BVI News

PENN: Credit former NDP gov’t too, we gave VIP a strong economic footing

Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Marlon Penn.

Opposition Leader and National Democratic Party (NDP) member Marlon Penn has sought to defend his party’s last two years in office.

Penn said the NDP did well to rebuild the territory’s economy following the devastating disasters of 2017.

“We the leadership of the day found a way to buttress that level of uncertainty. You have a situation where you have to rebuild an economy, a territory virtually from scratch. It is virtually impossible to rebuild the BVI in two years even though we had all the manpower in the world,” Penn said during the recently-concluded budget debate in the House of Assembly.

“So, the focus was on and had to have been to rebuild your economy. If you have a strong economy, your economy will rebuild your infrastructure, and that is what successive governments have done over the years,” he added.

VIP got a lot of financial cushion

Penn said the new Virgin Islands Party government received a lot of money to transition into the current budget cycle.

He explained: “As of March 1, 2019, we have over $126,872,688 in the government’s accounts. [This is] after going through two of the most devastating natural disasters in the history of the Caribbean. So, that’s a good transition for any government to have that level of cushion to move this country forward.”

In a breakdown of the aforementioned funds, Penn said some $35 million was left in the development account, $3 million in the contingency account, $850 million in the emergency fund, $1.1 million in the pension fund, $68.9 million in the reserves, $1,788,753 in the environmental levy fund, $1,870,546 in the seized assets, and $13,738,100 in an account at the National Bank of the Virgin Islands.

He said the NDP government must be commended for their stewardship of the financial services and in tourism. As of last year, the territory’s economy showed its resilience and the NDP should be credited for bringing the territory to a point where it saw a notable economic boom, the Opposition Leader argued.

“If the government does bad, you blame them but when they do good you have to give them credit too,” Penn reasoned.

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  1. Andr€w says:

    I would have defended the new premier Andr€w , but he wasting to much money already ,

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    • To Andrew says:

      Where is it wasted? Pure foolishness.

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    • To: To Andrew says:

      Give us a break. If Marlon had so much money then why he and his NDP didn’t help the many homeless persons in the BVI since Irma to get homes and help the rest of us to rebuild and put on our house roof. SMDH!

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      • ?? says:

        Because it is not a checkbook where you could write, write. And not all funds are available to allocate to every need. That is why!!

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        • @?? says:

          The NDP had the checkbook open to the millions for the many election paved roads though.

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          • Really??? says:

            So I guess it’s the NDP who paving the Long Trench road from E P house beyond the community center and heading to Fahie Hill. It was an election gimmick for NDP because they were not installing drainage but now the VIP doing the same and it’s progress!!! #BIAS

  2. Blah says:

    We needed a library, you gave us a wall, we needed the high school rebuilt you gave us $5 million worth of roads before elections. We needed better access to the islands you gave them $7.2 million. You promised us consumer protection you gave the sharks protection. You took away from us and gave to the Pier Park. Every party says that the people are the boss but when elected it’s like the employees go on strike.

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  3. lol says:

    to fix NDP mess….. marlon dnt know wa he saying….. them give them a strong debt that they have to sort out while trying to make the BVI better

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    • Truth Sayer says:

      @lol: Marlon is right. The NDP Government did leave a financial cushion. If the former Premier had spent all the monies, we would have said that he wasted it. The current Premier in the Budget address said that there was a surplus and the figure he gave was quite high.

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  4. Yes says:

    I agree with Marlon!!

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    • @Yes says:

      To agree with Marlon is to agree with nonsense. If his NDP left so much money then:
      1) Why is the ESHS not fixed?

      2) Why is the sewage not fixed?
      3) Why are the ports not fixed?
      4) Why he didn’t get his NDP to put back the $8mill they took from we the people of EE/LL that was suppose to fix the sewage issue?

      I will stop there but all I can say is that Marlon needs to “go sit down!”

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      • What Time Is It? says:

        Who can forget the 5 or 10 year cost us withe the RDA hanging around our necks withe the RDA Ross salary of $300,000 plus annual salary + Bonus. Moneys that we all have to repay.
        Meanwhile this same Ultimate experience Boss giving out Contracts for close to a Million; contracts that should be more like 2 to 3 hundred thousands.
        I am specifically referring to the VG police station contradicted for close to $800,000; a building built by the late Jonie Penn, (the Devil) of East End, with a few other locals. The current contractor is a Barbadian contractor, with someone sitting in an office in Town making it happen.
        A foreman/Carpenter with a prominent contractor on VG, in a conversation with me talked of his unbelief that the Police station could cost that much for reef repairs.

  5. lol says:

    to fix NDP mess….. marlon dnt know wa he saying….. NDP give them a strong debt that they have to sort out while trying to make the BVI better

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  6. Ross says:

    The only reason why there is still money after the hurricanes and the election is because the current FS would not allow M&M to spend what was left as though it was their own pocket money

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    • WROWN TEAM VIP says:

      This is why we have voted the wrong team in. You guys love to much gossip and nonsense. Always with some nonsense that’s way Fahie fooled off the general public toooo gullible!!

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      • Poor thing says:

        Still bitter. Move on. It’s sad that some of you supporters are so biased you can’t think for yourselves. It is obvious only the former Government and some of their supporters were benefitting after Irma. Which district got any true attention after Irma? Ask the people of the 8th how much of the “cushion” they benefited from. It’s sad that Marlon is still being led but when the puppet strings burst he will fall and wake up with a better perspective we hope.

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  7. Real talk says:

    What dept in just three 4 months VIP government $9,000 dollars a month for security, $115,000 for a new SUV, $98,000 for claude, $175,000 for skelton the premiet said we do not have a money problem it is managing the money.

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    • To real talk says:

      Come better than that. Unlike the NDP the Premier makes public his expenditures and it doesn’t go in his pocket like the previous administration was doing. The truth is you do not want to admit that Marlon is not telling the truth. Also the NDP did not look after the people or the Elmore Stoutt High School would have been fixed.

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      • Sharing vs Right says:

        Sharing = right now? Asking because you VIP supports critical thinking skills really at a Grade 3 level. Madness

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  8. Goodsense says:

    the figure of $850million is an error? shouldn’t it be $850,000 instead

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  9. WOW says:

    Marlon have the heart to say this? So if this is true then this means the NDP willfully let the people of the BVI suffer while they got fat.

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  10. Really? says:

    This man letting the NDP mismanagement experts fool him off to come talk this piddle. If they had so much money and did not fix the high schools on Tortola and Virgin Gorda then I call this criminal.

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  11. ndp/vip heckler says:

    Who must we believe marlon or andrew ??? One say we broke and the other say we loaded

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    • na says:

      They both said we are loaded.

      Andrew did not say there was no money. He said that there was mismanagement of the money…according to him.

      However, he appears to be managing it very well, don’t you think so?
      I mean spending it on a tricked out value deteriorating vehicle is good money management … a alternative facts book someplace….
      hiring CSC again to run another consultancy when it didnt work the first time …is again good money management skills…according to the sheeple VIP supporters…..

      So it is a wonder we are all confused.

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      • @na says:

        I read every article,Andrew Fahie did say the country is broke ????… just to clear that particular part. Then in a another article he changed his tongue and said the country is not broke just miss-management of money. “For poorly miss use of it NDP left back a large amount for current party to use and It’s already being spent in the space of two months . All I see is people who are welling to turn a blind eye because they are in love with their party ?? whether it’s VIP or NDP…I have no interest in parties only what they do for their country especially when I am government worker/taxpayer who is collecting/charging tax on their behalf to put money into treasury.

  12. dude says:

    You mean you held the people’s $$ in hopes of re-election while the people suffered and didn’t get value for our taxes

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  13. NOT GOOD says:

    If this is true then shame on the NDP. But we know it isn’t true so let’s move on.

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  14. BuzzBvi says:

    Did everybody forget the money was being lined up for the airport construction Friends and Cronies Hand Out Windfall.
    Just like we are now on the Jobs for Friends, Cronies, Overseas Lawyers and Criminals hand out scheme currently being delivered by VIP.
    It is just never clear how you sign up to become beneficiaries of these schemes. What we do know it the NDP Friends and Cronies beneficiaries are on hold until they back in Government.
    And on it goes.
    SO disappointing Andrew

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  15. BuzzBvi says:

    Did everybody forget the money was being lined up for the airport construction Friends and Cronies Hand Out Windfall.
    Just like we are now on the Jobs for Friends, Cronies, Overseas Lawyers and Criminals hand out scheme currently being delivered by VIP.
    It is just never clear how you sign up to become beneficiaries of these schemes. What we do know it the NDP Friends and Cronies beneficiaries are on hold until they back in Government.
    And on it goes.
    SO disappointing Andrew.

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  16. Are we really that stupid says:

    They had so much money and still tried to borrow money from every institution that had money that they could have borrowed,they were trying to get the 65 million from Caribbean development bank good thing they did not get that , they had a $32 million insurance policy with Nagico insurance for the administration building but was so itching for money and nagico give them $11 million only but they had money let marlon answer the question about the people’s missing tax money along with mark and the others this is just to show you if you don’t use your head around here they would drive you to h**l and leave you right there

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  17. Haha says:

    The former Premier used to brag about the money saved in the reserve funds but when we needed the money the most he sat on it while people suffered. Dr Smith was the one that said the territory was broke while Ralph and others said that wasn’t the case. We thought the country was broke because of the bounce checks and failure to pay increments by the NDP. Failing to pay musicians on time every festival. Failure to pay the multiple lawsuits and bills. The territory wasn’t broke it was our government that was broken. NDP just refused to pay people that they owed despite having the money available. They chose to overspend on Pier Park and Georgie hill road. BVIAirways owed us money and Dr Smith waived the debts and still gave them $7.2 million for nothing. It was always a priority issue but it was easy to be fooled into thinking we were broke because of how NDP was treating people that they owed and their constituents.

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  18. Hmm says:

    The main reason that money is there although I think the picture Marlon is painting deceptive picture, is because the UK Government tie their hands. Some of them should not have been voted back into the house of assembly period.

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  19. At It says:

    While you’re at it just explain everything. Why the schools weren’t fixed instead of paying so much rent. The $8m. to an already overrun pier park. The $7.2m for the airline and if you can get it back. I’ll stop there for now. Please don’t try to defend that NDP record.

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  20. aiR says:

    The premier did say that we don’t have a money issue, we have a management issue. So I can therefore agree with Hon. Penn

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