British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Jan 21, 2021

'No time for division or petty politics'

Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone in his latest address to the people of the Virgin Islands Hon Carvin Malone has urged the territory's opposition to bring an end to the petty politics relating to the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This comes following claims from the VI Opposition comprising Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) along with members Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) and Hon Melvin M Turnbull (R2), that the Government was keeping them in the dark regarding its decisions to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

No petty politics - Hon Malone

"As we put our hands together to defeat this unseen adversary, this is not the time for division, discrimination or petty politics," Hon Malone said in a COVID-19 update broadcasted on Friday morning, September 4, 2020.

The Health Minister was at the time announcing 16 more confirmed COVID-19 cases in the VI, a figure that brought the territory's total to 63 with 52 current active cases.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand... It is disingenuous to state that this Government has kept the opposition in the dark without a plan or information concerning our actions being contemplated," the Minister further said.

He said as early as March 2020, the Government sat in press conferences and with the Opposition and thereafter, released the National Action Plan against the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Gov't divulged information on COVID-19 budget plans

Meanwhile, the Health Minister said in April 2020, the Government also commissioned a “Coronavirus Economic and Fiscal Stability Task Force” in response to the Coronavirus Crisis, that examined the impacts of the pandemic on several areas of the economy.

"Most important to note is that all members of the House of Assembly, inclusive of members of the Opposition caring to attend, were subjected to a 90 minutes presentation by the Premier [Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1)] on the need to re-look and amend the 2020 Budget given the reality of income projections."

He said at the presentation, budgeted expenditures from each budget head were examined and readjusted to take into account the reality of the local fall-out of COVID-19, which realigned proposed expenditure with realistic income projections all of which were made privy to the Opposition.


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