Turnbull: $17K Per Day, Per Barge Being Spent By Government
Member of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and Representative of the Second Electoral District Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull said the Andrew Fahie-led regime is spending a ton of money every day on barges in its border control initiative.
Hon. Turnbull bemoaned that the figure per month stands at over one million.
“It has $1.5 million per month now going out the door because I understand that an agreement or whether it is a contract of $17,000 a day for each barge; there are three barges, is spent to facilitate the patrolling of our shores to help with border patrol,” he said on Wednesday during the press conference called by the Opposition.
He added, “That may sound good, but do we have the infrastructure between customs, between Immigration. Where is the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force in all of this? Who should be on that team helping to lay the charge? Where are the armed officers to protect our borders?”
He also asked whether things are being done just for the sake of it.
“Are we just doing things and saying that we are spending money and making it sound good and spinning it to a sound and these catchphrases that are coming up again? Are we serious about it, or are we just spending money and say we are spending money?” the legislator asked.
Meanwhile, when the question of the cost factor was put to Premier and Minister for Finance Andrew Fahie at a press conference on Tuesday, he said he did not have the figures at the time.
“In terms of all the costs that are involved, I won’t have all those figures as yet because the Ministry of Finance is dealing with them. But I will ask you this much, what does it cost not to do them at this time and to leave the borders open?” he remarked.
He added: “For those who want to dwell on the cost of those, what is the cost to the UK taxpayers for military gear? And when you look at that cost wouldn’t it be more feasible to the people of the UK if they are going to spend that kind of cost in putting it into our resources and developing our people?”
Due to the spike in Coronavirus Disease cases associated with the smuggling and human trafficking trade between the US Virgin Islands, and the BVI, the government launched an initiative to beef up its sea patrols 24 hours a day.