Premier and Finance Minister Hon Sharlene Robinson on Monday June 18 presented the long awaited National Budget, and while the figure for spending this fiscal year is historic; the leader for greatest expense to the public purse is not new.
Taking up 26.4 percent of the National Budget is Health announced Hon Robinson who added that the $76.5m price tag for the Ministry which encompasses health, human services, environmental health, agriculture and sports – did not include the over $30m assigned to the National Health Insurance program.
“Approximately 33m will be transferred to the National Health Insurance Board to facilitate the treatment abroad program and to subsidize the healthcare costs for wards of the state, the indigent population and utility charges for the hospitals. While this allocation is eight percent lower than the revised budget for 2017/18 it accounts for 11.4 percent of the planned expenditure and 11.8 percent of forecast revenue,” explained Premier Robinson to the Speaker of the House.
Infrastructure payments to the TCI Hospitals was revealed as $20.7 million, which equates to 7.2 percent of overall budget expenditure.
The second biggest expenditure item is Education, Youth and Library Services which in the projection shows the Ministry will require $43.7 million for operations this fiscal year.
At No. 3 for spending in the projected Budget and Estimates was the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Planning which will receive $31.7 million, followed by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police which has been allotted $28.8 million.
The fifth largest budget allocation is to the Ministry of Finance, Investment and Trade with $19.7 million, followed by Home Affairs which is given $14.5 million for the new financial year if the proposal is passed as is.
Seventh largest expenditure to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the projected Budget is to the Ministry of Border Control and Employment at $11 million, followed by the Special Investigation and Prosecution which tops Tourism to absorb $9.1 million of the public purse. Tourism is ninth on the list of top 10 expenditures at $8.6 million dollars and pulling up the rear, in the 10th spot as listed by the Premier and Finance Minister, was the Attorney General’s Chambers with $6.9 million in the new fiscal year.
Other notables were: Governor’s Office to get $7 million; the House of Assembly to receive $3.1 million; the Office of the Premier and District Administration at $3.2 million; the Director of Public Prosecutions Office with $1.6 million for operations and the Deputy Governor’s Office with an allotment of $2.5 million once the Budget passes.