First let me take this opportunity to thank the member states of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union for
approving the short term facility from the Central Bank to enable Anguilla to meet our budgetary shortfall during
the coming months.
The sense of collegiate responsibility that exists among the member states of the ECCU is a significant
indication of the growing spirit of fraternity which augurs well for our region as a whole.
I have been told that over the last two days the airwaves have been inundated with talk about the Government
of Anguilla borrowing EC$12 million dollars from the Government of Dominica. This on the basis of a statement
purported to be made by my friend and colleague, the esteemed Prime Minister of Dominica, the Honourable
Roosevelt Skerritt, during a political rally. As we are all aware Dominica is now in the throes of an election
campaign --- the date of the election I believe is Friday December 18th, 2009.
But I am very disappointed to hear that this matter should be the basis of an attempt by one of the leaders of
the Opposition Parties in Anguilla to make what he hopes can be political mileage. He having worked in the
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for several years his comments are obviously extremely
And while I understand the need in political campaigns to get attention --- he must know that this attention can
only be short lived once the facts come out. It is also sad that he is not or does not appear to be aware --- that
this can also contribute to making both himself and his party, seem to be either dishonest, irresponsible or
some combination of the two.
I have not yet been able to establish the context of Prime Minister Skerritt’s comments --- that will be his
responsibility to clarify with his constituents. And I hope he does so effectively. In the longer term, as a
colleague, I must have further discussions with him on this matter.
But what is important, are the facts as they relate to Anguilla. Does the statement that is being widely quoted
reflect the true situation in Anguilla --- or the reality of our borrowing arrangements?
Firstly, it is a fact that the Government of Anguilla and all governments of our region and indeed the world,
borrow. Secondly, the sources of such borrowing, is carefully decided on the basis of specific needs. This can
include short term borrowing, long term borrowing, concessionary borrowing, commercial borrowing,
government securities, bonds, and so on. It may come from commercial banks, development banks, regional
and international institutions etc.
On the basis of Anguilla’s relationship with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and myself as a member of the
Monetary Council as well as a past Chairman on two occasions, I have had the opportunity several times to
agree that our allocation be so assigned to enable our colleagues in the Currency Union to meet their short
term obligations. This is therefore a normal practice --- a privilege which all member states enjoy and which we
exercise when required, responsibly. It is necessary for member states of the ECCB to sign off on all these
short term borrowing requests.
I have been travelling for most of the day and have not done all the investigations or concluded my research
regarding this matter, but my Permanent Secretary of Finance, Mrs. Kathleen Rogers has done an excellent job
in responding to the facts.
I have not been able to make contact with the Prime Minister of Dominica, but when I do, I am certain that he
will do whatever is required to put this matter to rest. Based on what is being reported, it is my understanding
that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda have been similarly named as recipients of loan funding from
Dominica. They also join us in expressing outrage. Given the negative effects of these statements, I suggest
that a full retraction by the Prime Minister would be in order.
Finally, I appreciate the expressions of genuine concern which I have received from supporters of the
Government and of Anguilla. I take this opportunity to thank them for their constructive suggestions as to the
importance of clarifying this matter.
Let me assure all Anguillians that the Anguilla Government will always be responsible in the solutions we
implement to help us meet the challenges of this global economic environment. And let me repeat for
emphasis: “The Government of Anguilla has not borrowed any funds from the Government of Dominica”.