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UK’s current loan guarantee conditions unconstitutional, need revising

Minister of Finance, Andrew Fahie. (GIS Photo)

Government believes there are a number of ‘loan guarantee’ conditions which exists between the UK and the BVI that are cause for concern and need to be urgently renegotiated.

Premier Andrew Fahie said in a recent public statement that a specified number of conditions within the ‘High-Level Framework for UK Support to BVI Hurricane Recovery’ and the ‘Protocols for Effective Financial Management’ agreements must be renegotiated in the interest of residents as well as the Virgin Islands Constitution.

“Government of the Virgin Islands is concerned that the distinction about what funds should be automatically placed in the Virgin Islands Recovery Trust Fund, and which should not, needs to be clarified,” the Premier stated.

“Section 15(c) of the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act, No 1 of 2018, as currently worded, is being interpreted to mean that all moneis received by government for Recovery and Development, whether or not the projects have been referred to the RDA, shall be deposited to the Virgin Islands Recovery Trust and accessed only by the Trust manager.”

Funds from insurance should solely be in govt’s control

Premier Fahie, who is also the Minister of Finance, said he believes only funds which are obtained through the application of the UK government’s guarantee and other funds received for hurricane relief and recovery should be deposited in the Virgin Islands Recovery Trust.

He said his government also believes funds derived from insurance settlements and loans which were not apart of the UK government’s guarantee should be deposited into the Consolidated Fund.

By doing the latter, the Minister responsible for Finance can then disburse the monies to the Virgin Islands Recovery Trust to fund projects approved in the recovery plan, Fahie reasoned.

The Premier also described Section 15 (c) of the RDA’s Act of 2018 as being unconstitutional and therefore needs to be amended.

“It seems to conflict with the provisions of Section 102 of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order (2007),” he argued.

Protocol for Effective Financial Management

Premier Fahie also called for the need to have certain conditions or ratios of the Protocol for Effective Financial Management agreement which was done in 2012 to be revised or suspended.

According to the Premier, the ratios which consist of variables such as net debt, debt service, liquid assets, recurrent revenue and recurrent expenditure, includes ratio limits that were designed for the economic environment before hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Declining revenue, a weakened economy

Due to the territory now being in a rebuilding stage, the Premier said a number of factors now exists which include declining revenue, a weakened earning capacity, increase in expenditure for rent and repairs of infrastructure and the unavoidable accessing of loans, which have all changed the economic dynamics of the BVI.

He, therefore, said, “the BVI would unavoidably exceed the currently stipulated ratios and be held in breach of the protocol once any significant loans are accessed.”

“On this basis, your government will be asking the UK Government to review its position on these ratios as a condition for accessing the loan guarantee once this option is exercised. It is our view that these ratios should be suspended for the duration of the guarantee or adjusted to more practical levels,” Premier Fahie stated.

“It may also be necessary to explore new options, and therefore we will have to discuss with the UK Government whether they would be amenable to considering any alternative proposals which may be more suitable to the interests of the people of the Virgin Islands.”

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9 Comments

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  1. inquiring mind says:

    I wonder if Claude S Cline will be part of these negotiations ???

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  2. My take says:

    I agree

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  3. SMDH says:

    I don’t want to hear anything from that governor.

    Like 3
    Dislike 9
  4. Mendomon says:

    Be careful. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow, amazing how they seek to control the narrative and impressions of the reader by disabling or enabling a thumb dow or thumb up on a particular comment.

    That is incredible media and mental manupilation. We are on the fringes of communism in this country and some if not most are sleeping right through its advent.

  6. Aj says:

    Remember a few years ago the U.K. government said that they could not send any military ships to provide protection for the over seas territories but as soon as they heard that the Chinese were doing so much for st mitts and Nevis and a few other countries they could have find the monies to send the ships down here because they can’t afford to allow the Chinese money get to us

  7. Andrew f says:

    Dear people of the BVI I could not sleep last nigh I’ve work hard to get my position and now I’m here I have spent the money that was just living around and they won’t let me get my hands on the big one. This is not fair I’ve seen how others got rich in this job now I want my turn. I need another new suv the carpet has sand on this one and I got chicken grease all over the seats and the springs have gone and we need a bigger one anyway to get my too big mates in it with me . Please all get angry with the UK and shout a lot so I get what I want .

  8. Libby says:

    Section 15 (e) of the RDA act 2018 as amended by the right Honorable Andrew F blah blah blah. Any moneys for recovery that we get that RDA don’t know about shall be paid into a special account “wink wink” and used to get stuff that we need or want that makes me warm inside .

  9. hiphop says:

    its been two years, and the BVI has made great progress, what does the government want loan funds to do as they haven’t provided a plan to the people, other than spending and secretly nursing their cronies and giving them huge salaries.

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