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UK has a financial ‘choke-hold’ on Government- Skelton-Cline

-Says Recovery Board CEO will be a Non-Virgin Islander
July 9th, 2018 | Tags:
An example of the destruction left behind. Photo: VINO/File
Claude O. Skelton-Cline. Photo: VINO/File
Claude O. Skelton-Cline. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The United Kingdom (UK) has a financial ‘choke-hold’ on the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government.

So says radio host Claude O. Skelton-Cline. During an exclusive interview with this newsroom, Mr. Skelton-Cline , speaking on the subject of hurricane recovery efforts , stated that it is his conclusion that “the recovery effort post hurricanes Irma and Maria is stalled" because the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration cannot access the funding it was supposed to have recieved.

Pointing to the High Level Framework for United Kingdom (UK) support for the Virgin Islands’ (VI) Hurricane Recovery, the radio host said “one of the key conditions in the document as I recall, was the immediate establishment of an independent Recovery Agency that’s been done.”

He went on to add that “even the $11 million insurance cheque from NAGICO for the Central Administration Building that was handed over months ago is not accessible to the Government.”

Mr Skelton-Cline went on to say that the VI “cannot afford to forget the debate that captured the attention of the whole Territory on the establishment of an Agency and why some of us argued against the Agency as a substitute Government,” adding “clearly the UK has a financial choke-hold on our Government.”

He went on to say, “this is why when the Leader of the Opposition asked the question in the House of Assembly as to why the Minister of Finance would draw down $15 million dollars of the $65 million and none had been spent, yet we are paying interest on it, it is because the NDP Government was about to contravene one of the conditions and when the UK became aware of it; that attempt was halted,.”
Who will be CEO?

Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority stated that “we are much further out in the deep blue sea without a paddle than we are being led to believe.” He divulged that it is his understanding that “the Board of the Agency has been meeting. They have recommended a person for the CEO post.

That person is not a Virgin Islander. The recommendation is before Cabinet awaiting a decision. However, we still have miles to go.”
According to the Recovery Bill which was approved in the House of Assembly, a Recovery and Development Plan is to be laid and approved; however, according to Skelton-Cline “we still do not have a plan.” On that note, he urged Islanders to “brace ourselves and get ready for the long haul as this will not be easy and it will not be quick. It will not be with this Government as they cannot get us out of what they have gotten us into.”

14 Responses to “UK has a financial ‘choke-hold’ on Government- Skelton-Cline ”

  • Yes (09/07/2018, 18:14) Like (14) Dislike (6) Reply
    Bitter bitter man. To turn on friends
    • Hmmm (10/07/2018, 08:15) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
      You all did nonsense and have the country in a mess because it was more important to feed the greed than to grow the economy. Alienating people, Taking down people for showing any kind of standing up to what you all doing and yet you call him bitter. Well then all of us are bitter and we will fix it at the polls. So collect your payouts build your reserves, run on the treasury because we coming to take care of this nonsense. We say we want the brightest and the best because we have been run by gardeners and fishermen. Well they did a much better job.
  • ReX FeRal (09/07/2018, 22:30) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    Not bitter. He's speaking the truth. SucKers on The national Dose of Poison nipple will always complain.
  • Seer (10/07/2018, 06:08) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's what any responsible parent would do if their child/children is spending money they don’t have. We have loans on top of loans and not enough revenue coming to pay them off. If the B.V.I. (the Government) wants the U.K. to not interfere, then we need to become financially responsible. We the people also need to hold these ministers accountable. Take your party pride out the equation - look at all the projects that has been signed off and millions paid out, and then look at our environment – look at Road Town, the capital city. Sewage constantly running through the streets; roads from east to west is a mess; schools and other government facilities not insured; and these are things that has been going on for years, and countless dollars “spent”. We have a select few getting richer by the minute and not tangible results. We can blame the U.K. all we want but, if the people we elect aren’t bearing in mind the PEOPLE and the B.V.I. first and only when making these deals, then we the people will be forever suffering while the 1% gets richer.
  • one eye (10/07/2018, 07:45) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
    Claude is right dont kill the messenger
  • Tell the truth! (10/07/2018, 09:00) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    The NDP are stalling the funds NOT the UK! Please bring the Premier on to your radio show and ask him about: 1. Who received money under the 'grants for landlords' that the government rolled out … ask for names.... (His and most of the other govt officials earning over $100K per year and who refused to take a pay cut after the storm are amongst them). Ask him about the west end ferry terminal and what he said to the anonymous benefactor who offered to pay for it to be rebuilt in full (without credit or conditions - with the govt approving the design)…. ask him about the gentleman who offered to bring in several barges with cranes on FREE OF CHARGE to help clear the waters in the months after the storm what was his response? Ask him about the company who offered a FREE MACHINE worth over $1.5million plus training for many BVIslanders on how it is used that would have cleared the COX HEATH dump in a week.... what did he say to that? NO …. OUR GOVERNMENT … WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE OUR BEST INTEREST AT HEART would rather people live without roofs...would rather the customs officers worked without shelter... would rather expose residents to toxic smoke …… THE NDP are stalling because they want their cut of the loans... they want to give contracts to their friends.... Its time for us all to stand up and tell them we will not accept this anymore. DO THE RIGHT THING BY YOUR PEOPLE. The UK are doing the right thing by not releasing the funds until the correct committee (including having the right person as CEO- not one of their friends) has been established.
    • guy hill (10/07/2018, 12:42) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I will just lay this here.
      For truth there is no deadline.
    • love it (10/07/2018, 23:22) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      These are all great points but why can’t they be raised at the time so the outcry from the public can make it happen. Stuff like this needs to be ‘leaked’ at the time so those conducting foolishness can be embarrassed into making it happen. Personally I think if any of this could officially go on record it would be easy for the people to demand a change of govt. People should go to jail who aren’t looking out for their country and are elected into Govt.
      • Tell the truth! (11/07/2018, 12:59) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        Unfortunately the people with the proof of these incidents are non-bvislanders who love the BVI. They offer the help - it isn't taken... they have to leave it at that. If they rock the boat too much they may find themselves unable to live here anymore. (That is the sad state that we are in - people feeling threatened to speak up because the government is so openly corrupt and there is no protection). Start with the first question... lets call on the government to release ALL the names of the landlords given grants following the storm - this will validate my first comment for anyone thinking that there is no way the government could get away with all of this. Whilst you're asking that - perhaps ask for the names of the PEOPLE (NOT the Investment club name) that own the land that Scotiabank on VG is on - ask them what the monthly rent was in June 2017 and then June 2018 - then we can decide who is responsible for there now being no operating bank on VG - GOVERNMENT HURTING THE PEOPLE IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE.
    • Dil (11/07/2018, 15:32) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      My friend, nothing is done for "free". When people spend big bucks on assisting with certain things, they want something in return. It may not be immediately divulged, but you better believe all those rich folks making the offers you outlined above, will want something in return, and when we get wind of it we will be very disgruntled with the government for granting it, but if they are to take all those handouts they will feel obligated. We already believe that "NDP is selling the country" yet we are insisting that they take favours from rich folks, who may very well want an island in return many years from now. Wise up - nothing comes free.
      • @Dil (12/07/2018, 09:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Some people have enough already - they want the BVI to go back to what it was. If they offer these services free the government should take them as that - no need to feel obliged to do anything in the future if not outlined from the beginning. The government just need to grow a backbone and stand firm - its not like once given those things can be taken away.... also - your comment doesn't condone the government using the loans to pay THEMSELVES to repair their houses and rental properties.
  • Political Observer (PO) (10/07/2018, 10:02) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I’m confused (no surprise there). If the UK set as one of the major conditions for accessing the £300M ($400M) loan guarantee was establishing an Agency, an alternative government (lack of confidence in government) to administer recovery funds and it was done, why can’t government access the money? Is government having problem securing a lender?

    If government got $11M insurance from Nagico to repair the CAB, why can’t government access the money? Is the check hot? Is there no project yet to repair the CAB? Can’t the engineers in the MCW/PWD develop a project for the repair?

    If government got a $65M approved loan to start the recovery, why can’t it access the money? Did the loan not meet the financial protocol agreement sign with the UK?

    Is the Achilles heel to the recovery effort lack of a sound project delivery, funding and implementation plan?
  • cromwell (10/07/2018, 10:58) Like (3) Dislike (11) Reply
    At some stage the BVI needs to decide whether it wants to remain British, or, take independence.
    You can't have the best of both worlds
  • ok (12/07/2018, 08:10) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    And your point is? You have them appointing the same man Chairman of Everything, He is one of the Party Architects and every minute he is Chairman of something, I mean this is like the Royal Family. The Governor is doing his job. Hold them fully to account for the non-sense they are doing. No Money, have to live off loans and we must keep doing the same non-sense over and over again. And you talking independence? If they attacking you for expressing your thoughts how the hell you think this will be in an independent country. Politicians would die a lot. They seem to think we the people are low lives to them. They must invite the rich in in order to keep the country going NAW NAW NAW. HOLD THEM AND EVERYONE ELSE TO ACCOUNT GOVERNOR. HOLD THE NUTS AND TELL THEM COUGH.

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