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A sweet suite of support for 21,000 households and individuals in Turks & Caicos

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – September 13, 2020 — Thousands of households in Turks and Caicos will benefit from a new stimulus grant program rolled out by the country’s premier and finance minister on September 10.

“Today I am pleased to announce the launch of a new stimulus grant program to attempt to address the economic fall-out resulting from the pandemic, the Turks and Caicos government has  re-apportioned or reclassified $5m in stimulus grant that were appropriated in April 2020,” said Sharlene Robinson during a press conference at the Office of the Premier.  

Three hundred taxi drivers; 9,700 workers and 11,000 households are expected to benefit from the stimulus suite featuring cash payments, unemployment benefits and food assistance.

“$4.5 million will now be made available in direct assistance to employees that would have been impacted during the national lockdown in the Turks and Caicos islands during the period march to June 2020; it is being proposed that these individuals will be given a one off payment of $600,” explained the Premier in her statement broadcast live on national radio and over social media.

The Premier shared the criteria for eligibility will be revealed later and informed native Turks and Caicos Islanders, who benefited from the first wave in stimulus payouts, would be able to apply for support once again. 

“If you would have received a first stimulus, you would only need to provide proof and not necessary for you to through the entire process of providing documents again.”

Previously all hospitality workers – indigenous and expatriate – were deemed eligible for $1,200 government cash assistance.   Taxi drivers and other public service vehicle license holders were not included but are now singled out for government cash support.

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“Half a million dollars has now been made available for a separate stimulus program for persons operating within the public service vehicle license sector; this included eligible operators in the community cab, taxi and private transfer vehicle category,” the Premier added, “This will certainly assist the taxi drivers who have been waiting for their stimulus to be offered and to be approved.”

Taxi drivers had protested in July; demanding inclusion in the stimulus payouts.  Many of the drivers were either not registered with the National Insurance Board, NIB or had sizable arrears.  Efforts to bypass these restrictive requirements were stalled.  The Premier and Finance Minister, last Thursday delivered the welcoming news following a decision by Cabinet.

“We will be opening that stimulus program back up, for persons to apply,” explained the Premier who, on Thursday repeated that details of distribution of the funds were to be announced.

Acknowledgement of the traditionally slow tourism season, the usually busy hurricane season and the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic even on back to school, has not been lost of the government, shared Mrs. Robinson.

“Your government has identified approximately 11,000 households within the Turks and Caicos Islands; identified by parcel and head of household for this program,”  it was added that, “This program will be led under the Office of the Premier, Local Government  and Community Affairs who will provide further information on the temporary food program.”

It is a temporary program, approved by the TCI Cabinet, which will support households nationwide.

During the press conference, which welcomed media via ZOOM, Premier Robinson announced an unemployment and under employment benefit scheme to come for the Turks and Caicos workforce through the NIB. 

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The NIB has approved $4.2 million for eight weeks of unemployment benefit payments.

“Contributors would have had to have a minimum of 250 or five years of contributions with special provisions for Turks and Caicos Islanders and PRC holders, the applicant must either have been laid off or terminated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.


“The proposed benefit rate is fifty percent of the individuals’ average weekly, insurable earnings and is payable for an initial period of eight weeks or until the exhaustion of the $4.2 million.”

The NIB fund is expected to support 2,200 workers.

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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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