BVI News

No correlation! Gov’t has not met criteria of an ‘economic stimulus’

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has described the first phase of government’s COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Response Plan as nothing but a dysfunctional approach to economic recovery.

In a seven-point bulletin released on Tuesday, government had said its economic stimulus plan so far included initiatives such as a $12 million-purchase for medical supplies, $2 million funding for farmers and fisherfolk, the purchasing of food and medication for seniors and needy residents, and an $800,000 investment in house-to-house garbage collection.

Penn, however, said there is “no cohesiveness” between those initiatives and the reawakening of economy.

“You can’t just take $12 million here and drop it over there, take $2 million here and drop it over there and there is no correlation in terms of what you are doing to stimulate workers and families, and what you are doing to move the economy at the same point. They both have to work hand in hand,” the Opposition Leader said.

Criteria of a stimulus not met

Also responding to the bulletin, senior Opposition legislator Julian Fraser said that a number of the initiatives outlined within government’s economic response did not meet the criteria to be considered an ‘economic stimulus’.

He said: “This (bulletin) that I am looking at is concern to me. [It] has no relevance as far as stimulus is concerned. I talked about the garbage collection, substituting house-to-house collection for bin collection. That’s a trade-off, that’s not a new initiative.”

“This particular item is not new money, this is monies that was being spent to pick up garbage anyway. I am saying that government has not addressed the issue of stimulus for the country, its people and the economy. That has not been addressed, not by what I am looking at here,” the senior legislator further argued.

Government afraid to use Reserve Fund?

Fraser also questioned government’s reluctance to utilise the Reserve Fund which is reported to have roughly $75 million.

He said the fund was established for crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused major disruptions to livelihoods and the wider local economy.

“It is not as if when you use out of the $75 million, you’re depleting government’s monies. Government will still have its consolidated fund, will still have its pension fund, will have its disaster fund and all the other funds, and that’s what that money is for,” Fraser stated.

“That $12 million [for medical supplies] was not budgeted for. That has to be a reallocation. So if you are taking monies that were budgeted for something else, and reallocate it to do something else, that is not a stimulus, the appropriate place to have that money from was the reserve, then you are stimulating the economy because you are putting additional money into the economy,” he added.

Government had indicated that they will be revealing phase two of their Economic Stimulus Response Plan on Thursday, May 28.

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32 Comments

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  1. Gov is lost says:

    The government is lost, they believe they can keep the borders closed and make this economy work.

    There is no internal economy. The soil is not suitable to feed everyone. The oceans are nearly empty so forget about fishing for future generations.

    Stop living in a fantasy world. We need to create value, which we cannot do without getting money in from abroad… especially since we import everything we consume.

    Like 24
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    • Easy says:

      THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally someone that gets it!!! The Government is CLUELESS and they will KILL US if we do not stand up!

      Like 15
      Dislike 11
    • Pigs says:

      Stop attacking the government for keeping the people safe. God place them in position just in time. The opposition has failed when they were in office. Stop distracting the people. All you greedy mischief makers not helping. Come on man frazer you should at least know when to stop.

      Like 8
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      • We are safe says:

        The government is keeping us safe in the very short term. In the long term their policy is very dangerous. They are scared and not looking forward!

        Like 9
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        • @we are safe says:

          So if somebody keep you safe in the short term you will not trust they will in the long term? How you get your mouth turn buddy? Nonsensical and jumpy conclusion nobody predicted 2019 corona now all you predict the future.

          Like 5
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          • Response says:

            No man, only thinking of the short term without any plan for the long term is dangerous. They have absolutely no idea what to do in a few months from now. NO IDEA!

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            Dislike 1
        • Voter says:

          My friend if this Premier and his government don’t get their act together. If the long run we will all be dead!!

          Like 4
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      • @Pigs says:

        Safe? Persons stuck at home with zero income, can’t pay bills, can’t eat, can’t feed their kids is safe? You do know that life must go on and COVID is not going anywhere right?

        Like 10
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        • Wait says:

          Well go on out there no. See if Marlon, Mitch, mark and frazer going feed you. Oh wait. See if they going visit you at hospital when you get corona. Spend you time attacking the very government that will help. Think people. These miserable opposition cannot do anything for you but create diversion and problems.

          Like 7
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        • Silence says:

          Curfew from 6am to 7pm now. Go out and find work!!!! How it the government fault!!!! You people amaze me. Even if the government give all you hand outs it won’t be enough!! Help all you self.

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        • @pigs says:

          There’s a government hotline to call if you hungry. Don’t call c*****t Mark, c*** less Mitch, c****n Marlon or A******t Frazer. You’ll die from hunger.

        • Home says:

          Well said!!

    • Stop Evil says:

      You know come to think of it not all evil persons can be stop. God will do that but the VIP stopped corruption at the election 2019. Why are humans so forgetful even when they have a government saving them life?

      Like 2
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  2. King says:

    This new s**t storm will be worst than Irma and Maria. In fact they will seem like a walk in the park compared to this. Let see who the VIP will blame for it.

    Campaign is over but yet they still seem stuck in it.

    Like 16
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  3. FACTS says:

    The man that put us in millions of dollars in trouble with biwater is now a saint…give us a break.

    Like 10
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    • @Facts says:

      He is much better than the man that spend millions on food bags not because people were in need, but because he locked them in their homes not allowing them to be able to shop. That $2mil could have been used now to help small businesses that are now struggling to reopen and operate with limited circumstances and shorter hours.

      Like 24
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      • Concerned says:

        I am trying to understand the 2 Mill. 7000 food-bags equal $ 285.00 per bag? Locking people in might have been a good idea on paper but without access to groceries and medical care? 12 Mill for medical supplies and for isolation units. 2 Respirators are 1 Mill. 2 Floors of the hospital are unfurnished so we could have bought the furniture and divided into rooms instead of paying hotels. Should have left plenty of money for economic stimulus. Why oh why no stamp-duty for transfer of properties between Belongers? People having money to buy properties or have properties to transfer to relatives should have money for the tax.

    • Garfield says:

      I will swear on our forefathers grave and die not exposing some NDPs grave ills. Them would be in jail.

      Look Marlon and Mitch campaign on bi-water bad deal now them and frazer become buddies. When will all you people learn politricks? Look when they gimmicking in time pandemic.

      Bi-water was a bad deal. Sewerage money transfer was a bad deal. Million dollar wall was a bad deal. Mitch attitude was a bad deal. Marlon s******h was a bad deal. Now we have frazer and Marlon selling A good recovery deal? WTF?@! I cry for my BVI.

      Hate the government but let them work people.

      Like 6
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      • @Garfield says:

        And your point is what now? NDP got their share of licks at the polls for bad decisions, why is it a point now? We are dealing with a crisis and our Government is out there playing bully instead of being accountable to the people of these islands. Unfortunately for Fahie this battle will not be won with sweet words and political nonsense.

        Like 11
        • Friends says:

          Give the government a break. Look all we safe man. Giving thanks to the most high. I trust this government. When the borders open to st Thomas the opposition will be the first to chastise the governmentt for the first outbreak and laughing then evil head off..

          Don’t rush my government you hear. Take all you time. Say no mo.

          Like 6
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    • bull says:

      biwater was such a nice deal that government can afford to give away free water for all…I am sure you got couple free loads and you’re here now chatting p**s

  4. Sniffn says:

    The more confused the govt makes it look,,, the easier it is to pocket the money,they know this!!

    Like 5
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  5. Lol says:

    Ok Sniffiny smurf take your mine off the piggy for a while. You want I snitch eh. Ok then.

  6. Facts says:

    1: this is money to protect not economic stimulus

    2: This was needed due to curfew lock down, not economic stimulus

    3: Free water, this is economic stimulus

    4: This was done in December not current economic stimulus

    5: This was done due to lockdown , not economic stimulus

    6: This is for education, not economic stimulus

    7: This is giving to the rich , this is not the economic stimulus needed

    Like 6
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  7. Anonymous says:

    75 million relief fund?

    How far is that going to go when the second wave comes smack in the middle of what is predicted to be a ‘Strong Hurricane Season”?
    Oh, let’s spend it now, whistles the opposition….oh, let’s open the borders in September when tourists may have to be evacuated for a number of reasons…

    While everyone is poking holes at this government, they are busy paying attention to the future and the science of epidemiology that shows every single ‘new to human’ (or novel) viral pandemic having a far worse second wave of infection, usually in September after a first wave starting in February or March.

    (and no, “THEY” are not going to make a second wave happen so we can all be injected with microchips….the second wave is a historical and scientific fact.)

    No, our government is not perfect, but right now, who is? At least they are paying attention to science, history, the countries that are most successful in the battle and US, the people.

    We must support our leadership by learning facts about this virus and not listening to misinformation spouted by doctors of cosmetology with youtube channels or the minions of the world’s most powerful snake oil salesman.

  8. The Nation! says:

    What these opposition don’t seem to get is that Hon Andrew Fahie is running the territories economics like a wise single parent mother would run a household when she hardly getting income with many mouths to feed. It is still too soon to dole out money…let’s see where the revenue is coming from…let’s see the restarting of the revenue engines and then make decisions…the Opposition just riling up because Andrew and VIP’s approval rating is fairly high…most people of this territory approve of his handling of the territory during the pandemic.

    Like 5
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    • @Nation says:

      People are asking for a plan not cash in hand. Stop changing the subject.

    • Anonymous says:

      Speak for yourself!!

    • Tonge Fu says:

      @ The Nation!

      Based on what poll? I voted for 4 VIPs and I am not at all happy with their performance and it did not start here but the crisis exposed their weaknesses.

      I have no issues with closing the borders until they were able to enact a law and get quarantine units in place. They just closed their borders and seemed to have no plan to reopen especially for our citizens. They enacted the law but kept the borders closed and for a long time saying they trying to increase capacity. All these empty hotels? That is visionless. Add to that you lockdown the country so no money coming in and no money circulating but you don’t have a plan to stimulate the economy after the socio-economic damage? Stamp duty exemption for the rich is part of a stimulus plan? 7% tax on the poor is part of a stimulus plan? 800,000 garbage pickup is part of a stimulus plan?

      For a stimulus to be effective it must be well targeted, timely and temporary. Targeted as in directed to the people who need it the most. The lower income earners who are barely making ends meet in normal times or who have exhausted their life’s savings as they lost their jobs. They are the ones who frequent the small businesses and groceries. Small business is the engine that drives the economy. If they lose business, we lose business.

      Timely in that it has to be done when the economy is at its lowest ebb. Not sure if we are there yet but cannot be far. Do we even have a true picture of how many unemployed people we have? Why can’t labor make calls or visit businesses to gather information? Why are they waiting for businesses to submit information?

      Temporary in that it cannot stretch out for too long. So unemployment benefits should only be 3-6 months as past that would be fiscally unsustainable and perhaps lead to a social welfare state.

      Oh BTW we are not a Nation. We are a British Overseas territory.

      Like 1
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    • Secret Bear says:

      If it’s “too soon” to dole out money when people are broke, unemployed and starving, when is it NOT too soon? When they’re dead?? Smdh

      Like 1
      Dislike 1

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