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“Bite greater than the Bark” says Deputy Premier as TCI put on Grey List

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By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 22, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos Islands is back on the EU Grey List as a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction along with several other Caribbean countries, including two which are in an even more precarious category; the black list.

E. Jay Saunders, the TCI’s Deputy Premier said however, this is an unfair characterization when he made the reveal last week about the listing in the House of Assembly.

“What happens when a country is on put on the list of Non-Cooperative jurisdictions Mr. Speaker? Well according to the European Council website, its member states “will act together to put pressure for reform”. Mr. Speaker, as I am sure you’re aware, this is one of those rare times when the bite is greater than the bark,” said the Minister in parliament.

He also acknowledged that the list is not a desirable place for any country and has vowed to get the Turks and Caicos out the unfavourable category.

“Mr. Speaker, as the guardian of the financial services sector, I am pleased to say to the people of the Turks & Caicos Islands, especially those who work in financial services, that one country that is not on the list is the Turks & Caicos Islands. Mr. Speaker, jurisdictions that do not yet comply with all the EU international tax standards, but have committed to reform, are included in a state of play document (Annex II). This is the list that the Turks & Caicos Islands is currently on, and I’m happy to say that once a jurisdiction meets all its commitments, it is removed from the annexes, and this is what we’re aiming to achieve.”

The ‘EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes’ identifies non-EU countries that “encourage abusive tax practices which erodes member states corporate tax revenues.

According to several published reports, the Turks and Caicos has not ‘remedied failures of meeting one or more of the requisite standards within a specific timeline’ landing them on Annex ll of the list.

The KPMG report on February 28th confirmed that The Bahamas, TCI and others were added to this list since February 4.

The Turks and Caicos was last gray listed in May 2018 for ‘the existence of tax regimes that facilitate offshore structures which attract profits without real economic activity.  The situation was  then rectified in 2019 by former Premier and Finance Minister, Sharlene Robinson who, in a statement said she had worked with stakeholders to avoid this negative listing and country was removed.

Now the TCI is back to this unattractive place for financial services and business practices.

“Mr. Speaker, the EU has a program to address what they deem as “harmful tax practices” by countries. The EU aim is to have countries comply with a set of “objective tax good governance criteria, which include tax transparency, fair taxation and implementation of international standards designed to prevent tax base erosion and profit shifting.”

Mr. Speaker, on the 24 February 2022, the European Council ruled on the revised EU list of Non-Cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. Countries on the list are described as encouraging “…abusive tax practices, which erode [EU] member states’ corporate tax revenues”. What happens when a country is on put on the list of Non-Cooperative jurisdictions Mr. Speaker? Well according to the European Council website, its member states “will act together to put pressure for reform”.

The Deputy Premier stopped short of saying the country was on the grey-list, but did offer the assurance that the TCI is committed to reform.

“I want to take this time to congratulate the Ministry of Finance team, particularly Mr. Henry Saunders, Director, Financial Transactions Information Exchange, and his team; and the PS of Finance, Mrs. Athenee Harvey-Basden and her team; who worked very hard to ensure that we met the requirements to be included on Annex II, and who are working very hard for our jurisdiction to be removed from the Annexes altogether.”

Other countries named to the Grey List are: Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Israel, Montserrat, Russia, Tunisia and Vietnam.  Trinidad and Tobago and the US Virgin islands have been named as countries with harmful tax practices; these have been ‘Black Listed.’

The Turks and Caicos and other ‘grey-listers’ have until October to shape-up.

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13th Annual Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament (WCGFT) Check Presentation Ceremony – 5th April, 2023

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#TurksandCaicos, April 10, 2024 – We are proud to announce that this year’s proceeds from the 13th WCGFT were presented to 3 youth-oriented organizations: Edward Gartland Youth Centre, TCI Amateur Athletic Association (TCIAAA) and TCI Swimming Federation (TCISF).

The Edward Gartland Youth Centre is a non-profit organization providing a space of learning for the youth of Providenciales with activities ranging from tutoring to sports and recreation, arts and craft and so much more.

TCIAAA and TCISF just represented the Turks & Caicos Islands in the CARIFTA Games in Grenada, 2024. We are proud of their achievements and happy that we could help in time.

The Charities were presented cheques totaling $70,000:

Edward Gartland Youth Centre:          $35,000

TCIAAA:                                            $20,000

TCISF:                                                $15,000

This brings the total donated by the WCGFT and its Sponsors to $530,000. We look forward to giving even more next year.

This concludes this year’s 13th WCGFT Event and Cheque Presentation. We would like to thank our sponsors and organizers who were key in our efforts to give back to the youth of the TCI Community.

We look forward with great anticipation to next year’s event.

Thank you all.

 

CONTACT: Desmond Williams, desmond@winecellar.tc, Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament

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Provo Water Company Boosts Water Distribution Infrastructure in Providenciales with Key Improvement Initiatives

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PROVIDENCIALES, TCI, APRIL 9, 2024: Provo Water Company (PWC) remains steadfast in its commitment to enhancing the water distribution network in Providenciales by making significant progress on various improvement projects while innovatively addressing short-term distribution challenges.

The company is currently working on two projects to enhance water distribution on Providenciales. The first project will see the installation of a new city water transmission main line from the TCWC Production Plant along June Plum, Gardenia Way, Kakeka Streets, and Garden Loop to the Leeward Highway, extending from the Long Bay Hills Drive junction to the roundabout near Crackpot Kitchen. This pipeline upgrade will provide increased water supply to the network and is expected to be completed by the end of May 2024, enhancing water reliability and ensuring better service for the community.

The second project, which is set to be completed by the end of September 2024, will focus on upgrading the fittings at major water junctions along the Leeward Highway. These improvements to the water supply network’s central artery will increase water flow to the Suzie Turn Reservoir, and enhance water availability and quality for customers located west of Turtle Cove.

These projects not only tackle the current water distribution issues causing nightly restrictions but are also essential components of PWC’s long-term strategy to support the island’s population growth and flourishing tourism industry. In the immediate term, the organization has resourcefully repurposed a newly built water tank located in the Industrial Park area. Originally designated for a future project, the water company has utilized the new tank as an additional source to replenish the Suzie Turn Reservoir, addressing the water supply issues that began in March.

In response to the new development, Managing Director Robert Hall stated, “We are pleased to have found a way to utilize this water tank as a temporary aid in addressing the high-water demand. The activation of this tank reaffirms our commitment to fulfilling the water requirements of our community in response to the growing demands of our customers and stakeholders.”

Situated in the heart of the Industrial Park area, the new tank boasts a capacity of 1.5 million gallons. This tank will work hand in hand with the Suzie Turn Reservoir to meet the water supply needs in the northern and southwestern areas of Providenciales, bridging the gap until ongoing projects deliver a lasting solution.

Once the two current projects have been completed, the new water tank will serve a critical role in a future project and in safeguarding Providenciales with an emergency water supply during crises like hurricanes and other natural disasters.

“This water system investment speaks volumes about our proactive approach to directly addressing water challenges. Through expanding storage capacity and optimizing distribution efficiency, we are well-positioned to deliver reliable, high-quality water services to our customers,” Hall said.

He also added that, amid these efforts, advocating for water conservation practices is crucial. Small actions, such as fixing leaks, using water-efficient fixtures, and practicing mindful water consumption, can play a significant role in safeguarding our valuable water resources.

In addition to these initiatives, the organization will continue to optimize and promote its robust educational campaigns and community engagement programs aimed at raising awareness about water conservation and the importance of sustainable water practices. By empowering individuals with knowledge and tools to make informed choices about water usage, Provo Water Company aims to foster a culture of responsible water stewardship that benefits both the environment and future generations.

“As we move forward, we remain committed to serving our community and look forward to the positive impact that these new initiatives will bring to this island.” Hall concluded.

For additional details about Provo Water Company and its water efficiency and conservation initiatives, visit its website, provowater.com and social media pages at @ProvoWaterCompany for tips and announcements, or contact our customer service team at customerservice@provowater.com.

 

Pic: Provo Water Company’s Managing Director, Robert Hall, and team working to expand water storage capacity to optimize distribution efficiency.

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Saxons Brass Section Thanks CWCO for Continued Commitment

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS (April 9th, 2024) Behind the vibrant costumes and electrifying beats of Junkanoo parades are committed members, mentors, and supporters such as Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO). In a heartfelt acknowledgment of years of generous support, the Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited the water supplier to present a plaque of appreciation.

Jeremy Adderley, speaking on behalf of High Voltage Brass, said, “Without CWCO’s support, we would not have had the brass costumes needed to compete and secure our two-straight victory. Their support also helps us as we plan lessons for our young members to enhance their musicianship skills, not just for Junkanoo but for college and beyond.”

Adderley highlighted that the plaque is a token of High Voltage Brass’ immense gratitude for CWCO helping the Saxons Superstars keep culture alive and for being a steadfast partner in developing future leaders.

He added, “Every year, it is a struggle to make it to Bay Street. Many of our members are eager to participate, despite their circumstances, and every year our group continues to grow. Thanks to CWCO’s generosity, we look forward to continuing to grow and succeed alongside their great team and establishment.”

Henderson Cash, CWCO’s General Manager, said, “Receiving this plaque from the Saxons Superstars is a profound honor for us at CWCO. It symbolizes the strong relationship we’ve built over the years, rooted in mutual respect and a shared commitment to preserving Bahamian heritage.

“Our support for the Saxons Superstars’ brass section is emblematic of our broader mission to invest in our community’s vibrancy and the potential of its young people. We are deeply committed to continuing this support and fostering the traditions that make our culture so unique.”

 

Photo Caption: The Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO) to present a plaque of appreciation.

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