BVI News

Paradox! Fahie blames past gov’ts for needing political advisors

Premier Andrew Fahie

A winding, near 40-minute speech from Premier Andrew Fahie did little to put critics at bay after he set out to clear the air last evening about why his government needed to hire political ministerial advisers.

Instead, there were clear signs of growing confusion and frustration from real-time viewers as they voiced concerns on a late-night Facebook livestream where the Premier, from the inception, quickly shifted blame to the feet of political parties that came before him.

Fahie previously explained that the new advisers were needed to bring more efficiency to the role of government ministers. But the payments attached for the advisers’ services did not sit well with many residents; prompting Fahie’s late-night missive.

But even as residents listened to the Premier’s justification for these political advisors, several questioned the role of Permanent Secretaries and asked why these public officers could not fill the apparent void instead.

It was their fault

From the onset of his speech, the Premier began pointing out that certain things “happened in the past that cause us to be where we are now”.

And according to the Premier, it was Marlon Penn and other members of the parliamentary Opposition who served in previous administrations, that were in large part responsible for the deficiencies in government. Fahie said this is what led his current government to now hire advisors to help resolve these issues.

“All these areas of concern were ignored by the Opposition members who, in most parts, were members of the past government for many years. Now they are telling the public officers that they love them and they care for them. This is indeed a paradox,” the Premier said in a consistent refrain.

And while referring to Opposition criticism he’s received for deciding to hire political advisers, Premier Fahie said his speech was not meant to be “tit-for-tat”.

Remuneration not so high as opposition said

Turning to the advisers’ compensation, Fahie said if government ministers and junior ministers engage the maximum allowed number of advisers (nine), the combined total amount to be paid will be between $600,768 and no more than $866,448. He argued that this is in stark contrast to the more than $1 million price tag that Opposition members claimed would be paid out to advisers.

According to Premier Fahie, there was nothing else to add to this figure because the advisers are not entitled to vacation leave, sick leave, overtime, gratuity, phone allowance, travelling allowance, vehicle allowance, meal allowance or any other benefits.

The Premier further assured residents that there was nothing arbitrary about what his advisers will be paid to do and reminded persons that he had put checks and balances in place to monitor their output.

He also mentioned that the new posts were bolstered by recommendations from the Deputy Governor’s Office. He said the posts are further reinforced by correspondence from the Governor about the job title and terms and conditions for their role.

The Premier added that there would be no duplication of efforts in the roles of advisers and public officers.

It remains unclear whether any of the newly approved advisers have been hired thus far or whether any assisted in writing the Premier’s speech.

READ: Premier Andrew Fahie’s Full Statement

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44 Comments

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  1. Shovel says:

    Hon Premier, here is some free (political) advice. When you are in a hole you have to stop digging or else you will bury yourself.

    Like 84
    Dislike 2
    • Posh says:

      Soon, they will all want maids, drivers and someone to wipe their @$$….oh, and let’s toss in a few prostitutes to comfort them at night.

      Like 56
    • Yup says:

      The man wants to ride around Tortola in a bulletproof limo with a motorcycle escort and secret service. He doesn’t realize he’s the Premier of a Third World toilet bowl with an uneducated, unskilled and worthless population that feeds off the backs of hard working down islanders and expats. Sir Gary come back soon and wipe out this blight to the beautiful land. These people are like a cancer that needs to be cut out.

      Like 35
      Dislike 26
      • Bipartisan says:

        Everywhere has its challenges, BVI included. But, it’s clear that you’re neither a BVIslander nor have a sense of belonging, so you’re more than free to return to your homeland.

        Like 22
        Dislike 12
        • See you soon. says:

          Many people who have lived in the BVI for years and have status feel the same way as this commentator so so dont worry Mr ‘Go Home,’ this is our home too and soon, you will be cleaning streets instead of working in government.

      • @Yup says:

        If you think so little of the place GO HOME. Its that simple. You people come here to make a living and spend your time p**sing on the place and the people. Ingrate.

        Like 5
        Dislike 4
      • Leave says:

        Why do ‘hard working down islands and expats’ stay here and complain, when they can simply just LEAVE.
        You people are not obligated to stay here, so go somewhere else and complain.

        Like 2
        Dislike 3
      • Jane says:

        @Yup
        I want to take issue with some of your comment. The bit where you say “with an uneducated,unskilled and worthless population that feeds off the backs of hardworking down islanders and expats”. Can we not encourage the “us” and “them” rhetoric which has been adeptly rolled out by successive politicians on both sides? We are all people trying to make our way in this World. When we generalise people it only plays into the politician’s hands. They want us to blame the “other” to deflect from what the politicians are/aren’t doing. Let’s focus on the people in the Escalade not the people taking the dollar taxi.

    • gg says:

      Isn’t it illegal to not give sick pay?

    • local business says:

      Hold on.. these are “political” advisers, i.e. to help with re-election and PR. But he is claiming that they are “technical” advisers who might know something. In the UK these “SPADs” – Special Political ADvisers have been a byword for corruption and cronyism.

  2. Rubber duck says:

    We with you oh dear leader this too shall pass

    Like 5
    Dislike 67
  3. MJ says:

    What about rent, secretarial assistance , equipment and office supplies.

    A total waste of taxpayer money.

    Like 59
  4. Joseph says:

    If Ministers of Government need SO MANY “advisers” then it means that the Ministers and Permanent Secretaries are quite incapable of governing the affairs of the BVI.

    Like 104
    • @joseph says:

      It means the ministers are held accountable and there is too much paperwork and procedures associated with using them

      Like 2
      Dislike 17
  5. Akon says:

    All who need advisors needs to go home asp

    Like 50
  6. PT9 says:

    Andrew Fahie, You believe because it is bolstered by recommendations from the Deputy Governor’s Office and further reinforced by correspondence from the Governor you think that makes it right. You are always looking for someone to blame, when you became Premier you started spending money like you had a lot and not doing the right things with it, schools are in bad shape, the roads are not fit to be driven on, the garbage in Packwood Pond is a mess. I am not an NDP fan, but I have to say you are worse than them in every way. You came into office fighting with the Governor and the UK that’s mostly what you did for your first year. You were against the extension of the runway but last year you started talking about it, on top of that you talked about setting up a race track, I am not saying that a race track won’t be good for the Island but your timing is off, you also talked about building a Performing Arts building what about the library? You are an embarrassment to the BVI, I hope when this COI is finished you will be gone and not be able to run again. Whoever agrees with you on this move is just as bad as you, Spend the money where it’s needed.

    Like 88
  7. Unconventional leadership says:

    Mr Premier did you not put check and balances on CSC. How far did that get you. I really however want to address Hon Madura Caine. I have always view you as Hon but so much because that you are a MP. But moreso because I believe that you are principled and Hon lady. For what ever reason you cross the floor for which they might be many. But Hon lady even though you are trying to remain above the fray the end of the day you are still running with the pack. Time to separate yourself if you want to remain Hon in the eyes of the people. There is one principled person in the party it is you. Do not entangled yourself with the unethical nonsense. You are above that. Time to run as an independent candidate. Maintain your integrity.

    Like 40
    Dislike 1
    • Truth says:

      I said the same thing. She jump from the pot to the fire. She crossed the floor for nothing. I wonder how she feels now?!

  8. Resident says:

    Waste of money just like what happened with the barge and if it weren’t for Cindy the “greedy bill ” would have been passed also. All them house of assembly members and their families would be enjoying superior health coverage including for cosmetic surgery while the rest of us have to battle with NHI to get a little basic benefit.
    This man is out of control.
    I have never seen another finance minister like spend like he.

    Like 41
  9. Citizen says:

    Mr. Fahie, please stop trying to justify wrongdoing. Stop playing us for fools. What foolishness you are saying that past caused you to seek advisers! Public officers are more than enough to do the work in the various Ministries if the Ministers would let them work The problem that exists is that the Ministers do not want to follow set procedures and guidelines and so public officers are not allowed to do their work.
    Why would Junior Ministers need advisers when they hold no Ministries and are part of a Ministry? Clearly this is a way of getting some cronies employment while the country suffers. We need our schools fix; we need equipment and staff for our hospital especially now with the covid surge; we need to treat our teachers well; and the list can go on and on. While the Governor has no hand in the decision making of Cabinet, so he cannot be blamed for this fiasco, I wish that he would not turn a blind eye to this wrongdoing!

    Like 36
  10. nonsense says:

    You need political advisers because you and your bunch of misfits are entirely unqualified to run even a candy store let alone government. I have never seen such incompetence in my life.

    Like 56
    Dislike 1
    • What Do You Expect says:

      when our Premier could not even run a simple Mom & Pop grocery store? Empty shelves; customer hungry; no restock…….sound familiar to what is currently going on in Government?

      Like 22
  11. Thank God says:

    It is only wind blow that you does see fowl bottom. If God never made you premier we would have never seen the type of person that you truly are. We heard lots of people talk about you but we are seeing it in living colour. You are a national embarrassment. We could do much better than this.

    Like 45
  12. VIP tactics says:

    The VIP has been in office longer than any other political party in this country so what is this man really talking about? He really taking us for idiots. Regardless of what you say about the NDP, their record of governance is numerous times better than that of the VIP. I cannot recall us having a leader as awful as this one. Andrew is the worse.

    Like 50
    Dislike 1
  13. UK Own says:

    People of the Bvi Anguilla and Dominica getting direct flights ✈️ from Miami for the up coming Season and our Premier trying to get money 💰 for who his Cronies.The Bvi needs Tourist and needs money for the Poor and the Premier getting money for his Cronies he will Hand pick. Vip must go Forevermore..

    Like 29
    • Really says:

      In 1986 we already had direct flights from Miami, planes with about 90 passengers. Why is that not started up again now?

  14. NDP says:

    Still the best hope for the BVI! Debate me if you want!!

    Like 5
    Dislike 36
  15. Voter says:

    Although I voted NDP in the last election I was in full support of Andrew. I would have voted for him if I was living in the First. However so far I am not impressed. He keeps showing immaturity in politics and governing. A true politician puts the populace FIRST. All decisions must benefit residents. Education should be the highest priority. Not so with this administration. It’s a pity because from where I sit I am seeing a one term government. As regards to this latest issue the BVI is too small to warrant advisers. Its ok for Britain they can afford it and they are much bigger with way more issues to attend to. If you cant go on radio and explain sonething you are responsible for then dont go into politics. What you need a speech writer for? I will willingly proofread your speeches (for free). Put the money to fix education healthcare roads and the many other issues affecting the people that really matter. It’s not too late to bring back the many voters who are leaving the VIP daily.

    Like 32
  16. Conch shell says:

    The term “advisor” usually refers to a person having much superior knowledge and experience in a given area. Someone who can give worthwhile, dependable advice. There are some in the BVI who are capable of fulfilling this role – but if the person has these qualifications, that person is probably already heavily involved in his/her own profession or business and is likely going to be unwilling to take on a second full time job. (The proposed pay scale would indicate that the advisor is meant to be a full time job.). Or in this instance is an “advisor” simply someone with whom one can bounce ideas around? A “buddy”?

    Like 15
  17. SAY IT AGAIN says:

    Mr. Fahie…. The high school is unfinished and needs furnishing FOUR YEARS AFTER IRMA, the hospital is in dire need of equipment, staffing and PPE, and some of the people of this territory are STARVING because of this pandemic and we are being told SS has no money to assist them. RECHANNEL THESE FUNDS TO MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES. No more excuses. We as a people (all of us) deserve better…. we deserve a fully operational, fully furnished, fully staffed (with sufficient pay) high school (and primary schools for that matter – they may be open but they are struggling), we deserve a fully operational, fully staffed and fully equipped hospital. STOP THE STUPIDNESS – because that is exactly what this is.

    Like 25
  18. BVI Future says:

    During a pandemic and the Mighty Majesty King Fahie is talking about political advisors. Invest those fncking dollars in education, medicine, mental health, libraries, beautifying the islands and infrastructure. A country that does not invest in education will pay a hefty price in generation to come. That country will become brain dead. We do not need political advisors currently. You should not compare the BVI operational system to that of the UK. How many times do I have to say that the UK is a superpower and prints its’ own currency? You cannot compare a goldfish to a whale. Cut your loss while you are ahead. Voters are tired of your political nonsense. Maybe, one of your secretaries should read these blogs and see how the taxpayers feel. Then those secretaries can report back to you and give you political advice base on these blogs.

    Like 22
  19. X says:

    BW seems to be one of the advisers.

  20. Advice says:

    Andrew Fahie, it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

    Like 13
  21. Banks says:

    You all voted for free food and loud catchy music and now complaining acting shocked at the results. VIP did not list one single plan for the BVI but you still voted for them. What is the complaining about now? They had a coloring book for a manifesto and festival village for political rallies so what did you really expect once they got elected? Their behavior says more about the voters than them.

    Like 14
  22. KLM says:

    @Yup, if you feel that way about the BVI why are you here? Oh, yea you are here because you can’t do better where ever you came from. You can’t make it in your Third World toilet bowl country or Island and the big attraction is we spend the US dollar. People like you should never leave your country because where ever you come from is better than the BVI so why don’t you don’t leave we don’t need to be living amount people like you and your kind.

    Like 6
    Dislike 7
  23. Bipartisan says:

    1. The Premier is always looking for someone else to blame. You and your government were elected to serve, please do so. Fix the deficiencies in the most efficient way (internally instead of outsourcing everything) and quit playing politics. In a time like this, lives are actually at stake.

    2. The Premier is a l**r. A max of nine (9) advisers at a max of $120,000 each = $1,000,000+. So, the Opposition is correct.

    3. The Permanent Secretaries are heads of Ministries and are advisors to whoever the sitting Ministers are. Let them do their jobs. Lean on their advice as they’re oft more knowledgeable than politicians. Cease reducing the PSs to glorified Chief Admin Officers.

    I am amazed that we’ve sent so many people to school yet politicians behave as if there exists no skilled individuals in BVI. The time is really ripe for a public service review.

    OH! And please give teachers their increments, and healthcare professionals raises. THEN reward Cabinet members with a raise. You know, actually work hard then reward yourself. 🙃

    Signed: A concerned youth.

    Like 17
  24. Meh Son says:

    The Premier is such a hy***rite.

  25. Citizen says:

    VIP has been in power for more years than NDP. So is he blaming himself also.

  26. observer says:

    Not sure why we are going back 200 years to a largely discredited medical practice – the application of leeches

  27. sad says:

    This government is garbage. Worst we ever had possibly. Surely the worst in my lifetime.

  28. #### says:

    The Governor need to step in and deserves the Government. Actually this government not doing anything for the country it’s all about them personal gained…because of theirs actions.

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