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Willock warns against borrowing from IMF & World Bank

- advises Premier Smith to look to more ‘friendly countries’ for loans
Former Permanent Secretary and Businessman, Mr Julian Willock, has said the Territory should stay away from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as it explores funding to aid the Territory in its recovery efforts following the devastation of Category 5 Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: Internet Source
Mr Julian Willock has also suggested that the United Kingdom be approached for ‘Floating Bonds underwritten by the UK’ as, according to him, the UK has to do more to assist its Overseas Territory. Photo: Facebook
Mr Julian Willock has also suggested that the United Kingdom be approached for ‘Floating Bonds underwritten by the UK’ as, according to him, the UK has to do more to assist its Overseas Territory. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government has been warned against approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank for funding to aid the Territory in its recovery efforts following the devastation of Category 5 Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) at a press conference on October 25, 2017 told reporters that when he attended a World Bank meeting in Washington a few weeks ago he did not meet with IMF officials but said he has not ruled out that option.

“Let me put it this way, anything is possible because we have to seek resources needed to continue the rebuild,” Premier Smith had said.

While appearing as a guest on the ZBVI 780 AM talk show, Honestly Speaking, with Claude O. Skelton-Cline on October 31, 2017, Mr Willock, a former Permanent Secretary and Businessman, was asked for his take on Government seeking funding from international lending agencies, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

‘A dangerous path’

Mr Willock made it clear that approaching those two bodies especially for funding is going down “a dangerous path” especially when the history of those two bodies is studied, noting that the IMF has “strangled” many developed countries as well as many oil rich countries in Africa.

According to Mr Willock, the IMF may lend monies with no interest but it is its terms that may be the trouble for the VI. This he said may including having to restructure the economy to balance the budget and sending home a majority of civil servants, which payroll accounts for some 40% of the Government’s annual budget.

“This is something they have done in Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and many other African and developed countries. What this means is that you will resign a percentage of your population to poverty.”

Free trade

Another condition of the loan, according to Mr Willock, may be “free trade”. This he said will allow for the G7 Countries to have equal rights to come to the Territory to compete for projects, jobs, and “to compete for anything that money is being spent on,” which means local businesses may suffer.

Mr Willock has suggested that the Territory stays away from the IMF and World bank and look to more friendlier countries for loans. The businessman suggested that the VI looks towards the oil rich countries in the middle east for assistance.

It was also suggested that the United Kingdom be approached for “Floating Bonds underwritten by the UK” as, according to Willock, the UK has to do more to assist its Overseas Territory.

Premier Smith has said the Virgin Islands suffered some $3.3B in losses due to Hurricane Irma.

It is unclear if the IMF or World Bank will still be approached, with the news that the [British] Virgin Islands and other UK territories will now be eligible for Official Development Aid (ODA).

On Tuesday, October 31, 2017, the BBC reported that Britain will now be able to spend Official Development Aid (ODA) on the hurricane hit-islands after changes to the international rules agreed in Paris on Monday, October 30, 2017.

18 Responses to “Willock warns against borrowing from IMF & World Bank”

  • I heard him.. (01/11/2017, 16:13) Like (17) Dislike (14) Reply
    Willock know his stuff. He gave governent a million dollar free advice...Good Programme Mr. Klyne. Don't be cow don't be scared the truth has very l few friends and a multitude of enemies. I'm with u. Be the voice for the poor, the voiceless and the sufferers. We need a powerful voice.. Surely goodness and will always follow you all the days of your life..Amen!
    • ... (02/11/2017, 07:23) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
      Say one say two outside of dancia penn mr julian willock will be one of the most prepared candidate to hold off in the last 20 years and that's a FACT
      • Ambiguous (03/11/2017, 10:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        What you really saying buddy? Your post confusing ..."hold off in the last 20 years...?" Explain yourself. From 1997 to 2017?
  • west (01/11/2017, 17:01) Like (4) Dislike (10) Reply
    Hope he is not getting like funny man and trying to be relevant
  • The real (01/11/2017, 21:57) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    He is indeed a true Virgin Islander.
  • wize up (02/11/2017, 04:09) Like (1) Dislike (12) Reply
    Your mother country not helping: why some of those who simply sit and talk and talk donate the money: scores of our poeple have lost almost everything thing a substantial number of our own people
    Don't have insurance to rebuild but some sit on the side line and talk and talk and talk: the place need money NOT talk so our own people can rebuild homes and local businesses: other than the old talk; what some of us are doing financially(money wize)....just saying( enough with the already)
  • Aspiring Politician. Change the tone (02/11/2017, 05:19) Like (9) Dislike (6) Reply
    Willock. I listen to you. U sound very knowledgeable on serious political matters. Here is the truth. Be independent..Stand up and fight and represent all those workers who work hard over the years to make their company millions and as disaster hit. They are told to go home or hours cut...Cabl T, Rw. U will win. Stop focusing on attacking politicians. Focus on been the voice for the sufferers and the injustice they indure.. 30% of the voters are die hard NDP. 30% of the voters are die hard VIP. The other 40% of us Need a strong voice who can fight for us. We want to hear no attack on polititians. We want to hear attack on lime for years of poor poor service and out sourcing their Jobs. We want to hear on attack on Cable TV whos being ripping us off over the years and as win blow too hard or rain fall too hard cable gone and for laying off their workers now we need to get cable back..Fight for internet TV. (my personal opnion digicel is the best) We need to hear an attack on RW who laying off and cutting staff pay when they dont have to because they making millions in profit annually.. We need to hear an attack on these expact managers who will do anything to make their hundred thousand dollar commission even if it means cutting bvislanders. We want to hear an attack on labour why the 2peat renewal of expat work permit managers in simple managing jobs that locals can do..When the purpose suppose to be find a local or train a local.. We need to hear an attack on the labour code that give employers the right to send employees home for 3 months with no is the problem would you like that to happen to you.?. Here is another problem, u have to wait until the end of the 3 months to know if u have a jod or not..Here is what I suggest.. Employee should be on the pay roll 9 days pay per month and employee must know 2 weeks before the 3 months expire their job status so they can be program mentality... Its time polititian stop fighting polititian and start fighting for people... I starting to like Lorna Smith I like her position she seems to be someone i will vote and campaign for...
  • @ aspiring p change tone (02/11/2017, 07:32) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    You seemed to be full of contradiction. I also listen to the esteem and heard no attact on politicians.

    What I heard was what the current government is doing and suggestions on how to do it differently.

    So if willocks is running thats the way solutions. No attact and yes speaking out against injustices.

    As for you liking lorna smith now thats another story and for another blog .but willocks got my vote for sure!
  • Godfather 3 I'm Joey ZaZa (02/11/2017, 08:28) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    THANK YOU JULIAN WILLOCK! Been beating this horse dead on other sites getting a lot of dislikes smh. Forgive the general public even most educated people, beware of those whose bread are buttered for generation TYING THE FUTURE GENERATIONS TO HELL WHEN IT COMES TO SOVEREIGNTY AND ECONOMIC FREEDOM.
  • @ @ aspiring P change the tone (02/11/2017, 10:00) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    You read but obviously didnt understand what is said is basically asking for new tone a new approach going forward...
  • Yes (02/11/2017, 10:15) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    So where else will they get the money from? Willock, you know some people who know some people?
  • ------------------------- (02/11/2017, 11:14) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I always like to listen to Mr. JW, very thoughtful and smart
  • father (02/11/2017, 11:19) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    Yes, because so many banks are lining up and fighting each other to give loans to the OH SO GOD BLESSED AND BEAUTIFUL BVI! As strong as Irma's winds were, she was no match for the shear ignorance that permeates this little place. Warning against the borrowing is like warning a person currently unemployed due to the hurricanes about the job they're about to accept because it's not 'for them..'
  • dude (02/11/2017, 12:11) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    The reason they're going to the IMF is b/c they don't want to account for the grant money that they can get. With a loan WE will just have to pay it off and there is no transparency on what was done with it. There are other alternatives already approved but it comes with protocols they don't want. Another bad decision by this gov to enter into IMF/World bank dealing unprepared for what it really means
  • VIslander (02/11/2017, 13:11) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Anyone who knows history or can do research will be able to understand that getting into bed with the IMF is not the way forward. Just look at countries that approached them for help. What happened? People of the Virgin Islands our great grandchildren will curse us for putting them in bondage to the IMF. Prior to 2017 we toiled and climbed the ladder of success. We didn’t get here overnight. Let us rebuild without the yoke of bondage. Things will not be easy and we will find the way rough but we can do it.
  • hog city (02/11/2017, 14:25) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    I must say willock will win in the next election but he needs to decide if he with frazer or the vip
  • Charley Rose (03/11/2017, 19:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I appreciate the information that Mr. Willock brought to the people. He was 100% correct.However,if the government was open minded, they would listen to his advice andd don't go to the IMF for any assistance because the conditions attached to the borrowing will be a recipe for riot.
    Many countries that went to the IMF for assistance had to tighten their belts in order to meet the criteria of the IMF. There will be trouble that we cannot handle.
  • E. Leonard (04/11/2017, 04:23) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    As a result of the damages inflicted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the VI is grappling with some economic challenges in its rebuilding effort. It needs capital at low to no interest. One such source is the IMF. But borrowing from IMF requires making some structural adjustments. These structural adjustments often require the borrower to impose austerity measures, ie, cutting back on workforce.........etc. Further, it often prescribes policies. If the BVI wants IMF and WB money, it must agree to implement the structural adjustments. Going to the IMF is often a last resort for many struggling countries requiring a bailout. The BVI is at a crossroad and some structural adjustments may be needed as it charts a new course. The way forward will definitely require getting out of its comfort zone. Some sacrifices, uncomfortableness........etc will be required. Policy makers have to put all the cards on the table face up and let populace know the facts, the true reality. The way out of this crisis will be along a long, torturous and winding road. It will be painful. Life as the BVI knew it has to change. And residents must anticipate and embrace that change. The change train is leaving the station and residents must board that train to next destination. Hop aboard!

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