#TurksandCaicos, June 30, 2021 – Mr. Speaker, having heard the Hon. Premier’ presentation of the 2020/21 Appropriation Bill, I am indeed proud to be a part of this team Of People Centered Government. The desire as expressed by our Premier to move our people from poverty to prosperity is actualized in this budget. And why Mr. Speaker is this so. It is so because people are central to the economic and social development of our country. Mr. Speaker, there is a symbiotic relationship between economic development and social development; the Premier has demonstrated this.
And Mr. Speaker, as I listened attentively to our Hon. Premier, I heard ‘people’ mentioned at least 20 times throughout the presentation. What does this mean Mr. Speaker? It means that the People’s Term is here. It means that this Government led by the Hon. Premier is committed to the words of wisdom found in Proverbs 23:7 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to act.” It simply means Mr. Speaker to treat others right.
As I said Mr. Speaker, the Premier has demonstrated that this government is on its mission to do right by our people. Let us for a moment Mr. Speaker look at all the right things that have been done for the people of our country.
A FEW LIST HERE
Mr. Speaker: Our Government Droped a 15 million Stimulus Grant after few days coming yo office. We paid $1000.00 to every TCI & BOTC 18 years and older. More Good News Mr. Speaker, The People now have up to September 1, 2021 to collect their cheques.. WE COME FOR THIS WORK!! PNP.
Mr. Speaker: Our Government approved write-off interest and penalties on Outstanding Contributions for NIB & NHIB up to February 28, 2021.
Mr. Speaker: Our Government approved the waiver of Outstanding Customs Warehouse Rent up to March 31, 2021.
Mr. Speaker: Two weeks in Offic, Our Government removed Import Tariffs from all Essential Supplies used for Sanitation, Hygiene and Safety Purposes, including PPE’s for a period of six months. Starting March 2021 – September 2021.
Mr. Speaker: If You’re A Homemaker, A Farmer, A Doctor, A Taxi Driver, A Fisherman or Hotel.. Our Government Will Not Leave You Behind.
Mr.Speaker: Oh..If You’re A Youth, University Student or Young Business Person in this Country. This Government Will Not Leave You Behind..
Mr. Speaker: This Government in this 2021/22 has made spending on Infrastructure and the Social Development of this Country and PEOPLE TOP PRIORITIES.
Mr. Speaker, I mentioned the symbiotic relationship between social and economic development. Let me turn now to the social and economic aspects in this budget. Mr. Speaker, social development is about improving the well being of every individual in society so they can reach their full potential.
Ø It means investing in people;
Ø it means giving our people a good sound education where innovation and creativity are nurtured (support this with some numbers from the budget)
Ø It means releasing our people from the grips of poverty by ensuring the creation of quality jobs that support decent standards of living;
Ø It means ensuring that our young and innovative population have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs on the path to success and inclusion in the wealth of this country. As our Deputy continue to say, so that they can live their best lives here.
Mr. Speaker, The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said
“Economic development cannot take a nation forward on its own. We need a society and economy which complement each other. We need to take care of the poor, deprived and left behind sections of society.”
You will find Mr. Speaker representations of this in this budget. Mr. Speaker, this government did not run its campaign on promise. It entered into a binding Social Contract with the people of this country. This budget reflects that commitment. I lend my unwavering support to this budget.
May God continue to direct and guide the leadership of our dear country and bless this beautiful by nature Turks and Caicos Islands.
HON.SHAUN DAVID MALCOLM
Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation
#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance. The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections. However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.
68,000 STAYED AWAY
While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.
However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.
PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER
This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.
Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.
It could also be voter apathy.
BEST IN SHOW
Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.
North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.
VERY LOW SHOW
The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).
COVID Works programme launched by Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development
#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – The Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and the Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development team are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID WORKS Programme, that went live on September 1, 2021.
The Programme seeks to support many who have lost jobs and livelihoods, while providing labour intensive work for economic exchange opportunities for persons to be engaged.
Works are set out in three (3) levels and comprise a variety of categories example, cleaning, road works, demolition and general construction to name a few.
Level 1 – value $1,500 – $9,999
Level 2 – value $10,000 – $39,999
Level 3 – value $40,000 – $70,000
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Hon. Missick said, “We are very much mindful of the impact that restrictions introduced by Government in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has had on the islands, many continue to experience financial hardship. Whilst, the hospitality and construction sectors in Providenciales have rebounded well, as an Administration, we cannot rest knowing that other industries are still limping along.
As a result, during the remainder of this financial year, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government has now launched the COVID Works Programme to provide an opportunity for Petty and Small Contractors to assist the Government in the enhancement of our communities, through programmed works, to the benefit of all of us as residents”.
The Minister went on to note, “This Programme is set to the tune of US$5,000,000.00, and works will be rolled out across the Islands in batches, as we have to ensure that we do not go beyond the allotted expenditure and that financial oversight and transparency are maintained.”
The initial batch of works for South Caicos, which comprised the following, was returned and evaluated on Monday, September 13, 2021 and included:
Demolition- Queen’s Shed
Demolition- Distribution Concrete Tank
Demolition- Old Clinic Building
Demolition- DECR Building
Demolition- Library Building
Repair of Water Cistern
Works for Grand Turk included:
Demolition- Blood Bank Building
Demolition- Geriatric Ward Building
Demolition- Kitchen Building
Demolition- X-ray Building
All returning bids must be sent to the COVID Works email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kindly note that as of Monday, September 20, 2021, the following works are planned to be released:
Beach Cleaning (Eastern portion of Grand Turk)
Street Cleaning (All areas)
Beach cleaning (Areas of Shore Club and Five Cays)
Street Cleaning (All areas)
A number of other works for Middle & North Caicos, as well as Salt Cay will be released shortly. This is a six month program that will spread throughout the TCI and we encourage persons to continue to register via email@example.com or the local Public Works Department and District Commissioners’ offices, to be eligible for this opportunity.
These works will continue on a monthly basis and the programme will come to an end in March 2022.
BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in
#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.
The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.
“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.
“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”
- Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
- Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
- Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
- Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
- Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
- Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
- Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
- Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
- Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.
“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.
Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.
“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are here to meet them head on.”
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