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Reader-friendly Budget published at TCI Gov’t site; explains historic $290m allocation

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday July 26, 2018 – The largest budget in the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands was passed on Friday July 13, 2018 and a reader-friendly version is now published online, said Premier and Finance Minister Sharlene Robinson today.

“This year we continued the Citizen’s Guide to the Budget and you can find it at www.gov.tc which is a short overview of the Budget’s contents and I present to you, this today, highlighting critical spending and projects for this financial year.”

The 2018-2019 Budget communication was delivered on July 10, 2018 and national spending for this fiscal period is put at $290,014,177.41.  Absorbing the largest share of the new Budget are Health Care and Education, explained the Finance Minister in a media debriefing at her Providenciales office.

Despite commendation for the Turks and Caicos for presenting a bigger budget, there is skepticism from observers including the Official Opposition PNP, which charges that the PDM Administration did not deliver on its commitments during the last fiscal year and will fall short again in 2018-2019.  The Premier however strongly disagreed. 

“…we were very successful last year, we have 71 or 72 out of 78 projects and only eight projects were cancelled.  So we were extremely successful last year and yesterday, we received a report from the Deputy Governor that over 90 percent of those have already reached the contract stage.”  Hon Robinson admitted, “…it is an ambitious budget which is why we are introducing additional staff… so that we do have the manpower, we do have the money…”

The Budget is late; the Turks and Caicos fiscal year usually begins in April.  Premier Sharlene Robinson explained that the catastrophic blow dealt the islands in the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season forced a delay in the delivery of the new financial year estimates.

“We had a very difficult time trending what our revenues, and I shouldn’t say difficult… we wanted to be careful, it is important to do that.  Even though we are reducing our savings by $21m, we have to demonstrate that we are going to be able to replenish it.  We also have to demonstrate that we will begin to look back at a surplus budget, because according to the Constitution, you cannot have a deficit budget.  So we had to get UK approval for the Deficit Budget for the reduction or pulling money from our savings and proving how we are going to replenish it.”

The Premier, joined by Infrastructure Minister, Goldray Ewing during the media meeting, explained that again the PDM Administration is pleased with the projections for capital spending.  Earmarked projects are priced, cumulatively, at over $36.6 million with major projects being road works in Providenciales, a seawall for Salt Cay and reconstruction at public education facilities.

“Included in our Capital Program this year is school repairs with Oseta Jolly as priority, the Community College, Helena Jones Robinson High School, Raymond Gardiner High school – all approved since February this year and of course Marjorie Basden High School and Iris Stubbs Primary School where works have already begun in South Caicos.” Premier Robinson added: “This Budget Year we have Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron Primary, Mary Robinson primary school, Clement Howell High School and Eliza Simons primary school; they have also included furniture for the Long Bay High School new block.”

Getting double mention was the 8 percent increase in scholarship spending to $4 million; the extra money will enable the Scholarship Board to have more successful applicants.  The deadline for requests has been extended to August 17, 2018.

“The scholarships have been increased to $4m and while that is an 8 percent increase we have a large number of students returning and so there is a considerable amount of money in this year’s Budget for scholarships.”

The Budget, which is the second for the PDM Party since being elected to office in December 2016, also projects a deficit of over $10m which will be covered by money in the country’s savings account.

“Of note is the fact that the Budget also projects a deficit and a drawing down of $21 million on the country’s savings, which is the second time since the storm; first in February in relation to the Supplementary Appropriation Bill that we had received the UK’s approval to draw down on our reserves and to run a deficit.”

The link to the six page Citizens’ Guide to the Budget 2018-2019 is below:

http://online.fliphtml5.com/pejq/hdge/

 

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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Two Deaths on Monday July 8, Police report on Sudden Death and Unresponsive Male

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are actively investigating separate sudden deaths that occurred in South Caicos and Providenciales.

On Monday, July 8th, 2024, shortly after 10 a.m., the Police Control Room received a call reporting that a male employee had fallen from the fourth floor of a Resort in South Caicos.

Officers and medical personnel were dispatched, and upon arrival at the resort, officers were told that the employee was fixing an air-conditioning unit when he fell off a ladder.  The male was transported to the South Caicos Clinic for treatment but was pronounced dead at 11:47 AM.

The deceased has been identified as a 47-year-old Indian national, whose name is being withheld at this time, pending the next of kin being informed.

The second incident occurred shortly after noon in Providenciales.

Officers of the RT&CIPF responded to a report made at a Resort located along Lower Bight Providenciales. Upon arrival at the scene, officers observed a male lying on his back on the beach, surrounded by a group of people performing chest compressions. The victim had been removed from the water after being discovered floating.

The 52-year-old victim was rushed to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center via ambulance but sadly passed away.

The RT&CIPF extends condolences to the family and friends of the deceased men

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TCI Cabinet agrees to subsidise South Caicos international flights in May 29th meeting

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor Anya Williams chaired the 16th meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday May 29th, 2024, at the Office of the Premier on the island of Providenciales.

All members of Cabinet were present with the exception of Governor H.E. Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  1. Approved the Statutory Bodies 4th Quarter Special Purpose Financial Report for FY 2023-2024.
  2. Approved the 4th Quarter Financial Report for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and agreed for the report to be published on the government’s website.
  3. Granted approval under Refurbishment Policy for a duty concession on the importation of construction, materials, furniture, fixtures, and fittings for the Palms Resort.
  4. Granted approval of the request from the Ministry of Public Safety to access the Contingency Fund to support immediately required security arrangements.
  5. Did not support the request for the waiver of Import Customs Duty.
  6. Granted approval for the disposal of 73,000 cubic yards/meters of silt that will be dredged from the seabed during the South Dock Redevelopment Project.
  7. Granted approval for amendments to the Electricity Ordinance and approved Draft Control of Capital Investment Policy which would allow for advance approval of any significant capital expenditures by a public supplier.
  8. Granted approval for the reappointment of the following persons to the Electricity Board for a period of one (1) year commencing May 21, 2024: John Ariza-Chairman, Master Electrical, Richard Harvey-Member, Electrical Contractors, Menelik Astwood-Member TCICC, James Fulford-Member Electrical Contractors, Director of Planning-Dainer Lightbourne-ex-officio, Energy and Utilities Commission-Delano Arthur-ex-officio and Permanent Secretary (MPSU) Mrs. Bridgette Newman ex-officio, and Shanetta Thompson appointed as Secretary for a period of 2 years.
  9. Granted approval for a long-term lease over Parcels 10506/29 South Suburbs, Grand Turk for the development of a cruise stop over resort type facility.
  10. Noted the findings of the Registrar and approved an interim settlement to be paid in respect of Interim Certificate of Taxation re: CL 42/21 Thanbyrase Srikanth et al v Director of Immigration et al-Cost Certificate)
  11. Granted approval of the Draft District Administration Bill 2024 and noted the stakeholder consultation plan that was scheduled to be conducted throughout the islands.
  12. Noted the previous approval for the budget reallocation within the DMMO Experience Turks and Caicos to fund the minimum revenue guarantee (MRG) in respect to international airlift to the island of South Caicos

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

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Proposed Amendments for Business Licensing in TCI heard at June 4 Cabinet Meeting  

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor Anya Williams chaired the 17th meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday June 4th, 2024, at the Office of the Premier on the island of Providenciales.

All members of Cabinet were present with the exception of Governor H.E. Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, Attorney General Hon. Rhondalee Knowles and the Ministers of Home Affairs and Public Safety and Utilities.  Ms. Yaa McCartney attended in the capacity of Acting Attorney General.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  1. Received a presentation from the Ministry of Finance on the proposed amendments to Business Licensing which was being put forward as a result of the consultations that had taken place and agreed next steps.

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