Just over a month after Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) had announced that Social Security Board (SSB) had agreed to assist his Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government with $40M as part of the $62.9M Phase 2 Economic Stimulus Plan, the money has been handed over.
The check signing and presentation was done today, July 3, 2020, in the presence of Premier Fahie, Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, with responsibility for Social Security, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9); Financial Secretary, Glenroy A. Forbes; Social Security Board Director, Antoinette Skelton and Chairman of the SSB, Ian S. Smith, among others.
The handover of the money comes after Premier Fahie has been threatening to call names of persons who have been trying to block or delay the money already promised to Government by Social Security Board.
During the announcement of the Phase 2 Economic Stimulus Plan on May 28, 2020, Hon Fahie
had said Government has been trying to avoid touching the taxpayers' piggybank “because we understand that the hurricane season is upon us, seismic activity in the area is continuing, and COVID
-19 has not been eliminated, hence we have to leave room in case, God forbid, the BVI is struck by a disaster.”
Left with no alternative; however, Hon Fahie
said his Government reached out to the Virgin Islands
Social Security Board which has agreed to provide the people of the British Virgin Islands with a special COVID
-19 grant in the sum of $40M towards efforts in providing social and economic relief and stimulating economic activity.
“The Social Security Board is committed to strong leadership and prudent investment of funds. They have been able to accumulate funds to help out the Territory in its time of need,” Premier Fahie