Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – March 22, 2018 – The 15-month old PDM Government is coming under fire this week by the Opposition PNP which is critical of the administration’s reaction to hurricane damages caused by two major storms in September and of its inability to deliver on its election promise of ‘change’.
“One would expect that the PDM would have followed through on the plans that they presented to this country in their Change Document, unfortunately the only change that they have made clear and pronounced, is their intention to change the time and if we know what is happening in Florida, there is a bill before the legislature which is now on its way to Washington, which will be rubber-stamped which will actually set the time in Florida at the same time that we currently have. So that change and every other attempt to change has been regressive.”
Opposition Leader for the Progressive National Party, Washington Misick, during a press conference on Tuesday lambasted the leadership style of the Premier, Sharlene Robinson and pointed to a missing new fiscal policy and desperately needed hurricane recovery plan.
“There has been no attempt to speak to the country about how government intends to raise revenue or make any changes in the revenue system and how it intends to pay for the social services that the country needs. There has been no recovery policy, in terms of after the storm,” Hon Misick continued with, “I haven’t heard of any recovery plan by this government to make sure that people who have been badly impacted by the storm, particularly the most vulnerable among us are properly housed and proper provision is made in the event there is a recurring storm this coming season.”
Misick, who is the former Minister of Finance said that while he is unable to say how large the fiscal year end surplus will be, he can say it will be huge and is due to the lack of spending by the PDM Administration. He pointed out what he believes, and what many believe should have happened since the hurricane.
“We have not heard anything about the construction or the expansion or the identification of new hurricane shelters. We have the elderly and the vulnerable who are still living in appalling conditions with the roofs leaking. We have our schools that haven’t been repaired, we have children who are attempting to learn in deplorable conditions… the lack of their ability to draw down on the money, to spend the money to repair schools to repair government buildings to make sure that the vulnerable is cared for. None of that is happening, the funds have just been building up and so we will close the year at the 31 March, with a huge surplus.”
Mr. Misick called it inefficiency on the part of the PDM Administration to not have spent the money collected from taxpayers.
A strong accusation of victimization was leveled at the People’s Democratic Movement Government and the party’s leader and country’s Premier, Sharlene Robinson was described as autocratic, not democratic.
“The whole approach has been almost to see who they can punish; if it is not the constituency that did not support them it would be a contractor who got a job that they should not have gotten. We see that in the case of the South Caicos (airport) terminal, we see it in the case of the Fish Fry Village development and we see it in the case of others.“ Washington Misick continued, “One of the big problems that we face today is one where we don’t actually have a democratic approach to delivering for the people of these islands because we’ve got a leadership that is positional, in other words, expects everyone to cow-tow to her because of her position and using that to victimize rather than to empower people.”
Hon Washington Misick estimated that it would be impossible for the Turks and Caicos to progress under this style of leadership.
Blue Hills Man Charged with Manslaughter
#TurksandCaicos, February 8, 2023 – A 48-year-old man has been charged with two counts of manslaughter.
He appeared before a Magistrate on January 30th. Following his court appearance, the matter was committed for sufficiency hearing on April 06th.
Andre was charged in connection with an incident which occurred on December 24th at the Residence Yard, Five Cays.
Two female minors -ages six and seven- died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Press Release: RTCIPF
Sugar and salt tax campaigns gaining steam
By Dana Malcolm
February 7, 2023 – A global battle on sugar and salt is ramping up as the United States joins The Bahamas and Barbados in creating proposals for historic sugar and salt laws.
The country’s Agricultural Department for the first time in history, proposed a cap on the amount of sugar to be allowed in school meals.
The World Health Organization has found that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world and based on the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas we also have the second highest prevalence of Diabetes overall for all global regions at 14 percent or 51 million people with a projected 24 percent increase in just 22 years.
Barbados, the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are all suffering from incredibly high rates of diabetes.
Barbados and The Bahamas announced sugar taxes last month; the hope is to reduce the importation and sale of sugar and salt rich foods.
Advocates across the Caribbean including Jamaica, Trinidad, and others have been campaigning for sugar taxes in their own countries with support from the public.
Now the proposed nutritional rules for the United States would set firm boundaries on how much salt and sugar can legally be added to meals, setting a new standard as most food imports for countries like The Bahamas are from the US.
The plan for the US is expected to be rolled out by 2025.
The rules, are unapologetically an attempt to cut down incidences of diabetes and other diseases fueled by unhealthy diets, according to media reports.
For now, the quantities on sugar and salt additives is an idea waiting wider consultation.
TCI Office in Bahamas identified
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, February 7, 2023 – An office space has already been identified for an all-new TCI Immigration office in The Bahamas according to Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services.
Musgrove told Magnetic Media that the ministry was “almost there” in regard to securing the space; it indicates the Government is moving full speed ahead with plans for the passing of the new Immigration Bill which will allow third-generation TC Islanders citizenship, even as the public awaits consultations on it.
The announcement of the bill had caused some skepticism among islanders, some of whom wanted the government to focus on keeping TC Islanders at home instead of recruiting others. Musgrove however had made it clear that the TCI was in a population crisis and would need to slow down PRC naturalisation rates and naturalise people with historical, familial and cultural connections to the land or risk going ‘extinct’.
The office will work to deepen the relationship between the two sister countries even more and help increase the TCI’s population offsetting the need for masses of external labour according to the government.
When passed, the rule will apply to third-generation islanders everywhere, not only in The Bahamas giving them a free ticket to come home.
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