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Street signs to be installed in three Jamaican parishes  in January 2018

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#Jamaica, November 13, 2017 – Montego Bay – Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the Government will commence a street-signage programme in three parishes in January 2018, which will herald the start of a nationwide beautification and community development initiative.

“We will be rolling out the project in Manchester, Westmoreland and St. Thomas, and then get the necessary funds to take the street signs right across the country,” the Minister said, as he addressed a property tax town hall meeting on November 8 in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland.

He said this programme will address concerns that many communities across the island are hard to identify, as there are no signs.

“Some of the work of the municipal corporations, when it comes to beautification, includes identifying communities.   There are many communities in Westmoreland (that) when you drive in them, you don’t even know the name of the roads because the street signs don’t exist,” the Minister noted.

The Minister said the signage programme was conceptualised based on data gathered by the 2,700 youngsters across the island who were employed by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development last summer to undertake audits of street lights and street signs.

Mr. McKenzie appealed to citizens to pay their property taxes, as this is the only way the local authorities will be able to provide them with the basic services, amenities and infrastructure for modern-day living.   He reminded the audience that taxes are collected in all countries of the world, and Jamaica is no different.

He said that while the Government has a responsibility to serve the nation, the citizens themselves “have to become partners with us in this mission”, adding that in excess of $16 billion is owed in arrears for property taxes island-wide.

He congratulated landowners in Westmoreland, who have demonstrated an “encouraging level of compliance” over the last three years by making concerted efforts to pay the requisite taxes.   He said of the $607 million that was set as the Westmoreland target for the 2017/2018 financial year, more than $291 million has already been paid.

“I find it difficult when people say they are not getting any benefit out of the taxes.   While there may be weaknesses in some of what we do, there has been significant improvement in service delivery in this country.   We are working hard to make a difference, but we can only do that if you buy into the reality that taxes are necessary in order for you to live in a decent and a clean country,” he said.

 

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Deputy Premier Spot on, TCI TODAY Removed from EU Blacklist

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Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

#TurksandCaicosIslands – February 20, 2024Sixteen months after being added to the European Union’s Black List for non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, the Turks and Caicos Islands is now off that list.

“Today,the Council removed The Bahamas, Belize, Seychelles and Turks and Caicos Islands from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.”

The release explicitly states that in the case of the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas, “ever since October 2022, deficiencies in the enforcement of economic substance requirements had been identified in both of these jurisdictions by the OECD Forum of Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP).”

It was recommended for remedy to the deficiencies has now been “converted from hard to soft recommendations,” said the statement.

That pivot was fundamental in the de-listing of the two countries said the information from the Council.

“…which allowed the Code of Conduct Group to consider these jurisdictions with no or only a nominal corporate income tax.”

When Magnetic Media spoke to E. Jay Saunders, Turks and Caicos Deputy Premier and Finance Minister in March 2023 he had full confidence that it was only a matter of time before the TCI was given a more favourable position with the EU. 

“There is no question about it. I’m confident that by February 2024, we will be off the list– I’m completely confident and there are no lasting repercussions.”   

 It had been sub-par computer systems that landed the TCI on the list.  The Deputy Premier, at the time offered that the EU was being too dramatic and its language, disproportionate surrounding the issue. 

That black listing and gray listing is often viewed as a black eye in the financial services sector, therefore this announcement today is vindication for the TCI and a huge plus for the Fintech ambitions of the Misick-led government.

 Twelve others remain with the unsavory categorization including Caribbean neighbours: Trinidad and Tobago; US Virgin Islands; Anguilla and Antigua and Barbuda.

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Jamaica hosts 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Conference

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#GlobalTourism#Jamaica, February 19th, 2024 – Strengthening the future of global tourism against growing climate challenges, Jamaica hosted the 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Conference in Montego Bay from February 17th to the 18th, featuring high level delegates from the around the world, such as the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and spearheaded by its co-founder, Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism for Jamaica. The conference was under the theme “Navigating the Future of Tourism Resilience,” and addressed the swift need for more innovative strategies to combat the growing challenges that threaten Tourism. Sustainable tourism practices, crisis management, digital transformation, and the importance of promoting global partnerships, were among the topics discussed. 

 

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Dengue in Peru-Over 12 Thousand Cases

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Dengue#Peru, February 19th, 2024 – Since the start of the year, there have been more than thirteen thousand cases of dengue in Peru, with over three thousand in the fifth week alone, according to the Peruvian Ministry of Health. The northern region reportedly has the highest number of cases. Revealed in a February 16th report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs, this represents a 53.4 percent increase in cases compared to 2023. This massive increase is linked to prolonged heat waves caused by the El Nino effect, the ministry reporting over 100 consecutive unusually hot days and more than 200 warm nights. Higher temperatures create favorable conditions for dengue transmission.

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