British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Mar 07, 2021

'Bear with Gov't' during COVID-19 pandemic - Premier urges public

Said VIP inherited 'highly vulnerable' economy that was already susceptible to catastrophic events

Echoing the calls of Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) for the public to have patience ahead of the distribution COVID-19 financial relief, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has called of the VI to 'bear with the government' while the relief measures are being implemented.

COVID-19 has crippled businesses - Hon Fahie

"I do not want to dwell on what the previous administration did and did not do, but the truth is that we have inherited an economy that has a very narrow footprint that was highly vulnerable to catastrophic events such as the major hurricanes of 2017," Hon Fahie said in a House of Assembly (HoA) speech yesterday, Friday, July 10, 2020.

He said the VI is now faced with the COVID-19 global pandemic that has crippled business around the world, especially those linked to travel and movement of people like the local tourism industry.

"The fact is that our resources, while some argue to be robust, are in reality not limitless. And where nobody knows when this COVID-19 pandemic will end and its negative economic impacts will be rolled back, we have to be prudent, practical and sensible, in how we spend what little we have," he said.

Beware of campaign to create confusion - Premier Fahie

According to Hon Fahie, with the United Kingdon now unable to provide grants, he said the harsh reality is that many in the VI are now out of jobs with no income and running low on supplies even as the Government is working around round the clock to find ways to generate new income streams.

"Those who are riling up the public and then trying to put pressure on the Government to dish out money, when they had nothing left to criticize, they began to criticize the source of the funds," Hon Fahie said in relation to Opposition and other criticisms over the SSB $40M grant towards the COVID-19 financial relief.

He wared of a campaign to try and discredit this Government’s efforts at handling the pandemic with the aims of destabilising the society, creating confusion, misdirection and misinformation in a time when VI is dealing with stress.


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