Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

COVID-19 grants were provided in ‘good faith’ to meet real needs– Premier Fahie

- said UK also followed a similar method to help its people
Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A,. Fahie (R1) has defended his government’s issuance of COVID-19 cash grants despite project criticisms from the Auditor General Sonia M. Webster. Photo: GIS/File
Hon Andrew A. Fahie said the government did what it had to do despite criticisms from Auditor General Sonia M. Webster. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Andrew A. Fahie said the government did what it had to do despite criticisms from Auditor General Sonia M. Webster. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has defended his government’s issuance of COVID-19 cash grants, despite criticisms from the Auditor General Sonia M. Webster.

“When COVID-19 hit our islands, the Government acted swiftly to provide help, including money, not only to assist hard-pressed farmers and fishermen but also to expand the numbers of both to ensure a stronger and more reliable local food supply,” the Premier said in a October 7, 2021, statement.

Gov't also wanted to help churches

He said the administration also wanted to help churches and other denominations, whose outreach work to support communities is important, along with daycare centres and schools.

“We have been criticised for what we did by the Auditor General. The people must be told the facts. The Government provided help in good faith to meet real needs,” Hon Fahie said.

The Premier said that in those terrible circumstances, it was not excessively lax or too generous in the provision of public funds since persons faced real suffering due to the COVID emergency and the government has a duty to help.

“Yes, we had to relax the conditions we would normally impose on spending public funds, but the UK Government implemented similar schemes in its own country - putting speedy help to as many people as possible first, ahead of exact assessment in each case of how much any individual claimant should receive,” he said.

Hon Fahie continued, “So they too had to relax the conditions. The National Audit Office in the UK says the UK Government schemes resulted in a bonfire of public money and that many thousands who did not need it or deserve support received the money.“

UK Gov't also did same to help itself

The Premier said as such, the UK Government did not provide grant money to help the Virgin Islands (VI), “and those wanting us to follow the UK’s standards of governance should not expect us to have taken a very different approach from the UK Government faced by the same global emergency,” he said.

Hon Fahie had made a request from the UK for grants to assist persons who may have lost their jobs or were made to work reduced hours due to the pandemic; however, the UK-via former Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert- said the VI had enough money to help itself.

“We had to get the money to the people as soon as we could, even if it meant that some who didn’t need it, or need as much, would benefit,” Premier Fahie said.

16 Responses to “COVID-19 grants were provided in ‘good faith’ to meet real needs– Premier Fahie”

  • PSSST! (08/10/2021, 12:04) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Oh really? ok.
  • omg ! (08/10/2021, 12:08) Like (18) Dislike (4) Reply

    They keep pulling this from all social media platforms
  • cow (08/10/2021, 12:12) Like (20) Dislike (3) Reply
  • agreed (08/10/2021, 12:58) Like (26) Dislike (1) Reply
    The intention the thought, the idea is good...Some where along the way the process got messed up, it got currupt...
  • reality (08/10/2021, 13:18) Like (2) Dislike (25) Reply
    Businesses got help too. what do yall expect to happen? have businesses shut down and crime escalate during a pandemic? The global run on toilet paper could have extended to food supplies had the virus been deadlier. In addition if they gave $300 instead and the businesses were forced to close there would be cries that its too little. Look at the reaction to teachers $300 allowance. Damned if you dont damned if you do. Might as well do it anyway.

    Crabs in a bucket keep pulling each other down.
  • Windy (08/10/2021, 13:48) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    So the UK did it to. So that’s makes it OK in your mindless mind. So immature. Wa Wa
    • Wrong (08/10/2021, 15:11) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
      But the uk didn’t do this. No overpayments to farmers and no payments to political supporters pretending to be farmers and fishermen. It’s just here.
  • WOW (08/10/2021, 14:07) Like (1) Dislike (20) Reply
    so the COI commissioner has kust said that in his opinion it is ok for the premiers office to provide to the auditers incomplete infomation for them to complete an audit. Dr. Oneal Morten clealy stated that this would not be ethical and would not be appropriate for her offixe to do so by putting out inacurate and incomplete infomation.
    if that had been done the way the commissioner suggested was ok......they would be accusing her now of not doing her job !
    Well done Dr. Morton for standing your ground and clarifying your position.
  • Jose (08/10/2021, 14:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Votes in the future are "real needs" too
  • politics and prejudice (08/10/2021, 17:15) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    had a very big part to play in the free money giveaway. This is the criteria for everything the government does.
  • musa (08/10/2021, 21:45) Like (0) Dislike (8) Reply
    We have to be thankful and the supreme lord blessings on our leaders
  • Citizens (08/10/2021, 23:50) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Only your family and friends got stimulus.... u left ur people out here to starve and theif.... count ur days !!!
    • @citzens (09/10/2021, 10:55) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      Stop the foolishness. The grants application process was announced over the radio moron. If you didn’t apply then though luck.

      Doesn’t mater how often you cry it went to friends and family it’s simply not true and won’t change the facts.
  • watching (09/10/2021, 10:10) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Next time don't provide grants to any church do in by the district. Let people go to their district office apply and keep a record. Some denominations just want the money, not necessary to help persons in the community or the members.
  • LOVING BVI (11/10/2021, 13:46) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Tine for a change.. (12/10/2021, 20:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need to try something different Parties, politics and governments have failed us, maybe a Britain take over for a 18 months put things in order then call election and hand it back to us might put senses and good character in them...

Create a comment

Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.