Beautiful Virgin Islands


VI must 'sit around table with UK' on borrowing money– Hon Penn

VI must 'sit around table with UK' on borrowing money– Hon Penn

Leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has indicated that should the National Democratic Party (NDP) be elected into office, his team will be seeking to borrow money at better terms to build the local economy.

Calling it borrowing responsibly, Hon Penn while as a guest on the March 29, 2023, edition of Da Morning Braff radio show said the VI must turn to the UK for money to build the local economy.

“The premier now putting a budget to borrow monies, but you're trying to borrow money at a time when it’s the most expensive time to borrow money in history, in a very long time.

“We have to find ways to go back to the drawing board, have a negotiation strategy. We have to get more preferential loans at preferential rates so that we can get the level of borrowing that we need to start to develop our infrastructure, our economy and a different sector that we want to grow and develop in this country,” he added.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has referenced the proposed £300M loan guarantee for hurricane recovery and development by the United Kingdom (UK) as a lost opportunity.



Loan came with stipulations - Ex-Premier

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had previously said the £300M loan guarantee for hurricane recovery and development by the United Kingdom (UK) was now a lost opportunity for the UK.

Under Ex-Premier Fahie the then government had refused to take up the loan over its stipulations.

According to Hon Penn, the VI must still “sit around the table with the UK, and negotiate, “you need to sit down around the table like adults and negotiate the terms and conditions under which you want to operate with this loan guarantee.

“No one said that we're going to borrow 400 million at the same time, but you borrow based on what your needs were. You borrow incrementally and borrow responsibly, and that is what we intend to do moving forward to help finance, a lot of infrastructure, economic development, things that we have to do for this country and how we're going to expand the economy,” he said.

Hon Penn added that once the VI borrows and expands its economy, more people will participate in the economy and do well, which will result in more money entering the public purse and coffers.

NDP first rejected UK Loan Guarantee

The NDP camp has been criticising the VIP administration for not taking up the loan guarantee, with Dr Kedrick D. Pickering calling it a colossal mistake; however, the offer of the £300M loan guarantee by the UK for hurricane recovery and development was first offered to the NDP Government in November 2017.

Dr Pickering and Hon Penn were part of that NDP government that failed to take up the offer but are now seeking to blame the VIP administration for the missed opportunity.
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