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'We failed in our responsibilities as legislators' - Hon Marlon A. Penn

- said he cannot support the Virgin Islands Recovery & Development Agency Act 2018 without changes made to benefit the people of the territory
Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8), Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion (right), has publicly stated his disagreement with the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018, while noting that changes need to be made in the Bill that will benefit the people of the territory. Photo: VINO
The House of Assembly has been recessed until Monday, March 26, 2018. Photo: VINO/File
The House of Assembly has been recessed until Monday, March 26, 2018. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8), Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, has joined other members of the National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Opposition in not supporting the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018, while calling for a bill that will benefit the people of the territory.

Hon Penn publicly stated his position during the debate of the Bill entitled Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 in the Third Sitting of the Third Session of the Third House of Assembly (HoA) on Friday, March 23, 2018.

The backbencher stated he has voiced his concerns with Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, on numerous occasions but before he can support the Bill he believes that some changes need to be done to it.

“In its current form, I too have my challenges with it. I’ve been the amplified voice privately on the issue surrounding this legislation. I have taken it apart because I take my legislative responsibility seriously. I have expressed numerous times my concerns on the issues that I have for it,” Hon Penn expressed.

He continued, “I do not support this Bill in its current form. I made that clear privately and I’m making it clear publicly now. We have an opportunity to get a piece of legislation that represents what we want. It requires us to do our work. Doing nothing cannot be an option.”

Furthermore, Hon Penn indicated that as legislators, his government has failed in their responsibility for the people of the territory for allowing such a Bill, which does not represent the people, to come before them.

He said, “We have to look at the problems that we face as a country and find solutions. That is our job. That is our responsibility and we need to take that responsibility seriously. We have this piece of legislation because we failed in our responsibilities as legislators. We are the ones who are responsible to lead this country. We allowed a legislation to come before us that does not represent our will, the will of the people of this country and our will to move forward as a people in rebuilding.”

“Premier, everything has to be on the table”

Meanwhile, the Junior Minister for Trade and Investment called on the Premier to reveal all the information about the Bill being discussed so that the ministers can make a proper decision that will move the territory and the people forward without undermining their foundation.

“We have to be more forthright with information as well. Everything has to be on the table in this discussion. Premier, everything has to be on the table. No exceptions. It is unfortunate that we are at this point but nonetheless this is where we are. No amount of complaining, no amount of should of, could of, would of going to change that. So we have to make a decision,” the Backbencher commented.

He continued, “I look forward for us making a discussion that drives the economic development of this country forward. I look forward for us to put in the right tenants in place to make sure that we have a strong foundation moving forward on the heels of this disaster. I look forward for us roll up our sleeves, buckling down and do what we need to do to move this country forward. I want to make it clear, I do not support the Bill that is before us.”

The only backbencher in full support of the bill is Representative for the Ninth District, Dr The Honourable Hubert R. O’Neal, while Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), Minister for Health and Social Development, is the only minister not in support of the Bill.

Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), Opposition Leader and First District Representative, is the only HoA Member that has not yet contributed to the debate.

The House of Assembly has been recessed until Monday, March 26, 2018.

37 Responses to “'We failed in our responsibilities as legislators' - Hon Marlon A. Penn”

  • Corrupt VI (24/03/2018, 11:20) Like (42) Dislike (33) Reply
    STOP IT - WILL VOTE YOU OUT – we are suffering and you pretend you are hurting with your nice looking suits and your roof above your head! Making money with your fish bay properties

    Any vote against recovery is a vote against the PEOPLE OF THE BVI! Recovery now!!!
    • Scenario (24/03/2018, 12:55) Like (30) Dislike (3) Reply
      “After Sam graduated with a masters degree in accounting he was offered a well paid job at the local bank. When he was moving out from his parents home his mother sat with him to offer financial advice since he’d be on his own but Sam was adamant he’d be fine and couldn’t wait to leave his strict upbringings behind. On his own and making money he’d never seen before Sam squandered every cent he earned and was on the verge of bankruptcy. He was too ashamed to tell his parents so he started borrowing from friends. His car broke down and he lost his job and he now has to repay his friends. Noticing her son’s problems Sam’s mom stepped in and offered him a way out. She’ll cover his debts but only if she takes control of everything since she didn’t trust him to do it on his own. He would have to move back home, sell his car and be upfront with everything. His drinking friends, party nights, gambling was now replaced with chores, family dinners and curfews and by the way Sam is 33.”
      THE BVI will be Sam if we take this money and it will be all our faults because we probably have no choice.
  • BornVI (24/03/2018, 11:33) Like (28) Dislike (18) Reply
    These politrics killing us. UK WE NEED HELP!

    • More bvi than bvi (24/03/2018, 12:35) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
      What PRECISELY are the changes? TELL US PLEASE. The loan guarantee is by itself a hugh benefit to the people. Show maturity.
  • Stick to your plan (24/03/2018, 11:51) Like (17) Dislike (5) Reply
    Dont sell out
  • It will not pass (24/03/2018, 12:09) Like (14) Dislike (16) Reply
    Stay strong archie delores mitch ronnie alvera fraser marlon and fahie
    • @ It will not pass. It must (24/03/2018, 15:49) Like (12) Dislike (4) Reply
      You named 7 members opposed the bill. You think it will not passed. Why they just dont take the country ovee..Dither vote for the bill or come together and take over... They won't because they are all stubborn and power hungry.. Compromise they are not willing to do or take part in.. Hope they understand it takes money to get things done.....
      • Did you read the Bill (25/03/2018, 07:38) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        Unfortunately most of you are just blinded by money. Things have to be done responsibly and in the best present and future interest of the people. Yes England is offering to guarantee loans up to a certain sum which doesn’t even cover what is needed to rebuild the country etc. But should we just accept all conditions that are shoved down our throats? Read the blasted bill before coming on here blogging nonsense. Y’all people sounding so silly. What’s wrong with our legislators having concerns with some of the terms of the Bill? Why can’t the Premier lay all info on the table so that a proper deliberation and decision can be made?
  • Outspoken (24/03/2018, 12:46) Like (20) Dislike (8) Reply
    That poppyshow from the 9th will support anything, even if it’s a warrant to burry him. He is totally lost as to what is going on. Those who bashing Ronnie and Marlon you all better wake up. These are guys on the government side and still cannot see the full document as it relates to recovery, what is the secret, what is contained on those two pages that is been hidden, ask yourself that question. From my understanding those guys are not against getting money for recovery, what they are against is the terms and conditions
  • qc (24/03/2018, 13:51) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (24/03/2018, 14:03) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Politics can be so divisive
  • wondering (24/03/2018, 14:37) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    When will people WAKEUP and realize the BVI as we knew it is gone? Why is the document not being made public? Is it that the Premire wants the exact response he is getting? Who is being manipulated?
  • confused (24/03/2018, 15:40) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    NDP government is confusing. Why not trash their differences out with the bill in a meeting before coming to the house sounding like a family in chaos obviously disfunctional.. We need the help...We need that money. Things are very very bad all around us.. This to me is a leadership or the lack of issue... Sad. Very very sad..
  • Marlon Mitch Alvera supporter (24/03/2018, 15:57) Like (15) Dislike (9) Reply
    You need to show leadership Marlon. You are the future. You, Mitch and Alvera. Is The way forward. Call an urgent meeting with Doc. Tomorrow Sunday Trash things out... Show leadership.. This matter can lift up or bankrupt the BVI.. This is serious..
    • Really??! (25/03/2018, 12:17) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      This the dumbest thing I ever here. If them ain’t show leadership from 2011 wha you waiting on a miracle? This must be a silly season.
  • Clueless (24/03/2018, 16:04) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Go clueless !
  • Hmmm??? (24/03/2018, 16:15) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Do any of you evem understand the proposed plan? I think you need to stop listening to Doc and talk to one of the persons that actually helped to write the plan.

    I dont think any of you opposing get it. UK did not rihjt the plan oir own did. UK just trying to ensure the slick politicians domt get their hands on it. The only amemdment it needs is to not have the politicians decide or prioritize the work. Thats why we have project managers hired Dion Stoutt Shaina Smith let them with the Town and Country department and PWD decide what shoild happen
  • Doomsday Potato Head (24/03/2018, 16:45) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    I wouldn’t rely on anything this clown says. Solutions are needed but definitely not from some opportunistic troublemakers.
    • Liat 521 (25/03/2018, 22:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I am tired of politics . Tired of the never ending stories that goes no where. Both sides are problematic
  • Shame, shame, shame (24/03/2018, 17:01) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is so unbelievable, seems like some reality show gone wrong. These folks never have country and people at heart, but we are also to blame because we vote them in over and over and over again. Is this an open asylum or what? Wake up people or maybe it's too late.

    Our quality of life steadily deteriorates, people living in squalor and behaving as though it is the norm. I don't like living like this and I don't want to raise my children like this. Shame on all who perpetuate this.
  • hear say (24/03/2018, 17:29) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    Heard they have one more month of government salary available. After that no money to pay civil servants thats why they want to get this deal passed and seal for April to have money ti pay salaries.. They need to vote for this thing or they will be making a bad situation worst..
  • Ghost (24/03/2018, 17:31) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    all the money gone in ndp
  • jokers (24/03/2018, 19:28) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I dont c d problem if they lending money to repair our infrastructure wats d big deal. U politians want d money n ur hands wen time come u all cant give acount for anything.
    U all better vote for d recovery plan
    We dont forget 30million still missing from pier park.
    No one held accountable
    • resident (24/03/2018, 21:16) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      Its not as simple as that the money has many strings attached, if they take it England gets full control over the bvi
    • NB (24/03/2018, 22:24) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      You on point. They want all the money in the kitty at once. Accountability and transparency is not in their vocab
      • Big NEWs. (25/03/2018, 06:07) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
        They already had plans for that money. Done set up shadow companies to benefit... England onto them. People. England knows what and why they are doing what they are doing..
  • NB (24/03/2018, 22:22) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    I will ask again.....where will the money come from to rebuild the BVIs? Yall get off your high horses and lose the egos. Accept the UKs offer, it might be the only help we get. People are suffering and these guys continue to debate just cause they too proud. Ignorance shall prevail.
  • Baited Hook (25/03/2018, 01:07) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Where will the loans be coming from? This is one of the areas that need to be clarified. As was stated in the very beginning of this fiasco; we do not want to be saddled with IMF World Bank Financial noose around our neck. If this is what Dr. Smith is hiding he needs to step down. What happen to country above self? Settling for the easy way out might just turn out to be the biggest mistake of our life.
    • wow (25/03/2018, 09:48) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      ALL the banks are connected so stop the madness about IMF trying to act as if you know something we dont. CDB and all the other banks are connected to World Bank and IMF. If we had saved money over the years we wouldnt be here talking bullshit. We dont want to admit that we were irresponsible but have the most conspiracy theories.
  • STEREO284 (25/03/2018, 04:33) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Colonial past. Colonial present. Let that settle in for a bit.
  • consequence (25/03/2018, 06:02) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Vote against this bill and be branded. Vote against this bill and get blame for the BVI demised. All I'm hearing from the opposing voices is what they want. Hmmm. What they want in the bill.. What they want.. They seem to rule compromise out.. They are now bossing around the helper..
  • @ resident (25/03/2018, 06:03) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Please explain how england get full control if they take the money? U guys need to stop it. If the bank lend u money there r conditons you have to agree to. U guys want the money to do wat u all want. N at d end of the day nothing get done.
    This has nothing to do wit wat noel fight for. Noel care for the ppl not his pocket
  • DA VOICE (25/03/2018, 06:12) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Them politian not hearing the man n the street. They n d house try n to please their rich friends. Listen to most of them. They out of touch with with d majority of the public needs.
    Our infrastructure need rebuilding social security money s our money not d goverment money u all keep u all eyes of it
    Soon it sound like u want to make it broke
    Let england give the money n let them make sure it spend n the rite areas
  • Reality check (25/03/2018, 06:17) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Still no one gone to jail
  • It's not ok (25/03/2018, 08:53) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    It's not ok to have the millionaire have his people in place to bring in companies from outside to set up and get contracts. What will happen to our locals. Change the terms!!!!! To give the locals a part in the recovery and not having to apply to outside companies to get jobs.
    Stand your ground Alvera, Mitch, Marlon, Delores (you sock it to the Dep. Premier) Archie, Ronnie. Please, Please, stand up for us.
  • pat (25/03/2018, 13:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The hapless bvi people are prey to predatory and unconscionable government everytime.
  • money talk (25/03/2018, 21:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am in agreement that the country needs to get financial help to rebuild. However, if the BVI Ruling party didn't do their homework from day one things would not come to this. They have not practiced good governance and proper financial management where the country finances are concerned. The premier needs to bring all documents to the board involving the recovery plan from the UK and stop trying to side track people. Wake up and look around. The bill needs to be set up where its in the best interest of everyone but if not as a country look to local markets to find alternative means of recovery. The UK has only placed these strong stipulations in place because of the poor mis management of the BVI finances. This is serious business and its time people start waking up and Stand strong and united for our country.

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