TCI: A Big Win To The People of North and Middle Caicos as Bellefield Landing Upgrade Project Kicks Off
#TurksandCaicos, July 26, 2021 – A big win to the people of North Caicos and Middle Caicos as the PNP government moves with speed to begin the upgrade of Bellefield Landing into a state-of-the-art port complete with an ultra-modern welcome facility, barely three weeks after unveiling the financial year’s budget.
In a groundbreaking ceremony held on July 20, 2021, in North Caicos, the government officials led by the Deputy Premier Hon. E.J Saunders, and the Minister for Immigration and Border Services Hon. Arlington Musgrove assured the Islanders that the just-started project would be done to completion.
The construction of the welcome center marks the first phase of the transformation of the Bellefield Landing into a mixed-used port that supports tourism and commercial shipping. The commissioned project will undoubtedly open the gate for warm prosperity and growth for the twin islands.
“This signature groundbreaking today is the continuation and legacy of the vision of PNP party and government transportation sector,” said Hon. Musgrove.
The Minister also added that the upgrade of the port started when the PNP government invested over $10 million in dredging the shipping channel, building the roads to and from the port, and linking the middle and north Caicos via the course way.
“It’s important to the people of North and Middle Caicos to be able to benefit both privately and commercially to this project.
“We will see direct goods to market that will reduce the cost of living and access to our tourist and recreation sector,” said Hon. Musgrove in his detailed groundbreaking event speech.
In a press release from the Turks and Caicos Authority back on June 23, 2021, the Director of Ports, Mr. Delton Jones, stated that theWelcome Center project is part of plan for the phased development of Bellefield Landing.
“The plan is for Bellefield Landing to become a community port; catering to tourism traffic and regular trade and shipping to support prosperity on North and Middle Caicos,” said the director.
According to the press release details, the Port Office/ Welcome Center will consist of a restaurant, space for rental as shops, a port office, car park, gazebo, and other tourism amenities.
Talking about the project during the groundbreaking ceremony, the Director of Ports, Mr. Dalton Jones, explained that the facility would be upgraded to a standard international port to increase its user-friendliness and attract more tourists domestically and internationally.
The Bellefield Landing and Welcome center upgrade contract was signed with Unlimited Contracting on June 23, 2021, with the facility upgrade work expected to be completed within a one-year period. The project began with the clear-up of Bellefield Landing earlier this year to improve the aesthetics of the port facility, followed by clean-up and dredging of the turning basin, and finally, the just-started coastal structural improvements. The project will also include the installation of safe boating slips and is estimated to be completed in a year.
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.
Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin
Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.
The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.
At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.
We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”
View the newly released calendar of events here:
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