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Opposition lays down 'COVID-19 Strategic Economic Recovery Plan'

- with Hon Marlon A. Penn accusing Fahie Gov't of having no clear pandemic recovery plan
Leader of the Virgin Island (VI) Opposition, Hon Malon A. Penn (top right) on behalf of opposition members Hon Julian Fraser RA (bottom left), Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (top left) and Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (bottom right) have released a detailed economic plan for the territory, to boost the economy coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even as opposition claims indicate that the current VIP led administration has no plans, over the weeks the government has detailed strategies for education, agriculture, tourism and other sectors as part of a phased re-opening of the territory. Premier Andrew A. Fahie said that in the Government's plan, phase one is focusing on equipping students and teachers for an online learning environment. Photo: Facebook/File
Even as opposition claims indicate that the current VIP led administration has no plans, over the weeks the government has detailed strategies for education, agriculture, tourism and other sectors as part of a phased re-opening of the territory. Premier Andrew A. Fahie said that in the Government's plan, phase one is focusing on equipping students and teachers for an online learning environment. Photo: Facebook/File
According to Hon Marlon A. Penn, Opposition members have also offered support and suggestions, both privately and publicly, to the current administration in an effort to help navigate the Territory through the COVID-19 crisis, but their ideas have not been implemented. Photo: VINO/File
According to Hon Marlon A. Penn, Opposition members have also offered support and suggestions, both privately and publicly, to the current administration in an effort to help navigate the Territory through the COVID-19 crisis, but their ideas have not been implemented. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Andrew A. Fahie in his statements today said he is not going to put this Territory and its people in a compromising position, 'where we roll out a red carpet and then find ourselves in a position that we cannot get out of, where others would now be policing us.' Photo: GIS/File
Premier Andrew A. Fahie in his statements today said he is not going to put this Territory and its people in a compromising position, 'where we roll out a red carpet and then find ourselves in a position that we cannot get out of, where others would now be policing us.' Photo: GIS/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), on behalf of Opposition Members Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) and Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2), has released to the media a detailed economic recovery plan for the Territory, which it also plans to disseminate to the general public in the coming days.

In a three-part upcoming radio broadcast series entitled, "COVID-19 Strategic Economic Recovery Plan for the Territory," it sets out the Opposition’s proposed initiatives for improving key sectors of the economy, as well as the lives and livelihoods of Virgin Islands citizens and residents.

Gov't plan already in motion - Premier Fahie 

According to a press release today, May 18, 2020, Hon Penn said the entire Opposition was in agreement and supported the proposals, deeming it absolutely necessary in the absence of a detailed economic recovery plan for the Territory by the current Virgin Islands Party-led Government.

However, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) in a statement earlier today, May 18, 2020, reminded that the government's phased economic response plan is already in place and in motion.

Even as the Opposition claims the current administration has no plans, over the past weeks the Government has detailed strategies for education, agriculture, tourism and other sectors as part of a phased re-opening of the economy.

The Premier said that in the Government's plan, phase one is focusing on equipping students and teachers for an online learning environment, which he said has now become the “new regular”.

Three-phase approach 

The Opposition sponsored plan also takes a phased approach, beginning with Part One addressing Small and Medium-sized businesses, workers and families.

"Part Two recognises the importance of Financial Services, as well as the Construction Industry, Agriculture, Fishing and Farming Sectors; and proposes measures in each sector that aims to foster the redevelopment of the economy," it said. 

Part Three will place emphasis on the reopening of the Tourism Industry; including implementation of attendant health protocols, as a key driver to rebooting the economy and re-empowerment locals.

“It is imperative that the Territory has an economic recovery plan that is clearly articulated and achievable, one which signals to the people of this Territory, our businesses, our visitors and our partners; that as a resilient nation, BVI will confront, manage and adapt to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hon Penn underscored.

'Plan absolutely necessary' - Opposition 

Hon Penn also claimed that Opposition members have offered support and suggestions, both privately and publicly, to the current administration in an effort to help navigate the Territory through the COVID-19 crisis, but their ideas have not been implemented.

“After several discussions, the Members of the Opposition and I saw it fit to produce a recovery plan for the Territory, aimed at delivering good outcomes to improve the current declining state of the Virgin Islands economy and ultimately improve the livelihood of all residents in the Virgin Islands.”

The statement continued, ”collectively, we understand that the delay in presenting an economic recovery plan only further deepens person's anxiety due to the uncertainty of the next wage, rent and mortgage payments, along with statutory deductions and other fixed costs as well as the realisation that their families livelihoods are at stake,” Hon Penn added.

Time to take bold measures - Hon Penn 

With the plan now laid out in full, at least to the media, ahead of its broadcast, the Opposition Leader said decisive and bold measures must now be taken to ensure the sustainability of the economy and livelihoods of all Virgin Islanders. 

Premier Fahie, in his statements today, said he is not going to put this Territory and its people in a compromising position “where we roll out a red carpet and then find ourselves in a position that we cannot get out of, where others would now be policing us.”

The Opposition's three-part series is expected to be aired on CBN 90.9 FM and ZBVI 780 AM for the public, however, it remains unclear what is the date and time of the broadcast, as that information was not provided.

Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) will bring more information on the Opposition's plan after detailed analysis.

31 Responses to “Opposition lays down 'COVID-19 Strategic Economic Recovery Plan'”

  • Truth (18/05/2020, 20:35) Like (41) Dislike (38) Reply
    Ndp opposition members need to be quiet only now they no so what happened to after hurricanes in 2017??
    • BVIlander (18/05/2020, 20:58) Like (15) Dislike (26) Reply
      Mark not from the bvi I don’t know why he still in politics
      • Retire, Mark (22/05/2020, 06:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Mark (so-called action man) was the worst Communications and Works minister since we had a government. Eight years of nonsense, now he contributing to Covid19 plan?
    • Hmmm (19/05/2020, 04:16) Like (7) Dislike (27) Reply
      FYI we recovered fast from Hurricane Irma. NDP made sure we were good.
  • Nette (18/05/2020, 20:36) Like (14) Dislike (11) Reply
    With the exception of island people or all locals first
    • @ nette (18/05/2020, 20:54) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
      Lol they pay social security mahn we can’t do them so bad
    • Pale Rider (18/05/2020, 23:04) Like (38) Dislike (6) Reply

      we display such hatred for caribbean people but our heads up the white folks @$$ %^&*

      • guy hill (19/05/2020, 06:24) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
        @Pale Rider..... Who is WE?
      • Crumbs (19/05/2020, 08:51) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
        We hate the Caribbean people's bad habits in our territory. From trash.... to threats.... to wuk-up music.... to violence against our women.

        Don't know what century you living in, but whites have no social privilege here. No more than anyone else. Having said that, I find that many of them work very hard and are environmentally responsible. I saw many of them helping after the storms. To all of those, I take my hat off.
      • Hmmm (19/05/2020, 10:07) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
        Labour is our main problem.. I never see or hear of a white person get laid off or sent home in Ctisis, its always black people
    • @Nette (19/05/2020, 05:52) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
      Most of you are thinking about a "monetary' handout when you think about a "Recovery Plan". Well, you are wrong. Tortola does not have the money as most believe. On the other hand, if it does and money is in fact dished out it is ok if Island People don't get, by the time the locals finished fighting amongst themselves over it the UK will step in. Again only the Locals with a recognized name will get anyway.
  • Helker (18/05/2020, 20:38) Like (25) Dislike (12) Reply
    Social security board money need to be used but what happen to Irma and Maria Marlon and mark forget they didn’t do nothing. Only because is fahie they want to go after
  • Eagle Eye (18/05/2020, 20:38) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
    Shortly yall will realize the night workers need to eat to.
  • District 3 (18/05/2020, 20:38) Like (27) Dislike (2) Reply
    Fraser need to retire and go clean up the sewage water down in sea cows bay
  • Happy (18/05/2020, 20:39) Like (23) Dislike (12) Reply
    So glad Alvera not with them sett of momos
    • Jaigon (18/05/2020, 21:59) Like (17) Dislike (7) Reply
      Happy you are so right. Real moo moos, why will they lay down a plan which will never be implemented. They are not in government. Waste of precious time and energy.
    • indee (19/05/2020, 09:15) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Al Vera wouldn’t have any contribution anyhow. You think that’s Facebook??
  • opposition (18/05/2020, 20:45) Like (10) Dislike (11) Reply
    We just need sharie, shereen and alvera to defect from kim jung foy
  • baker (18/05/2020, 20:59) Like (25) Dislike (2) Reply
    Mark need to stop raising he prices in one mart he need to talk about that !!!! In a cris like this he ripping off people
  • Help Me Please (19/05/2020, 05:04) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
    Is the same group that was involve with massive misuse of your tax money for 8 years: thanks for your presentation Hon Penn however let the folks know about the wall project. The east end sewage project. Not even touching the planes or Road Town pier park. The member from the eighth simply sat back under his watch and endorsed some serious mismanagement of tax money
  • Dancer In The Sunlight (19/05/2020, 08:47) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    These opposition politicians are dancing in the wind where there are no spectator to give them applause. I wonder where will the opposition obtain their monies to finance these recovery plans. Is there a Fairy God Mother to assist them. If so I wish them good luck.
  • Quiet Warrior (19/05/2020, 08:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Covid-19 pandemic is an unplanned and unexpected event that is starting to inflict severe hardships and severe pain on countries and their populations across the globe. The hardship and pain will be harsher on small poor countries, territories ........etc., ie Caribbean, Asian-Pacific countries, African Countries.........etc.

    Populations struggling and wealthy countries slow in helping, the local hard hit populations of these struggling countries are looking to their governments for help. Economies tanking, governments up and down the Caribbean from Bahamas to Guyana to Barbados to Jamaica to Belize are struggling to meet the loud and growing demands.

    Many of these countries lack the resources to address the large and increasing demand adequately but their populations expect them to act. With little resources, governments providing help will not be sustainable. In any event, they must leverage their scarce resources to provide the most resources to the most people for as long as possible. This will be task that will require skilled planning, compassion, fairness, equity, means testing, and nimble execution. Will everyone be happy and satisfied ? No. However, government cannot fiddle while their populations go hungry.

    Moreover, the VI is in the midst of a perfect storm, ie, Covid-19, tanking economy and a hurricane season, so everyone, the territory must UNITE to grapple with this storm. It is not time to play partisan politics to see who can exact political mileage out of this perfect storm. There will be time for politics. Government and Opposition should be at a common table plotting a strategy to get safely out of this perfect storm. A pandemic should cause politicians to put politics aside and unite for the public good. In a war, a country unite to fight and defeat the enemy(s).
  • Funny (19/05/2020, 10:16) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply

    great plan $15 million for loans us to $100k so thats 150 loans there are more than 200 restaurants alone in the territory, let the leaders do the work.

    • @Funny (19/05/2020, 10:59) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      It said loans capped at $100k not that everyone would get $100K. It also said for loans businesses would need to prove viability in order to get the funding. At least its a start and a plan that makes sense.
  • Kick start now (19/05/2020, 12:41) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Not starting tourism until September means Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke are shut down - period, and a big chunk of Tortola too. Not a great answer.
    • BVI tourist (20/05/2020, 10:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Kick start now - agreed! Coming in August to St. John with a family of 5. Would love to snorkel your caves at Norman and jump off the Willy T! Wouldn't need to even set foot on your islands to do it either. The customs fees alone that you're missing out on would be $350. Would love do the Baths too, but I guess we'll have to save that for another trip...
  • Truth (19/05/2020, 14:01) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply

    There should be ashamed of them self as opposition..for opposition..doesn't mean to against unless it a good thing the ruling party is doing it also mean to support if it a good thing there are doing ..the both party are working for the good of us the people and coutry...this political pr baby @#$ behavior must stop especially in a time like this .....dam man ..and mark and Frazier too dam experience for up holding this type of sh** ..Andrew doing a dam good job ..keep it up my boi I got to the next poll. Yes me who tell u years ago as ur student I would get that A to pass to graduate....keep home safe



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