Providenciales, 02 Mar 2015 – The Turks and Caicos and UK governments have agreed the Territory’s 2015-16 budget, it was announced today, Monday, 2 March 2015.
The budgeted expenditure of US$224.7m is a 9% increase on the previous year, and proposes tax cuts, significant investment in education and infrastructure as well as delivering a surplus of $13.4m.
Some of the key features of the proposed budget include:
• a 50% reduction in the cost of business licenses in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI)
• the removal of the 7.5% Freight Insurance Tax which is applied to nearly all landed goods that are imported to the Islands
• an additional four staff to expedite the speedier processing of work permits
• an additional $1m for scholarships for Islanders, including $250,000 to help civil servants complete personal and professional development activities
• improved terms and conditions for public sector workers with the implementation of the pay and grading review
• the accelerated $2m completion of the new Long Bay Hills High School
The top ten areas of spending in the budget are (and increase/decrease over 2014/15 budget):
1. $60.7m (3.4% increase) for the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services
2. $33.2m (27% increase) for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Library Services. In addition to the scholarship funding, an additional $500,000 has been allocated to the TCI Community College, and $250,000 for upgrading public sporting facilities
3. $21.8m (32.7% increase) for the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Planning, including $2.9m for the completion of the Caicos Causeway and $1.2m for road repairs and improvements
4. $20.9m (0.8%) for the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force
5. $17.3m (-10.3% decrease) for the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment
6. $9.6m (16.2%% increase) for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communications, including an allocation for a new juvenile detention centre
7. $9m (18.1% increase) for the Attorney General’s Chambers
8. $7.8m (15.1% increase) for the Ministry of Border Control and Labour
9. $7m (28.1% increase) for the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Heritage and Culture
10. $6.7m (-19% decrease) for the Judiciary
The remainder of the budget consists of statutory charges, including pension and gratuities, contingency fund and debt servicing ($16m), the Governor’s Office ($4m), House of Assembly ($2.8m), the Premier’s Office ($2.3m), the Director of Public Prosecutions ($2.3m), the Deputy Governor’s Office ($2.2m) and other costs, such as the constitutional and statutory bodies.
“This budget has been designed to support further growth in the TCI,” said Minister of Finance Washington Missick. “As an example, we are proposing to allow the airport and ports authorities to retain their surpluses, rather than paying them to government, so that they can invest them in upgrading South Caicos Airport and the South Dock harbour facility in Providenciales, respectively.
“These ambitious measures have only been made possible by my government’s continued fiscal prudence. We have set a course that sees us continue to reduce our debt obligations, while also looking for opportunities to make a real difference in people’s lives.”
Although approved in principle by UK Ministers, the TCI budget is still a proposal which will be scrutinised by the House of Assembly’s Appropriation Committee in the next few weeks, before being fully debated by elected representatives before the end of March 2015.
South Caicos Development Plans shared with Washington-Misick led Administration
On Monday, 12 February 2024, the Premier led a delegation to tour the island of South Caicos to view the ongoing public and private sector projects, involving the remodelling and rebranding of the airport terminals, historical districts, and the East Bay Hotel.
The tour of the various developments reinforced the Government’s commitment to collaborating with stakeholders to boost the island’s activity and economy.
Photos courtesy of the TCI Office of the Premier
Ministry of Tourism continues to get rid of dilapidated structures
By LINDSAY THOMPSON
Bahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation is continuing to rid areas of derelict and dilapidated structures posing safety problems, and a threat to the overall tourism product.
In this vein the recent structure to be demolished was the Gaming Board building owned by the Hotel Corporation. Located adjacent to Goodman’s Bay Beach on West Bay Street, it was formerly the Sir Harry Oakes property; the northern portion once housed Bahamas Information Services for several years.
On hand to witness the demolition were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper, and Senator Randy Rolle, Global Consultant, MOTIA.
The demolition started on Monday, February 5, 2024 by Virgo Construction headed by the contractor Terry Delancy.
DPM Cooper explained that the government felt the Gaming Board building should no longer sit there in a derelict manner, and continue to be an eyesore and pose safety concerns.
“Goodman’s Bay will be enhanced as a result of getting rid of this building. It will be more aesthetically pleasing for residents who traverse this area. Women who walk in the mornings in particular through these areas will be pleased to see that this has become a green space, rather than a derelict structure,” he said.
DPM Cooper also noted that his ministry consulted broadly with the Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation (AMMC), and other historians before proceeding with demolition.
“We are sure not to take any actions as it relates to buildings, without consultation. So they were very comfortable with the process and we continue to work closely with them on all of the buildings that we have demolished in the downtown area,” he said.
Ms. Camilla Lightbourne joins Experience Turks and Caicos team
Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to welcome Ms. Camilla Lightbourne to the post of Executive Assistant to the CEO effective February 06th, 2024.
Ms. Lightbourne is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree a DeVry University in Florida and previously worked as an Import Logistics Associate at Graceway Trading Ltd. and a Business Account Executive at Digicel.
In welcoming Ms. Lightbourne to the team, Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos said Ms. Lightbourne’s appointment underscores the growth of the organisation.
“Experience Turks and Caicos is growing as we fill out key positions and responsibilities in the organization. As such, it has become necessary to bolster the CEO’s office by adding an Executive Assistant to work with the CEO on the effective administration of the day-to-day tasks. I look forward to working with Ms. Lightbourne in this regard,” she said.
Ms. Lightbourne said she is pleased to be part of the Experience Turks and Caicos team.
“I am elated to join such a dynamic organisation. I am looking forward to making my mark in the future development of our country’s tourism product,” she said.
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