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‘UK demands for loan guarantee far from reasonable’ - Premier Fahie

- Crown wants control of VI finances in hands of RDA
According to Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) in a statement on the UK Loan Guarantee, released today August 17, 2019, while the loan is welcomed, the demands are far from reasonable. Photo: VINO/File
Third District representative of the Virgin Islands, House of Assembly (HOA), Hon Julian Fraser RA, speaking at a public meeting at St Mary’s Church Hall on Virgin Gorda, on March 7, 2018 relating to the issued said the Territory could become the victim of countries and institutions whose agenda is to enrich themselves while making other countries heavily indebted and ultimately getting the upper hand over those countries’ government and economy. Photo: VINO/File
Third District representative of the Virgin Islands, House of Assembly (HOA), Hon Julian Fraser RA, speaking at a public meeting at St Mary’s Church Hall on Virgin Gorda, on March 7, 2018 relating to the issued said the Territory could become the victim of countries and institutions whose agenda is to enrich themselves while making other countries heavily indebted and ultimately getting the upper hand over those countries’ government and economy. Photo: VINO/File
First announced under the Dr D. Orlando Smith, National Democratic Party (NDP) government, the United Kingdom (UK) through a recovery and reconstruction package for the Virgin Islands (VI) had promised up to £300 million in loan guarantees and £10 million in grants to support the Territory's recovery after Hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017. Photo: GIS/File
First announced under the Dr D. Orlando Smith, National Democratic Party (NDP) government, the United Kingdom (UK) through a recovery and reconstruction package for the Virgin Islands (VI) had promised up to £300 million in loan guarantees and £10 million in grants to support the Territory's recovery after Hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017. Photo: GIS/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – First announced under the Dr D. Orlando Smith, National Democratic Party (NDP) government, the United Kingdom (UK) through a recovery and reconstruction package for the Virgin Islands (VI) had promised up to £300 million in loan guarantees and £10 million in grants to support the Territory's recovery after Hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017.

However, following the establishment of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA)—cited as created due to the UK government mistrust in the then NDP administration—the UK is now demanding that in order for VI to receive the funds, the territory's financial control be handed over to the RDA.

Unreasonable - Premier Fahie

According to Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) in a statement on the UK Loan Guarantee, released today August 17, 2019, while the loan is welcomed, the demands are far from reasonable.

“The issues that we face is whether we are prepared to mortgage our birthright in order for the British government to provide the guarantee needed for us to access this critically needed funding,” the Leader of Government Business said in the opening of his statement.

According to Hon Fahie, “I believe that it is imperative that I must place all the relevant information before you so that you are aware of what is taking place, and so that when the time comes, you would be able to have your say and make you input based on facts and informed opinions.”

He said the limited self-government that the BVI enjoys today is as a result of the struggles of the forefathers, who built and develop the territory after slave masters and colonialist abandoned the islands, “condemning us to be nothing more than a bird sanctuary.” 

Further, the Premier noted that the territory’s freedom and autonomy were hard eared and priceless, therefore, cannot be giver up easily.

RDA Financial Control

“At present, what the UK government is demanding is in order for it to provide its guarantee is for the Virgin Islands to basically hand over almost full control of management of the territory’s finances to the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) which was set up at the request of the Uk Government,” he said.

Premier Fahie continued, “It is our respectful view that what is being demanded of the people of the Virgin Islands at this time in order to access these funds is far in excess of what is reasonable,” he said.

Third District representative of the Virgin Islands, House of Assembly (HOA), Hon Julian Fraser RA, speaking at a public meeting at St Mary’s Church Hall on Virgin Gorda, on March 7, 2018 relating to the issued said the Territory could become the victim of countries and institutions whose agenda is to enrich themselves while making other countries heavily indebted and ultimately getting the upper hand over those countries’ government and economy.

According to Premier Fahie, while the caution by the UK is not without justification, “not even the reckless mismanagement of the previous administration (NDP) can justify the constitutional overreach that we are being asked to sanction and to accept.”

25 Responses to “‘UK demands for loan guarantee far from reasonable’ - Premier Fahie ”

  • Winston (17/08/2019, 12:53) Like (43) Dislike (1) Reply
    No problem...if the terms are unreasonable, then don't take the loan. Like any lender they are entitled to make whatever terms they feel fit . It is up to the borrower to accept or not accept the agreement ( just like any loan for anything around the world ). They can not really be blamed for their concerns, given the BVI's track record for financial responsibility.
    • One correction (17/08/2019, 19:19) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply

      The UK is not lending. The UK is guaranteeing. There’s a difference.

      • Winston (18/08/2019, 01:35) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
        Fair enough.....except by guaranteeing a loan that defaults you effectively become the lender to a loan that will never get paid.
        • @Winston (18/08/2019, 13:05) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
          If BVI defaults on a loan taken out under the guarantee, the UK would effectively become the borrower on BVIs behalf and have to repay the loan to the lender...which is why it is so important to the UK that there are conditions to ensure BVI don’t default.
      • Challenger (18/08/2019, 13:31) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        which makes the uk ultimately resposible to repay the loan
    • Correction (17/08/2019, 19:51) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      The UK is not lending. The UK is guaranteeing the loan. It is normal to see in lending, and common practice, the guarantors having full sight of the historical performance and the going concern probability of the borrower. The premier needs to clarify if it's the overall spending that they want monitored, or if its just related to the funds borrowed under the guarantee. I suspect it's the latter and I'm sure we would welcome the transparency (implied or actual) that the RDA would then bring.
  • Lord o (17/08/2019, 13:24) Like (18) Dislike (23) Reply
    If the British really want their way they will get their way..No matter what the Premier or no one else says.. Take the money, invest wisely..Put the BVI at top again. ..Let the fruits from these funds feed Generation after Generation...
  • Hmmm (17/08/2019, 13:37) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    Take the money invest wisely. Its not the terms that's will decide the success of this loan. Its the investment..
  • Hola? (17/08/2019, 13:44) Like (15) Dislike (7) Reply
    Did we have a £300M guaranteed when we develop from a bird sanctuary? As one blogger said, we can accept or reject the terms associated with the loan guarantee. Like how we crawled from the bird sanctuary to what we were prior to Irmaria, we can crawl again to where we need to go! The people need more information not a synopsis of the terms of the guarantee. Put everything out there as there are no uneducated VirginIslanders and have a referendum concerning this loan guarantee and it’s terms. Tired of half truths!!!
  • WHAT!!!! (17/08/2019, 13:46) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    Given our track record for financial improprieties (theft) of course there are a lot if strings attached to a multi million loan.
  • musa (17/08/2019, 15:30) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
    I said it before let build on our own.,.,.,.
    • Goodsense (17/08/2019, 16:15) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
      How are we to raise capital to build on our own? Raise taxes? Borrow from the IMF?
  • samuel (17/08/2019, 16:43) Like (30) Dislike (2) Reply
    I agree with the UK. I as a die hard BVIslander would feel more comfortable knowing that the funds would be managed in a way that they should be managed. Let the RDA control the money. Both the NDP administration and the past VIP administration have shown they cannot be good stewards of thee territory’s finances. The BVI should have been in a much better position financially. I recall the years gone by when we the BVI could boast that we had 90 to 100 million dollars in reserves for a rainy day.
  • Outlaw (17/08/2019, 18:26) Like (6) Dislike (15) Reply
    Leave the fricking loan where it is, as a people we will survive. Does the UK really understand that this is a democratic society with a democratically elected government. Did the people of the territory elect the CEO of the RDA to office? Greedy people will say take it, I say leave it. The UK is now worse than China.
  • so tell me (17/08/2019, 19:23) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    Who’s checking the RDA? Who’s holding them accountable? Who’s regulating and monitoring their actions.

    I am concerned by how many of the same players are affiliated with the RDA.

    I have seen some stupid moves by the same RDA whichmake me wonder if they are any better.



  • Charley Rose (17/08/2019, 20:22) Like (2) Dislike (8) Reply
    This a very serious issue and I am glad that the Hon. Premier has brought it to the people for their information. Surely this is frightening for future generations. Where will we go from here is a matter that needs to be examined. One alternative is for the government to take a loan from the Social Security board in incremental stages. For instance if there is need for sixty million annually in budgetary support. Secondly the government can probably sell Treasury bonds to the population and raise funds. Thirdly the Premier needs to implement measures to ensure that wastage or leakage of money is minimise. With these options the dependence on British guaranteed loans could be avoided.
  • Love for My Country (17/08/2019, 20:43) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    If Governments of this Country (VIP and NDP) were financially responsible, we would not be in this position. The British has been on our backs for a long time because of our reckless spending. It did not start 8 years ago. Hurricanes Irma and Maria gave the British the right ammunition to hold us hostage so to speak.
  • pat (18/08/2019, 07:16) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Fahie you are on the right track again keep we the people informed
  • Windy (18/08/2019, 11:37) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Does any one remember that it was discovered that there was $16 million in private donations to the BVI government after Irma ? well there is absolutely no evidence as to what happened to that money !! BVI Airways $ 7 million gone. $5 million for airport runway rehab - spent elsewhere. On & ON No wonder why UK wants control of $$$$$. It's does not matter if its NDP or VIP. It's the BVI
  • wondering (18/08/2019, 12:53) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    300 million £ is not enough, the BVI had 4 Billion in damages. Why are we having this conversation over this paltry sum of money? Clearly the UK doesn't care about the BVI recovery. They just want the RDA to have access to spend the mealsey £300 million for their salaries and high rent for years to come. RDA top people want to buy homes here and stay as long as they can in rentals paid for out of the £300 million. They are here over a year and what have they accomplished?? Not much. The people of the BVI are not able to recover from Irmaria right away. Look around and see that we are all struggling to rebuild and repair. Andrew you and your goverment need to arrange loans for people whose properties are debt free. Yes use Social Security money. Give us loans interest free for 2 years, so we can rebuild and then give reasonable payments and if anyone defaults then take the property and sell it. Not rocket science. And Andrew thanks for sharing
  • RDA is expensive (19/08/2019, 13:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    RDA has a big administrative base and is expensive, hence the BVI tax payer ends up repaying a loan for salaries! Forget the guarantee, break up the RDA (which doesnt appear to be achieving much?) and live within our means - which will require careful budgeting without scandalous waste/theft of tax revenues


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