British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Sep 20, 2020

'I have to do Voodoo maths' to allocate district funds

'I have to do Voodoo maths' to allocate district funds

With many feeling the economic impacts of COVID-19, including families and businesses, Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn, along with Hon Melvin M. Turnbull , said the $300,000 district fund allocation is hardly enough to meet the demands of those in need.

Speaking at an Opposition press conference, yesterday, August 26, 2020, Hon Penn said, "We just got access to these funds less than two weeks now, we have sent forward requests from our constituency because we see the dire needs of persons throughout our community, persons who have fallen behind on their rent," he told reporters.

High demand for district funds


According to Hon Penn, persons are in need of money to simply put food on the table and said he requested some $700,000 from Government; however, he only received $300,000.

"They are real needs and persons aren't hiding... they have been sharing with us their bills and the things, the obligations that they have, and we have been fighting to get that support out of persons, throughout our communities."

Hon Penn said it is "total lies" that District Representatives were sitting on the money, "the money wasn't available."

Meanwhile, Hon Turnbull said he requested some $1.65M for the Second District; given the pandemic has impacted heavily dependent tourism areas like Cane Garden Bay, Jost van Dyke and Brewers Bay; however, he said he will make use of the $300, 000 fund allocation.


Opposition Member Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) said he requested some $1.65M for the Second District.


Difficulty allocating funds


According to the Opposition Leader, "I have to do some Voodoo mathematics to try to help as many people as possible. We all have the same dilemma and I'm sure the other members could attest to that."

He said the Territory has to find a way to allocate funds, safely get people back to work, as well as finding a way to get the economy going again and get revenues flowing.

"The reality is, if we don't do this, we are going to lose a lot of our businesses. We have to find a way to get those businesses back up again... and the only way we can do this is through a plan," Hon Penn noted.

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