    • Oh hush says:

      He is a d**n regular Joe smow from Carrot Bay like everyone else. It May seem like he is doing for the best of the Country,he is in it to do what is best for HIMSELF. Every last one in Government is a bunch of silent Can’t be trusted c****s you have to watch with 50 set of eyes.

  14. Say what now says:

    The premier is a regular Joe Just like everyone else.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
    • I will say it says:

      If a Woman was Premier, all this drama would not be going on. Women lead with their hearts,not their egos. It always takes a man to ruin and destroy everything,no matter how old a man becomes, his thinking capacity will always stay on the level of a child. Everyday, the drama with the little boys in a man’s body.

  15. what the hell?!!!! says:

    What is wrong with you people? Everytime Hon. Fahie does something to help, You people try to bring him down. I bet you are all NDP’S. Give the man a chance. I am tired of the negativity. If it was an NDP leader sitting in the chair I am quite sure the VIP supporters would not have said most of these things. Time to let the VIP do what needs to be done. WHY are you getting worked up about everything????????

  16. LOL says:

    He is driving 1st class everyday

  17. Reality says:

    This is not good PR – why should anybody be flying first class with tax payers money? I appreciate that “air miles” Orlando did it excessively and without due accountability – but then we let him flagrantly give away over $7m for a non existent air line service and he and his family will continue to grow fat on the back of the BVI….

  18. Oh hush says:

    He is a d**m regular Joe smow from Carrot Bay like everyone else. It May seem like he is doing for the best of the Country,he is in it to do what is best for HIMSELF. Every last one in Government is a bunch of silent Can’t be trusted c****s you have to watch with 50 set of eyes.

  19. Listen says:

    “A president is a high-level official who is elected to carry out a function. He is not a king. Not a god. He is not the witchdoctor of a tribe who knows everything. He is a civil servant.”
    We often link the word humble with money, but it is not just that.
    The ‘President of Uruguay’ title did not define Jose Mujica.
    Respect has to be earned. If you get a new title, be it “rich”, “president” or “CEO” — it doesn’t make you worth even a fraction more than you did before. You earn your dignity by having quality values and by sticking to them.
    When you earn true respect, it’s only because of who you already are — so there’s no reason why you wouldn’t stay humble.

  20. True says:

    As Premier, you should fly first class.

    Like 2
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    • Real talk says:

      I agree you are the Premier of the Island, that in itself speaks volumes, so fly first class, it is no so much who you are but what you are representing.
      You should be on the same level of all the other Presidents, and country leaders. We must respect the office he holds.

      Like 1
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  21. First clsss says:

    You need to be in first class or you’ll have to buy two seats in coach or l***w we***t then do that…ijs

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  22. joseph says:

    Given his h**e s**e…can he fit elsewhere but First Class?

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