Cabinet has approved and submitted a revised Recovery to Development Plan to the United Kingdom as part of efforts toward securing a loan guarantee.
Premier Andrew Fahie said Monday that government “met the September 27 deadline” set by the UK to submit a plan, but added that negotiations with the UK are still ongoing “as it relates to the actual guarantee.”
The RDP was extensively debated before it passed the House of Assembly last October.
Some politicians expressed concerns that it did not include specific spending priorities or timelines for the implementation of major projects.
The newly revised plan — which was not provided to the public — includes a “detailed listing of recovery and development projects” and eventually will be presented to the HOA, the premier said without providing a timeline.
The push for action by the Friday deadline came as a result of months of debate over the conditions of the UK loan guarantee, which would allow the territory to borrow up to £300 million at low interest rates with the backing of the UK.
Mr. Fahie publicly pushed back against the conditions in August, claiming that the UK was demanding that the VI “basically hand over almost full control of the management of the territory’s finances to the [Recovery to Development Agency], which was set up at the request of the UK government.”
Governor Gus Jaspert denied that allegation, stating that the RDA is an agency of the VI government and recovery funding is for the VI government to spend. The UK Foreign Commonwealth Office stepped in as well, calling Mr. Fahie’s statements “misleading.”
After the premier returned from a trip to London last month to discuss the guarantee, he hosted a press conference where he announced that the government was on its way to accepting the UK’s offer.
He did not provide many details of the negotiations surrounding the controversial terms of the guarantee, but he said the trip was a “resounding success.”
In his Monday statement, Mr. Fahie added that the government “will inform the public very shortly on how the [revised RDP] will be financed.”
He also stated that Cabinet has set up a borrowing committee and a steering committee.