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PNP reveals potential candidates for 2016 General Elections



 No constituency seat currently held by a PNP Member of the House of Assembly is sacred as the just released list of potential candidates proves that anything can happen when it comes to who makes up the final Election 2016 Team for the party.
 National Chairman of the PNP, Royal Robinson has issued statement that not only sees a slew of PNPs challenging as high up as the Party Leader, Premier Rufus Ewing for the at Large opportunity to run in the next General Elections, but it sees district candidates shift to the big at large field in the upcoming run off.  But before the General Elections, there will be a primary which will no doubt prove to be of epic proportions for the Progressive National Party.
 In Grand Turk North, incumbent George Lightbourne will be challenged by Sharon Simons.   In Grand Turk South, Arthur Lightbourne will likely be the candidate as he is the lone PNP interested in this seat, which is currently held by the PDM.
 When it comes to South Caicos; Norman Saunders the incumbent is not listed… he will now offer at large.  But the race is wide, with five PNPs wanting the job.  Don Fulford, Alden Durham, Alvin Parker, Ruth Blackman and Andrew
Hall – all for South Caicos.
 In North and Middle, we see a similar situation because DonHue Gardiner moves out of that district for a shot at an at large post.  Instead Mark Fulford or Tueton Williams will represent the PNP at the General Elections for this district. 
 Providenciales PNPs are satisfied with their PNP ladies.  No challenge to DP Akierra Missick of Leeward & Long Bay.  No challenge to Cheshire & Richmond MP, Amanda Missick and no challenge to Porsha Smith of The Bight.  In fact, the PNP is hoping to add at least another lady to their Provo line up with Rachel Taylor, former Enid Capron Primary school principal ready to take the Five Cays and Chalk Sound District.
 Taylor is the presumptive candidate for this seat. 
Blue Hills is with two interested in the seat; Adrian Williams and Claudene Pratt will go head to head in a primary to determine who will challenge the PDM candidate for that district.
 In Wheeland, the challenge lies between Elry Lightbourne and Dameko Dean – both men want to represent the Wheeland Constituency and have been vigorously canvassing the area.
 Yet, arguably, it is the At Large interest for the PNP where it gets really interesting.  Some political machines would have permitted only three more to contend here as two of the five At large seats in the House of Assembly are held by the PNP.  However, with this party and its constitution, the opportunity is ripe for any post to be held by anyone who wins at the Primary level. 
Ten will vye for a chance to run At Large for the PNP… including Rufus Ewing  and Washington Misick, the incumbents but added to the fray are Donhue Gardiner, Norman Saunders; former Nat’l Chairman, Trevor Cooke; Earle Barranco; former government minister, Samuel Been; Rev. John Malcolm and two women will try: Sheba Wilson and Alicia Swann.
Chairman Robinson confirmed that the voting primaries will be held next month and will allow only registered PNP Constituency council members to vote for the candidate of their choice; that candidate will be sent on to the NEC of the PNP for ratification.

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Three Days to NIB Rate Increase for 2023



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, March 29, 2023 – On April 1st, the second round of increases on contributions at the National Insurance Board will kick in for the Turks and Caicos workforce.  Announced last year, the increases were instituted to keep the NIB from running out of money by 2027 as it services a population that is living longer with contributions that had not been increased in 30 years.

As the Government’s new financial year begins, increases at NIB will mean a higher cost for doing business and a higher cost for running the Government.

The private sector is expected to pay contributions at a rate of 11 percent on your taxable income. The hike is up from last year’s 10 per cent; six percent of which is to be paid by the Employer and five percent is to be paid by the Employee.  For wages of $2000, this will mean a $200 improvement in income per month to the NIB.  As for the burn on residents’ pockets, based on a minimum wage of $1200 monthly salary, that’s at least $60 dollars a month and $720 per year.

Public sector rates will move to 10.15 percent up from 9.15 per cent with the worker paying 4.575 per cent and the Government paying 5.575 per cent; that’s $54 a month and $648 a year at minimum wage.

The NIB rate as of April 1, 2023, will jump to 9 percent for self-employed individuals; For self-employed individuals at minimum wage, that is $108 dollars a month or $1296 per year.

As taxable incomes increase so will the contribution.

The increases follow a 2019 Actuarial review, undertaken every three years, which unearthed that the NIB was facing a dismal future, possible collapse. Contribution rates were growing at a rate much slower than NIB expenses, which included beneficiary payouts.  On that trajectory, the NIB’s earnings would be eclipsed by its income by 2027, forcing the worker protection plan to draw down on money saved for economic shocks like Covid-19.

Unsurprisingly, this was deemed untenable, and an immediate increase was recommended.

Despite this scramble to boost earnings, the NIB has simultaneously increased payouts.  Payouts for pensions, funeral grants, maternity grants and more will all attract bigger sums.

These incremental increases on contributions and payouts were all consultant recommendations, informed statements from the Board.

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Bahamas News

Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin



By KATHRYN CAMPBELLBahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas, March 29, 2023 – Over 100 schools in New Providence, public and private, and some 30 plus schools in Freeport have been inspected by The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council (NAECOB) to ensure high quality standards for the delivery of education.
“We will cover every island, every cay in this country to make certain that the facilities that we send our children to are adequate, conducive for learning, safe and sound for education,” said Thelma Grimes, chairperson, NAECOB.
“We are going to head to Cat Island and all the others before June.This is our announced visit. They [schools] have a chance to get things fixed that are not finished and [afterwards] we will have the unannounced.”
The Council informed the media of its progress during a briefing Monday, March 20, 2023 at its headquarters, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member explained that the council’s seven inspectors are tasked with visiting every site or virtual space operating the following: primary/secondary schools, private/secondary, post-secondary, recognized, training, allied health and business institutions among others.
 Mr. Newbold said inspections include an examination of:
 -Safety and security standards-Human security which begins at the entrance to the property’-Physical security: safety mechanisms including smoke detectors, fire alarms and extinguishers (service date verification, and evacuation plan)-Primary grounds, playground equipment, swing sets and slides-Curriculum-Information management system (student records, staff schedules, registration certificate with NAECOB, business license, photos of the national leaders etc.)
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Institute thanked NAECOB for their efforts. She described their work as “critical” and a part of an overall national thrust to ensure that the quality of education in the country is at a high standard.“We’re the Ministry of Education and they’re our schools. We are accountable to NAECOB. They ensure that what is happening on the campuses throughout the nation meets the physical standards and the qualitative standards of education. You would have heard classroom size and teacher/student ratio. We may have challenges, and we do at the Ministry of Education but when these issues are brought to our attention we are obliged and compelled to seek resolution to ensure that the standards are met.
“This is a quality assurance measure for the Ministry itself and our schools to ensure that public and private and public schools meet these standards. We value that. Because the objective of the Ministry is to ensure that we meet the standards so that our young people who enter these institutions are afforded the best opportunity possible.
 “Education is a cultural value; a norm. We submit ourselves to the work of NAECOB to ensuring what happens is done at least to make the acceptable standards of the delivery of education in our schools,” she said.
Cassia Minnis, registration officer, said “registration” certifies that a local educational institution/provider has met the criteria to offer an educational service in The Bahamas as outlined in the Education Act. She said it is mandatory that all educational institutions/provider offering/proposing to offer an educational service in the Bahamas must be registered according to the NAECOB Act and the Education Act.
 She said NAECOB is aware of “small” schools operating within residential homes and warned that this is in contravention of the law.
She encouraged the public to view listings of all registered institutions on the website at
NAECOB is responsible for registering and accrediting primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools, and any institution that offers training in The Bahamas.

BIS Photos/Mark Ford

Header: Seated at the table, from left: – Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin; Dominique McCartney Russell, Acting Director; Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer; Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson; Howard Newbold, Inspector, Council Member; Shena Williams, Council and Inspector; Dorothy Anderson, Inspector; T. Nicola McKay, Deputy Chairperson;  (seated behind) Willard Barr, Council and Inspector.

1st insert: Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson

2nd insert: Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member

3rd insert: The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training

4th insert: Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.

The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.

At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.

We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”

View the newly released calendar of events here:…

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