Author: Hon Donaldson Romeo | Date: 12 February 2021
A few days ago, all of Montserrat was appalled to learn that our border control, quarantine and social distancing measures to try to control or keep out the Covid-19 virus have failed. We face six (6) known cases of Covid-19 and are in a new lockdown. Equally urgent is the obvious need for relief and assistance for the people and businesses on Montserrat.
Despite obvious hardships faced by the People of Montserrat over the past 7 to 10 months, the GoM has been giving the impression that things are generally okay with the state of our economy. At the same time, the GoM has given the impression that they are waiting on the FCDO for a response to their proposals to provide assistance to struggling businesses and people.
Due to lack of transparency on the part of the GoM since May, 2020 regarding the 2021/21 recurrent budget, it is unclear whether the FCDO is holding back aid, or if Government proposals are faulty. With no evidence, I am unsure of who is responsible but “One thing I know for sure, there is an urgent and obvious on-the-ground need that has not been met over the past 8 months, and now during this sudden lockdown, is unlikely to be met” and “Clearly, immediate action needs to be taken.”
I have therefore called on HE, Governor Pearce and the Hon Premier Taylor-Farrell (as local and lead representatives of the FCDO and the GoM), for a package of at least EC $7.5 million to ease the accumulated shortfalls caused by the multiple lockdowns faced over the past year; to be followed by further measures to put our people, businesses and economy back on its feet.
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