Government in dialogue with SSB for loans to fund projects

The SSM funded the COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Grant program disbursed by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Prime Minister Andrew Fahie said the government was in talks with the Social Security Board (SSB) for a loan to complete several ongoing projects.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Fahie said he could not disclose the figure quoted in the negotiation, but there were several projects the government was considering.

The Prime Minister also said he did not want to reveal the plans yet because now is not the time. However, he said it was nothing illegal or that the government wanted to borrow money from the SSB and not pay it back.

Fahie said the SSB was first approached when the government requested the $40 million grant. And at the time, verbal and written correspondence was exchanged about what would be feasible in the future. These feasibility discussions focused on whether and how the funds given to the government would be in the form of grants or loans and the specific projects in which the SSB would be involved.

“We are waiting for the talks to continue and when they are over we can tell the people of the Virgin Islands. It mostly looks like if we are going to get anything from Social Security it would be a loan with an interest rate favorable if that happens,” Fahie said.

“There are ongoing discussions because there is no secret, we have to get loans somewhere and if we can get Social Security to invest the money locally rather than overseas then we can make sure they have a good customer paying back,” the prime minister said. noted.

Fahie noted that every government in the territory’s history has approached the SSB, and that the SSB has made loans to “every” previous administration.

“What I can say is that all governments have paid off Social Security very well, including all the loans that this government has taken over the years, no matter who is in power,” the prime minister said. .

“Social security funds are invested all over the world, even if it’s a loan to the government here, it will be at a percentage interest rate that will still be a profitable investment for the social security fund .If you can invest all the money overseas, then you can invest your money here. It’s not something new if it has to be,” he added.

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James V. Hayes