Turks & Caicos Gov’t offers interest-free Christmas advance to Civil Servants
TurksandCaicosIslands – December 10, 2020 – TCIG PRESS RELEASE – The Turks and Caicos Islands Government is pleased to advise of the approval of the Public Financial Management (Special Christmas Advance) (Temporary Provisions) Bill 2020 which was approved by the Cabinet and subsequently the House of Assembly to facilitate the payment of an interest free Christmas Advance to all interested Civil Servants.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government has for the past two decades and beyond, always provided its staff with some form of a Christmas Advance/Loan Program.
In 2011 TCIG regrettably ceased the direct offering of the program itself due to fiscal constraints. However, a partnership was entered into with the local financial institutions to offer a program to staff at commercial interest rates.
In 2019 TCIG reinstated the direct offering of an interest free Christmas Advance to its staff on more favorable terms than in the past as the previous programs only allowed a maximum payout of $2,000 while the new program allows staff up to a maximum of their basic monthly salary.
Some 1,148 civil servants benefited from the 2019 program at a cost of $2.9m to the Turks and Caicos Government with a payback rate of over 99% demonstrating its great success.
Commenting on the program Deputy Governor Anya Williams said: “We are pleased to once again offer our staff an interest free Christmas Advance Program this financial year.
Civil servants have worked tirelessly throughout the past few months during the pandemic to ensure that service continued to be delivered to persons across the Turks and Caicos Islands in a highly difficult environment.
They have done an excellent job in responding to the pandemic by working to keep us safe and healthy, ensure that revenue continued to be collected, expenses continued to be paid, our borders were able to be reopened, our streets continued to be policed and maintained and our children continued to receive instructional learning through our online learning platforms, among other areas.
We are grateful for their continued dedication and commitment and will continue to do our best to improve the social, economic and physical well-being of civil servants across the TCI by continuing to establish policies and programs to their benefit.”
Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson in commenting said: “Notwithstanding the fiscal challenges around the world at the moment, my Government is pleased to once again facilitate an interest free Christmas Advance program for the civil service this year.
We know that this has been a very difficult year for many persons, including persons in the civil service who while receiving their full salaries during the pandemic may still have been impacted by other means due to loss of income by other family members.
Having prioritized our finances, we have as a government sought during the pandemic to provide much needed support to persons across the Turks and Caicos Islands through our Stimulus, Business Grant, Feeding and other assistance programs and will continue to provide support and assistance where necessary to all persons possible, including those in the civil service.”
Three Days to NIB Rate Increase for 2023
By Dana Malcolm
#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.
TCI Police Detective Holden Speaks Up on Blue Hills Rapes
#TurksandCaicos, March 27, 2023 – Following the announcement that several women had been robbed and assaulted in Blue Hills in the past weeks, Magnetic Media queried why the Police would wait until they had a man in custody to release an alert.
TCI’s newest addition to the top brass Detective Superintendent Dean Holden, Head of Crime, Safeguarding and Public Protection, told us that it initially appeared to be an isolated offence and not part of a series of incidents.
“The full circumstances needed to be investigated to ascertain the facts before a public alert could be considered. Misinformation in such a case would only cause unnecessary public concern and confusion and could adversely impact the investigation and the safeguarding of persons involved—” he said. “Even now there is no definitive information that these offences are linked, and investigators remain open-minded.”
Holden claimed an early alert with limited information could have hindered the investigation and they were trying to protect the women who may not have wanted to be identified based on where they lived.
As it turns out, the public concern was very much warranted, because there have been more violent sexual attacks, and more victims got hurt, forcing their hands.
“When further similar offences were committed, the overriding principle of sustained public protection was considered, hence the alert/release issued,” he said.
That alert was coupled with the news that a man had been arrested. Whether those further similar incidents could have been prevented if the public was informed earlier and taken extra precautions, is the underlying question. To date, we don’t know how many victims there are.
Police have increased patrols in the Blue Hills area and condemned the crimes as unacceptable. They have not indicated if anyone was charged for the offences yet.
Louise Garland Thomas High School are TCISS Inter-High Track & Field 2023 Champions
#TurksandCaicos, March 27, 2023 – After a festive three days of competition, the TCISS Inter-High Track & Field Championships 2023 have concluded with the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School reigning as Champions. Featuring a great turnout, eleven schools from across the Turks and Caicos Islands met to compete at the National Stadium March 9-11, 2023.
The competition was stiff among athletes, who were all competing for top spots and by extension a spot-on Team TCI’s CARIFTA 2023 team. From high-spirited invitationals to entertainment by DJ Shakes, spectators enjoyed the best Nationals competition yet.
- 1st Place: A. Louise Garland Thomas High School
- 2nd Place: Clement Howell High School
- 3rd Place: Marjorie Basden High School
Twenty athletes have been selected for Turks and Caicos Islands National CARIFTA Team, some who would have competed in the TCISS Inter-High Track & Field Championships 2023 and some living abroad.
Here are the athletes:
- Roniesha Johnson U-17 Girls CHHS
- Branary Delancy U-17 Girls LGTHS
- Krysann Williams U-20 Girls LGTHS
- Anesha Varus U-20 Girls CHHS
- Lynn Antoine U-20 Girls Unattached
- Chyna Simmons U-20 Girls BWIC
- Rayvon Black U-17 Boys Denbigh/Jam
- Renaldo Registre U-17 Boys RGHS
- Jarmal Missick U-17 Boys HJRHS
- Melique Evans U-17 Boys CHHS
- Love Joseph U-17 Boys LGTHS
- Kaeson Garland U-17 Boys MBHS
- Shamar Garland U-17 Boys HJRHS
- Alieandio Durham U-20 Boys CHHS
- Bernard Hyde U-20 Boys CHHS
- Markey Zepherin U-20 Boys CHHS
- Rayvon Walkin U-20 Boys KC/Jam
- Anthon Walkin U-20 Boys KC/Jam
- Alidavidson Higgs U-20 Boys JC/Jam
- Darvioun Rigby U-20 Boys Keiser/USA
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