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UK is not an open cheque book for VI – Gov Jaspert

Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter landing Tortola airport on the British Virgin Islands CREDIT: Photo: PA/ROYAL NAVY/MOD CROWN
UK is not an open cheque book for VI – Gov Augustus J.U. Jaspert. Photo: VINO/File
UK is not an open cheque book for VI – Gov Augustus J.U. Jaspert. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Amidst calls for the United Kingdom (UK) government to inject more monies into the Virgin Islands (VI), to primarily aid in its recovery—after hurricanes Irma and Maria decimated the islands on September 6, 2017—sitting Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert, made it clear, the UK is not an open cheque book to the Territory.

Governor Jaspert made the statement during a panel discussion held at a lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Tortola, yesterday, September 6, 2018.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), was also part of the panel discussion.

Jealous

Moderator for the discussion, Rotarian District Governor Elect, Ms Delma D. Maduro, had used the occasion to observe being, somewhat jealous of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), because she learnt that the neighbouring territory is getting aid to the tune of some $7 billion from the federal Government of the United States of America (USA) for their recovery effort.

“Do you think that there is any hope that we can get some additional funding from the UK,” she openly questioned Governor Jaspert.

His response, he had no knowledge of what the position is with the USVI but, “the short answer is the UK government, is not a blank cheque book, it’s a support hands up.”

“Actually the UK position is, it’s confident in the VI, it knows the VI is tough, it knows it’s got a good future and it’s backing the VI in the right way.”

Aid Country

He suggested, “it’s not, and I don’t think that anyone here wants to be an aid dependant country and I don’t think that’s something the British Virgin Islands should aim for, it should aim for, as we’ve shown to be incredibly proud, incredibly resilient and using that support and maximizing that support.”

Governor Jaspert reminded that, “the UK has been working in close partnership with the government of the VI from the minute, actually before they knew the storm was going to hit.”

According to the UK Governor, “within 36 hours we had the ship in here. Our priority was to restore security; that was one of the things we had to restore because that was one of the things that took us by shock.”

15 Responses to “UK is not an open cheque book for VI – Gov Jaspert”

  • Windy (07/09/2018, 10:43) Like (19) Dislike (11) Reply
    wow what an insult!
    • Whiny baby (07/09/2018, 13:40) Like (31) Dislike (7) Reply
      Why should UK taxpayers bail out BVI locals who aint paying an iota in tax and many delinquent in NHI, SocSec etc?
      • gamer (08/09/2018, 03:51) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
        Why are you intentionlyourself bias against "locals" ? Only locals live here and breathe? Go figure
    • Ganga (08/09/2018, 18:19) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      You're right/ It's insulting to ask the UK for more money when they've already done so much for us. Really
      insulting and ungrateful.
  • True (07/09/2018, 13:55) Like (9) Dislike (6) Reply
    The security force is needed back here ASAP.
  • wow (07/09/2018, 14:32) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why should they be. When the government has so much millions unaccounted for. That 7.3 millions would come in so handy right about now.
    • Cheap (07/09/2018, 15:24) Like (11) Dislike (15) Reply
      They don't want to help but destroying FS. Wicked
      • Get independance then (08/09/2018, 11:54) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        But there would be no more children born in the usvi to bvi parents. If you can get a visa the question would be "whats your purpose coming to u.s" what are you going to say I coming here to get an anchor baby
  • Arrion (07/09/2018, 14:55) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did not take one penny.....just o WHOLE LOT of pennies.
  • cromwell (07/09/2018, 15:01) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    With all due respect to Delma Maduro, the USVI is a real American territory as against the BVI that is only British by name. Americans can enter, work and live in the USVI as a matter of right, form and run businesses without the harassment the BVI deals out to expats, and, accordingly, the USVI has enormous outside investment. There is, and, never has been major outside investment in the BVI, and, never will be until such time as the territory becomes fully British.
    • ok (08/09/2018, 10:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree in some respects but the us territories are not part of america....they are insular territories. The dont pay taxes to america but are closer to america than the bvi to the u.k.
  • Hmmm (07/09/2018, 16:23) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    No One trusting BVI officials.. They gave themselves a bad name around the world.. FBI. Scotland Yard. KGB..RVIP. All seem to know something..
  • GT (07/09/2018, 21:07) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Woooooooowwww. I wonder how she really felt by that answer. The problem is we look at what’s others have and get too much.
  • Political Observer (PO) (10/09/2018, 08:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Governor Jasper:”Actually the UK position is, it’s confident in the VI, it knows the VI is tough, it knows it’s got a good future and it’s backing the VI in the right way.” This is just nice, diplomatic, public discourse. The Guv also said supposedly: “ UK government, is not a blank cheque book, it’s a support hands up.” This is clearly not an instaneous quip from the Guv but definitely a talking point for the UK Team, the Crown. However, the BVI earned and deserved that talking point with its questionable and eye brow raising financial expenditure and poor financial performance, ie, $7.2M BVI Airways giveaway, Tortola Pier Park project $40M cost overrun boon doggie, $1.2M+ ESHS Great Wall......etc. As the BVI electorate should expect effective stewardship of its financial resources, the UK electorate, its taxpayers, also expects exemplary financial stewardship. Their eyes perked up and interest peeked when their tax dollars are being spent in some far away colony(s) that some UK residents may believe have a higher standard of living and quality of life than some Britons. This may be why many Britons don’t give a rat’s ass about the impact of amendment to Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act on Caribbean Overseas Territories (OT) that was recently passed by both the Houses of Commons and Lords and assented by the Crown. Most politicians listen to the will of the people.

    By the way, the US also does not have an open check book for the unincorporated and organized territory of the USVI. The US government too and US taxpayers also have concerns about the USVI’s financial performance. The lesson for both BVI and USVI is that US and UK taxpayers expect more effective financial performance, stewardship and fiduciary responsibility. By the way, what is the source of the $7B for the USVI? Of course, if they want the UK and US taxpayers stay out their business, they can go independence. However, independence at this point is not a good option for both. Moreover, the French and Dutch taxpayers also expect good financial stewardship of their tax dollars given to St. Martin, Saba, St. Bath, Sint Eustatius, Martinique, Guadeloupe.......etc.


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