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UK Loan Guarantee now a 'lost opportunity' for VI- Premier Wheatley

- Exploring additional loan options for local project financing
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has referenced the proposed £300M loan guarantee for hurricane recovery and development by the United Kingdom (UK) as a lost opportunity. Photo: VINO/File
Instead of a loan or grant, the United Kingdom had offered the Virgin Islands a loan guarantee with drastic conditions, following the devastation of the territory by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Photo: Internet Source
Instead of a loan or grant, the United Kingdom had offered the Virgin Islands a loan guarantee with drastic conditions, following the devastation of the territory by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI– Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has referenced the proposed £300M loan guarantee for hurricane recovery and development by the United Kingdom (UK) as a lost opportunity.

“The guarantee right now is not on the table, but it’s something that we can return to see if we can get it back on the table but we have essentially lost the opportunity to get the guarantee as of right now,” he said while speaking to the media during a one-on-one press conference on August 8, 2022.     

“Whether we can get the opportunity again, it depends on us but for the loan that we are exploring, it won’t be big enough really to justify the guarantee, but we do have projects that we have to have a conversation about in the future,” he said while referencing the upcoming airport expansion project.

VI feared losing control of finances 

Meanwhile, even as the opportunity for the loan is no longer available, one of the long-standing concerns of VI Governments was that the borrowing ceiling in the Protocol for Effective Financial Management needed to be adjusted, along with some of the terms attached regarding defaulting.

While legislators, including Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) and Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), had pushed for the then Andrew A. Fahie (R1) government to take up the loan guarantee offer, one of the biggest fears was that if the VI failed to repay its debt, it would ultimately lose control of its finances to the UK.

Speaking in the House of Assembly in December 2021 as then Deputy Premier under the Fahie administration, Dr Wheatley said, “We haven’t borrowed anything by this administration and that’s okay because we were executing the $65 million loan [From the Caribbean Development Bank] but we have a challenge as it pertains to the loan guarantee because of all of these conditions which were attached to this loan guarantee which are essentially unfavorable for us.”

Maintaining financial autonomy 

At the time, he said it did not make sense for the VI to summarily dismiss its concerns about losing its financial autonomy because of a loan guarantee and the conditions attached to a loan guarantee.

“My grandfather who was the first Minister of Finance for this government back in 1978 or so, and we have a legacy of being in control of our own finances as we haven’t received any grant in aid from the UK in over 40 years. So we want to maintain control of our finances and we fought hard for that and that is something that is important to our progress as a people," Dr Wheatley added.

20 Responses to “UK Loan Guarantee now a 'lost opportunity' for VI- Premier Wheatley ”

  • asking for a friend (09/08/2022, 15:07) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
    Why he did not say that when tge head coach was his boss
    • @asking for a friend (10/08/2022, 05:20) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
      Terrible leadership! He went to the UK to put us into debt? He should have been pushing the removal of the COI constitutional treads. When is the next election? He has to go!
  • ... (09/08/2022, 15:12) Like (8) Dislike (13) Reply
    Thank god. The bible does speak against this type of borrower lender relationship... Knowing our history why would you even entertain the thought of entering into any form of slavery. There should be an effort to become debt free! Perhaps government will become more resourceful instead of walking back into chains cmon.
    • @… (09/08/2022, 18:17) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
      Seriously, Sowande need to go immediately! Why would we want to borrow money from the UK. I can not wait for election.
  • Citizen (09/08/2022, 15:26) Like (20) Dislike (11) Reply
    Just excuse yourself and give us Ronnie. You have no idea how to run a country. You making me scared. You just cut tax that was suppose to generate money to please a few, now you have no idea how to generate funds. You really not ready.
  • Just saying (09/08/2022, 15:53) Like (19) Dislike (3) Reply
    Loosing the financial control to the UK... that sounds more like a blessing considering the mess that our Government does..
  • By now schools would be refurbished. (09/08/2022, 16:28) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    Is the minister saying that the reason for not accepting the loan was in case the government defaulted, Britain will take over our finances. Well the minister would have known that the bvi government never defaulted on its debts in the past 42 years, so was he and others willing to deliberately default. All of a sudden he now thinks that the loan will be useful.

    Interest rates was very low then and was supported by Britain meaning repayment was very affordable so what is the true reason for turning it down. Look at the state of the country today where is the billions coming from to repair the ageing infrastructure.
    All schools in the bvi by now would have been expanded and new ones built, most roads and drainage repaired, Government services would have been upgraded to modern times, the government could have done so much if they really wanted it, I suspect there is more the past and present Premier are not saying. We the people may never know.
    • @By now… (10/08/2022, 05:29) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      You are on your own with that logic. You do not speak for me. If they are the so called ‘mother country’ why are they giving any OTs loans? A setup to control is what this is. Global Britain at play! You’ll and the UK take us for fools but you all will understand soon enough!
  • WHAT!!!! (09/08/2022, 17:03) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    And when the decision was made not to take the loan how did you vote???
  • That's exactly what it is.. (09/08/2022, 18:04) Like (15) Dislike (4) Reply
    A lost opportunity.. I too thought it was a dumb decision not to take the loan, but Fahie knew what he was into and wanted to stay clear of Britain and sell the people a heap of nonsense Nancy story and they believe,,,,Even the VIP members who were like puppies and puppets for Fahie just jump when he say jump, no one dear ask how high....That 300 mil would have done marvellous things to our economy,,
    • @ That’s exactly what it is (10/08/2022, 05:15) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      Fahie has many issues but it was a good leadership move not to take that money from the colonizers. They have never looked out for our best interest. We need to be moving away from them not getting into Financial debt with them. Bottom line!
  • Black redemption (10/08/2022, 05:38) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    We are in our worst era of politics. But stay out of it white boys.
    • @black red (10/08/2022, 08:43) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      Stupid thing to say that exposes your mindset.
      Instead of caring about humanity and caring about getting the best for your family and community, you are stuck on pretending that all humans and all their thoughts and value are defined by their skin color. They are not.
      It is possible for white people to want the very best for black people. Most of us do, because most of us do not dehumanize other humans by seeing them as colors.
      Sure, we understand the horrors and continuing impacts of colonialism and white privilege, but your argument that you would rather ‘your’ people suffer than allow anyone with low melanin content to be involved in making lives better, is strange, it is a self-destructive response that defeats it’s own fundamental goals, and of course it is racially divisive.
      Question: as humans, how does increasing racial division help anyone in the black or any community get a better life?
      • @ @black red (10/08/2022, 23:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Are you for real? What bubble are you living in? Most of you like black people? Is that why most of you segregated yourself from our people in your apartheid society? Why most of you put down our leaders when yours are totally out of control? Why most of you live in glass houses and still like to throw stones at every other race on earth? Why most of you believe you are entitled to what God has given other nations on earth? We read and understand history and this is why we do not trust you all! Plus, we have seen how ‘most’ of you come into our lands and segregate yourself and your children from the general population because of the color of your skin! You care more for dogs, cats, property, rum and the environment ‘our’ lands more than the people! Humanity can testify that you all ‘most of you’ have learned little of how to be a human being! You train your children to be racist 21st Century Colonizers, it’s your culture, and the sad thing is…you don’t realize it! Case Close Bubble Baby!
        • @@black red (15/08/2022, 20:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          Yes, case closed. You just turned a whole race into billions of evil people and effectively justified any action you wish to carry out against them based on skin. You are a fascist whose politics is so righteous you can commit any inhumanity you want based on your own rules. I agree some of the white people coming in here have been racists. But most aren’t. Most I have met are confused why local people hate them from the moment they arrive. They are decent caring people but mind sets like yours turn them automatically into evil slave owners when they’re not. Yes, they like dogs. Yes, they like nature. Is that bad? Yes they would like to have more interaction with local people but locals never make them feel welcome. When was the last time you invited a white person to your house? Never? Oh, so that makes them the apartheid people.
          You are projecting hundreds of years of history onto individuals and your righteousness, you believe, gives you permission to act with pure evil against anyone.
          Think about that.
  • Civil Service (10/08/2022, 07:12) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    If you want to avoid the loans and fund the advancement and recovery of the country internally then you must learn to live within your means. No more spending on foolish things like $1m elevators and a fishermans park in baughers bay. Start by cutting civil service staff and conducting performance reviews on all govt employees. Reduce the payroll and set realistic goals for those staff you retain. Try listening to local business owners and the marine industry stakeholders for once instead of taxing them to death. But maybe its too late already?
  • @ by now (10/08/2022, 07:27) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    you and hustlers like you , just want to sit back and get hand outs so you all can full your pockets ,but the br8ts ain't that stupid , so you all singing racism ,reparation etc to cover your tracts , you all did a number on social security so who ripping off who ❓ ????
    • @ by now (10/08/2022, 15:49) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      We have to get racist Sociopath like yourself out of the VI immediately! This apartheid segregated racist society of foreigners also has to be addressed quickly. Why didn’t the COI address this plague in our society? What is wrong with reparation??? You sound like a demon from hell!
  • Citizen (10/08/2022, 11:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    He went and broke down the fisheries building, all he had to do was clean out the building and put some galvanize on the roof. Without vision the people perish. Boy just hurry up and get out.

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