BVI News

Premier: Gov’t was not excessively lax, generous with stimulus grants

Premier Andrew Fahie

While accepting that his government’s stimulus grant programme “possibly” could have been better executed technically, Premier Andrew Fahie said his government provided the grant “in good faith to meet real needs”.

In an official statement released today, the Premier defended his office’s handling of the programme stating that “it was not excessively lax or too generous in the provision of public funds” under the “terrible circumstances” of COVID-19.

“People faced real suffering because of the COVID emergency, and it was our duty to help. I would have done more, not less, if I could,” the Premier asserted.

“Yes, we had to relax the conditions we would normally impose on spending public funds. But the UK government implemented similar schemes in its own country – putting speedy help to as many people as possible first, ahead of exact assessment in each case of how much any individual claimant should receive. So they too had to relax the conditions,” he added.

His statement follows the Auditor General’s report that the Premier’s Office violated procedure and inflated its payments to recipients — a large number of whom were unlicensed and unregistered.

But according to the Premier, there have been many misinformed allegations.

We did not give fishers on the same boat the same equipment

Specifically addressing the Auditor General’s finding that some fishermen on the same boat received grants for the same equipment, the Premier said: “In many cases cited by the Auditor, the masters or owners and the crew members each own their own boat and applied for help with different engines on their different vessels. Yet, unfortunately, that does not appear to have been checked by the Auditor General.”

“The emergency aid package to farmers and fishermen was specifically intended to deliver an immediate shot in the arm to keep economic activity going in these vulnerable sectors, to increase the numbers who were registered with the Government, and to provide encouragement to farmers and fishermen who had ceased to be active due to the 2017 hurricanes and increase local production. The policy succeeded in those goals. We can all see how local produce has become more common. This shows that our efforts to improve local food security are working, so that we are less dependent on external supply chains,” Fahie stated.

The Premier went on to defend grants awarded to other groups such as churches.

“Could the schemes have been technically better executed? Possibly. We need a modernised and well-trained public service with much better technical skills. But in the crisis that engulfed us in March last year, the public service did its best. Its only motivation was to get help to as many people in these sectors as fast as it could,” Fahie stated.

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36 Comments

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  1. ?? says:

    This man good in his head? You give people that never fish or farm a day in their lives, over $13K and businesses who had to layoff staff and even close down, some got ZERO while others got less than half of the $13K? Something is really wrong with your brains if you do not see anything wrong with how the stimulus was handled.

    Like 64
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    • ?? says:

      Pure gossip and even if so they have to account for the money so he did what needed to be done.

      Like 4
      Dislike 23
      • Interesting says:

        We want you all to remember that you can fool the COI but you cannot fool the general public. Do not forget that we are a close knit population so everybody know everybody. anyway It did not look like COI believe you all either. keep it up.

        Like 5
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  2. LOL says:

    Albert squealing early before going in front of the COI. He is full of tricks but we up to you now. Explain how people who never throw a fishing line in the sea or never plant a tomato end up getting 15k and 20k but business that employ most of the people get 6k. Fahie always believed his brain was big but it is actually full of water.

    Like 53
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    • To LOL says:

      Albert your white a$#. Our Premier doesn’t have nothing to fear. We the people are with him.

      Like 6
      Dislike 40
    • Friday says:

      He speaks now to gain support before Mr Rawat grills him on Friday. This was clear theft of government funds given to friends, family and cronies of Foy and the ruling Ministers. Covid was used an excuse to just open the government coffers to a very few who were not in need. Lock them up, lock them up, lock them up!!!

      Like 26
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  3. 1st district original says:

    Should leave government office due to enormous overspending!

    Like 30
    Dislike 6
    • To 1st District original says:

      Stop using my posting name you imposter. I am the real 1st District and the majority of us are with the Premier and his government so get away you imposter and evil slave master.

      Like 3
      Dislike 25
  4. Smithy says:

    “Yes, we had to relax the conditions we would normally impose on spending public funds. But The UK government implemented similar schemes in its own country – putting speedy help to as many people as possible first, ahead of exact assessment in each case of how much any individual claimant should receive. So they too had to relax the conditions,” he added.

    Here we go comparing to the UK! Nobody has an issue with the amount spent or how fast it was spent, the issue is HOW IT WAS SPENT!!!!!!! How in God’s name can someone request a $600 in assistance and you give them $13,000 plus? That is corruption, it is wrong! The businesses and people that really needed financial assistance the most did not get it and you are a nasty person if you think that you did a good job.

    Like 41
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  5. resident says:

    excuses excuses, why do some eat and not others

    Like 27
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  6. WHAT??? says:

    Dis man needs to stop l**ng.

    Like 30
    Dislike 7
  7. Youth says:

    Sometimes people forget that this is a world wide pandemic and this Government did what every government in the world did including the uk.

    Like 5
    Dislike 48
  8. MJ says:

    So how many people without a vote received help?

    Like 26
    Dislike 3
    • @ MJ says:

      Maybe you should ask how many people out of the First District received help. All this while the businesses at the Pier Park, the Capital and Virgin Gorda who employed a huge number of the population and was collecting zero in business funds got nothing or $6,000.

      The questions that should be asked are weren’t the fishermen still fishing? Weren’t they still selling their wares? The farmers, who do they employ? Are they paying rent? Are they, both Fisher and Farmer folks, even paying taxes on their sales made that a stimulus package should have been heavily concentrated in these areas to the tune of $13,500 and up? You can fool some of the people some of the time, but it is plain for all to see that you are preparing for next election and we all understand what is going on.

      Like 17
    • No vote says:

      I don’t have a vote and I received no help, even though my taxes and contributions are up to date.

      I guess my BVIslander child did not need to benefit from my hard-earned taxpayers $

  9. Clusterf$#k says:

    No one has a problem with the good faith and the meeting real needs. It’s just…. as per usual…. you f’d it up. Poor BVI, another four years wasted with nonsense.

    Like 32
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  10. LIKE THIS says:

    I like this release by the Premier. It brings balance to the one sided COI story. I would rather no other leader leading the BVI through this pandemic than Fahie and his team.

    Like 2
    Dislike 33
    • reeling rather than leading says:

      this credulous, naive and amazingly complacent administration have not even got a grip on Irma, never mind the successive events – druglord takeover and Covid. Transfixed like rabbits in the headlights they are reduced to pathetic justifications and complaints about criticism. Leadership is conspicuously absent.

      Like 20
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  11. East End Man says:

    Premier and your people helped more with less than Marlon and the NDP helped after Irma. You all must be commended.

    Like 3
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  12. Enough of this says:

    When is the one sided COI going to tackle the former commissioner of police and the corruption in the force under his watch?

    Like 3
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  13. F** Albert says:

    The more you speak the more l**s you tell..you only trying to clear the air because u have to face the COI again…you l**s to d**n much Andrew…God will continue to expose you …your too d**n l**…

    Like 3
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  14. Belonger says:

    Stop doubling down when you make a mistake. Man up and admit your mistake and try to do better moving forward.
    You are behaving like Trump now.

    Like 18
  15. watchman says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Boy that was a good one.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  16. Mick Mars says:

    The amount of rum bubblers and bartending strippers who get stimulus, without owning a potted plant much less a rope to tie a boat….and ayo feel it was “possible” to do better?

    People need to possibly vote ayo useless, self serving backsides out of office. Had yall had any sort of integrity, you would have realized a good chunk of the monies given away went to people that weren’t registered on any farming or fishing registry, while those that were got next to nothing or nothing at all.

    Enjoy this one run as premier. You ain’t fit to do spit.

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  17. Hmmm says:

    This man still tooting his horn? He just need to be quiet.he is a real pea brain

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  18. I am now clear says:

    I am now clear that this newsite is unethical. It only post the negative blogs against the government and to always try to make the COI look good. BVINEWS I have now proven that you all are unethical.

    Like 1
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    • BuzzBvi says:

      Thank you oh clear one. We and all the other commenters are clearly wrong. Thankyou thankyou for correcting what could have been a terrible injustice. I really hope you do not get any thumbs down.

      Oh dear too late I see one already.

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
    • Gogo says:

      You may wish to read the comments above to see both sides are represented. Of course it’s also true that one blogger is obviously responsible for several pro Fahie posts cause they read the same but at least they are posted. Unlike V**o.

  19. tro away the keys says:

    lock them up by Friday afternoon

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  20. Sad says:

    Y’all help who y’all wanted to help…..

  21. hes got a point says:

    yes there is more activity in the areas of fishing and farming. We see the produce more commonly than see the fishermen who are out at sea.

    People need to stop being idiotic though we all went through high school. When they set aside $3million for the farmers and fishers if only 200 apply then thats $15,000 per applicant.

    Same when they set aside 6 million for the business and only 1100 apply thats 5,454 for each business close to the 6k people talk about.

    In the US man & woman got two payments of $1200 = 2400.

    There is nothing out of the ordinary every country that could afford to did it. Its simply that some people take everything others say instead of doing the maths themselves.

  22. reporter says:

    Ever since I was a child I heard the saying that honesty is the best policy. The BVI is a very small place and everybody knows each other and what is going on and the distribution of the stimulus money is no exception because many persons who got the Cheques (without making an application) shared that information with family and friends alike. So, we all know how this story went. Far from the truth compared to what is said now. Trying to reinvent the wheel now after the fact and trying to create a different picture about the stimulus money will definitely NOT help at this time. It is sad to know that many of the real farmers and fishermen were not considered and did not get a penny; but others who did not qualify, received. I speak for my husband in this instance because he is a fisherman and he was not included.

  23. love not hate says:

    Give it a break. You all are trying too hard to paint the Premier as bad. If you did not try so hard we might believe you. The people are aware of how bad things are in other places. The BVI is still where every nationality is running to for survival. We welcome you all even though you hate us. Guess what love will win in the end. The magority of the people love the Premier we are all human no one is perfect.I know you won’t print this comment because it is not against the Premier and his Government.

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