Amid Premier Andrew Fahie’s recent announcement that led residents to believe the territory lost $70 million in investment through the Social Security Board (SSB), Minister responsible Vincent Wheatley has clarified that it was an impermanent loss.
“Bear in mind this [so-called ‘loss’] was an instance in time that may have only lasted a day or a few weeks,” Wheatley told BVI News.
Fahie — who caused serious concern among members of the public — has since received heavy backlash from Opposition Leader Marlon Penn who labelled the Premier’s bombshell announcement as misleading and “downright false”.
Taken out of context?
Wheatley, in the meantime, jumped to the defence of the Premier, stating in an interview with our news centre that Fahie’s statement was taken out of context.
According to Wheatley, Premier Fahie was simply informing the public that way more money is lost in yearly investments, than the $40 million his government took from the SSB to provide a COVID-19 economic stimulus package.
The minister said: “The Premier’s statement must be seen in the context in which it was given. Stock markets go up and down all the time, that is hardly news. He was making the point that taking $40 million from the Social Security should not be seen as the end of it as they have experienced fluctuations greater than that already.”
Wheatley then directed our news station to contact the Chairman of the SSB Ian Smith for precise information on the $70 million interest that Fahie claimed had been lost in investments.
When contacting Smith, he declined to comment on the matter. However, he said the SSB would review the Premier’s comment on the matter and publish an official statement if the board felt that a statement was warranted.
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