BVI News

UK awaiting OTs plan to reduce economic impact of virus before offering help

Governor Augustus Jaspert said the United Kingdom will be assisting its Overseas Territories (OTs) based on their plans to reduce the economic impact brought on by the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

The Governor said the United Kingdom is currently holding talks with the heads of the various OTs and made a formal request this month “for detailed information” on the OTs strategies going forward.

 “As fiscal management and social security are responsibilities of the BVI government, the UK Government needs to consider the request made on Friday in the context of our own BVI Government plans,” he said via a statement on Monday.

Cabinet working on plan

The Governor said Cabinet is currently undertaking ‘urgent assessment’ of public finances and collating new measures “including what assistance will be available to individuals and business.” 

“We need to recognise that we are starting from a strong position in the British Virgin Islands. We have healthy reserves, and the Social Security Board Fund is very robust. Citizens are cooperating well with the current ‘lockdown’ – one of the measures our government has taken in an effort to slow the spread of the virus in the territory,” he said.

UK stands with BVI

In the meantime, Governor Jaspert sought to make it clear that the UK “stands” with the people of the territory and has already played its part in providing assistance to the territory in its fight against COVID-19.

“Since the outbreak of the virus, experts from the UK’s public health organisation have provided remote support to BVI via regular teleconferences to discuss disease management techniques and medical equipment. Later this week, I expect the first batch of testing kits (480 tests) to arrive in the territory — more than doubling our current testing capacity. This will be the first of many packages of equipment from the UK,” he said.

Governor Jaspert then placed on record his intent to “lobby for more on behalf of the people of the British Virgin Islands,” from the motherland.

Just last Fridaay, Premier Andrew Fahie said he would be seeking financial assistance from the UK to assist residents across the territory who have become jobless overnight due to the COVID-19. 

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

17 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Here’s the plan says:

    Here’s the plan. The U.K. sends money and the politicians and their cronies stuff it in their pockets. The U.K. is on to your crooked ways. No more just sending and doing what you want. There will be extreme oversight if they even send anything

    Like 23
    Dislike 2
    • To Here's the plan says:

      You sound so stupid. Some of you have the UK as the most honest when history has shown the opposite. All the Governor is saying is to hell with the B.V.I.

      Like 4
      Dislike 7
  2. It is what it is says:

    What’s up with the curfew deadline?

  3. vip heckler says:

    The UK don’t trust the VIP and that’s the bottom line

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  4. Clearly says:

    Clearly the Governor is all anout smart man talk and no substance. All he has to say is that the U.K. will not help us once again.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  5. Quiet Warrior says:

    The UK has a different relationship with its 14 Overseas Territories (OT) than for example France has with its Francophone countries in the Caribbean. Frances’ Francophone countries are overseas departments of France. The different relationship is clearly at play here.

    The VI and other OTs needed help whether it is a)financial support for displaced workers, and b) surging the capacity and capability of the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital, ie, beds, doctors, nurses, lab techs, ventilators and other critical equipment, ie, personal protective equipment (PPE)…..etc , yesterday. Got the political angle but this is no time for politics. Delay in providing critical support can unnecessarily cost lives. It would be mind boggling if the UK does not already have a plan for dealing with emergencies in the OTs, unless the UK does not give a rat’s a..s about Caribbean OTs, which IMO it probably views as parasites.

    It is an open secret that UK taxpayers despised helping OTs, especially Caribbean OTs, whose residents don’t contribute taxes to the UK Treasury. US taxpayers have the same attitude towards US Territories, ie, Puerto Rico, USVI, Guam, American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands.

    Moreover, some UK, US……..etc residents may say that they were not alive during Slavery so they have no obligation to make the descendants of Slaves whole. Well, Slavery was a significant part of the economy in the US and UK, as well as other countries. Slave labour built and maintain the economy in these countries, enriching them and building personal wealth. Slave labour was the engine and oxygen in the blood that drove the economy.

    Slave labour was so important that in fact a war was fought over Slave Labour (American Civil War). Nonetheless, the only people that didn’t benefit from the scourge of Slavery was Slaves and their descendants. According to a study by the University College of London (UCL), the British government appropriated £20,000,000 to compensate Slave owning families after Emancipation. Some 3,000 families (some current elite families got paid) got paid. The notion that the UK already paid reparation is a non starting excuse and an attempt to rationalize dehumanizing and exploiting behaviour. That dog is not going to hunt.

    Time is of essence. The VI needs a decision on help now, for if the answer is no, it must look at other options. What is the hold up on the 30 Cuban medical professionals? They are needed to surge the staffing at the hospital.

    Like 9
    Dislike 3
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Total crap. There was never slavery in the UK itself. What made the UK rich was the ingenuity of its people and the industrial revolution. Alas not the case today.

      And always remember that while the UK did not invent slavery they effectively ended it.

      Like 1
      Dislike 5
      • Quiet Warrior says:

        So who received the £20,000,000 that was appropriated by the UK government after Emancipation to compensate Slave owners for their supposed lost of property (chattel)? It surely didn’t go to neither the Slaves nor their descendants.

        Any honest player will acknowledge that it was forced, cheap and exploited labour in the colonies that produce the products used in UK factories, building their economy and building wealth. Cheap colonial labour was the engine that drove the UK economic success. And now that Britannia no longer rules the waves and the sun does set over the empire, its economy has hit hard times.

        By the way, the UK didn’t end slavery voluntarily; it was the agitation by abolitionists and other forces that reluctantly forced the UK to abolish slavery.

      • Watcher says:

        What help made the UK rich was places like Jamaica and Africa where the land was pillaged of natural and agricultural resources.

  6. Citizen says:

    So we went begging hat in hand with no plan. That is not good leadership.

  7. Questions says:

    So Hon Premier is playing games with us? The Governor is saying the UK told the OTs to submit plans but just days ago the Premier told us he asked the UK to assist financially with unemployed persons in the Territory but he made no mention of having to submit a plan to the UK, why? Am I confused or something just isn’t adding up?

    If what he Governor is saying is factual, isn’t that a vindication of past Premier Dr Smith and his Government which made sure that the reserves were built to a healthy level?

  8. Typical English says:

    They are not striving for fiscal responsibility, they want to give the bare minimum just in case the Territory benefits from a little excess. This was the same thing with IRMA and in the not so distance past with the minimal contribution to healthcare and prison right across the caribbean. Nothing else. their policy has always been stand on your own two feet even if you collapse and die after standing.

    Like 1
    Dislike 3

Leave a Comment

Shares