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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Opposition Leader maintains that VIP only riding NDP’s loans

Opposition Leader maintains that VIP only riding NDP’s loans

Opposition leader Marlon Penn has argued that his actions of condemning the current Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government for only executing projects started by the previous National Democratic Party (NDP) administration are not wrong.
Penn has repeatedly criticised the VIP government for only being able to execute projects on the back of a $65 million Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) loan engineered by the previous NDP administration.

But during the call-in segment of his party’s NDP radio show hosted last evening, a caller suggested Penn‘s actions may have been hypocritical since all governments work on the basis of continuity from previous administrations.

The caller refuted Penn’s claims against the government and said the NDP did not know how to spend the loans it had secured.

He argued that the Elmore Stoutt High School reconstruction project had been stalled after the hurricanes of 2017 even though the NDP had been in office for two years after the event.

Penn countered that his government at the time faced more than $3.5 billion dollars’ worth of damage after the hurricanes, but was still able to get plans in place for infrastructural repair work, school repairs and was able to establish an agency and the funding to execute these projects.

He argued that his government would have been able to execute the projects, as it had done with others previously, but said that ‘elections happened’.

Penn said his government’s efforts is the reason that the current government was able to execute the projects it had been carrying out.

The Opposition Leader was also criticised by the caller for a lack of leadership relating to the East End sewerage project which was never executed even though it was in his administrative district and his party was in government at the time.

Monies originally set aside for the sewerage project had been redirected towards the cruise pier project under the NDP administration, since they felt the pier project was a greater priority at the time.

Penn argued, however, that the current government has had three budgets to execute the same project and has still not been able to do this, even though monies have been put back into the consolidated fund for the project.

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