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New Fiscal Year for the Turks and Caicos




#TurksandCaicos, April 4, 2022 – April 1st passed over the weekend, and with it the start of the new fiscal year for the Turks and Caicos Islands, bringing several changes into effect.

The Gun Amnesty has officially ended and with it any chance of individuals with illegal firearms to avoid prison time if they are caught, with an unregistered gun or ammunition. Now, April signals the start of a new policing strategy to get illegal guns off of the street.

The initiative, which offered a cash incentive to the handover of unregistered weapons, was announced at the start of March.  The Amnesty ran March 1-31st.

“Be reassured, we will match them every step of the way.  We hope it does not reach there, but we are capable of doing just that, said Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner of Police in addressing a concern that the Royal TCI Police is outmatched when it comes to firepower.  He added, “We will continue to do what needs to be done in terms of enforcement, however, the good news is that for this time, we are giving them one month to turn it in, and obviously moving forward, there will be zero tolerance.”

April also brings with it some reductions in taxes and the Food & Fuel Tax breaks came into force on the first day of the month.

In announcing the measure, designed to offset the staggering weight of rising inflation and the exacerbation caused by sanctions which followed the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, Premier Washington Misick held a national press conference to explain how government plans to help.

“We are initially providing a relief of $15 million dollars over the next 12 months” this, he said was to ‘hold down costs to consumers.’

April 1 is also the start of the announced increase in National Insurance Board payments for workers and employers across the country.

“In order to protect its reserves, which are specifically set aside for the continuous payment of future benefits during periods of economic downturn, it is necessary to immediately increase the existing contribution rate structure.

Cabinet in accordance with the recommendations of the Actuary, has accepted and approved the implementation of incremental increases in the current contribution rates over the next three years with effect from April 1, 2022,” a January 2022 press release from the NIB explained.

In the private sector, the rate on taxable income is raised to 10 per cent; 5.5 per cent is to be paid by the employer and 4.5 per cent is to be paid by the employee.

In the public sector, the rate is up to 9.15 per cent with the worker paying 4.075 per cent and the employer or government paying 5.075 per cent.

The self-employed NIB rate is hiked to 8 per cent.

Pension increases for retired individuals over 65, who are for the first time accessing their pensions will see incremental increases up to 30 per cent; however the increase is for those who opt to tap their retirement later.

Also to begin April at the NIB, an outright end to invalidity payments which do not meeting a 300 contribution payment threshold.  Previously, invalidity beneficiaries were accepted after 150 payments into the plan

Another whopper announcement for April came from the TCI Government for its 2,500 staff members.

The new Public Sector Employees Pension Fund and the  Pensions Amendment Bills were also passed in the  House of Assembly with a budget of $23 – $30 million dollars in the first year of the benefit to civil servants.

This means public sector workers officially have a working pension plan along with their NIB pension plan; historic and effective on April 1.

The new savings strategy – which employs a co-payment system – was designed to ensure islanders can look forward to healthier remuneration for disability, death, late and early retirement.

Attorney General Rhondalee Brathwaite-Knowles said, “It is the right of every public sector worker to not only be provided with the tools that allow them to appropriately carry out the roles that are recruited to do, but that they also receive fair compensation and benefits for doing so.”

Additionally, the start of the quarter offered to business licensees across the Turks and Caicos Islands a three-month opportunity to pay off their business license arrears. Government presented a ‘debt forgiveness’ offer to the tune of $1.4 Million and cancelled all penalty charges attracted due to unpaid business license fees, dating back to 02018.



Three Days to NIB Rate Increase for 2023



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer



#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.

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Bahamas News

Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin



By KATHRYN CAMPBELLBahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas, March 29, 2023 – Over 100 schools in New Providence, public and private, and some 30 plus schools in Freeport have been inspected by The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council (NAECOB) to ensure high quality standards for the delivery of education.
“We will cover every island, every cay in this country to make certain that the facilities that we send our children to are adequate, conducive for learning, safe and sound for education,” said Thelma Grimes, chairperson, NAECOB.
“We are going to head to Cat Island and all the others before June.This is our announced visit. They [schools] have a chance to get things fixed that are not finished and [afterwards] we will have the unannounced.”
The Council informed the media of its progress during a briefing Monday, March 20, 2023 at its headquarters, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member explained that the council’s seven inspectors are tasked with visiting every site or virtual space operating the following: primary/secondary schools, private/secondary, post-secondary, recognized, training, allied health and business institutions among others.
 Mr. Newbold said inspections include an examination of:
 -Safety and security standards-Human security which begins at the entrance to the property’-Physical security: safety mechanisms including smoke detectors, fire alarms and extinguishers (service date verification, and evacuation plan)-Primary grounds, playground equipment, swing sets and slides-Curriculum-Information management system (student records, staff schedules, registration certificate with NAECOB, business license, photos of the national leaders etc.)
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Institute thanked NAECOB for their efforts. She described their work as “critical” and a part of an overall national thrust to ensure that the quality of education in the country is at a high standard.“We’re the Ministry of Education and they’re our schools. We are accountable to NAECOB. They ensure that what is happening on the campuses throughout the nation meets the physical standards and the qualitative standards of education. You would have heard classroom size and teacher/student ratio. We may have challenges, and we do at the Ministry of Education but when these issues are brought to our attention we are obliged and compelled to seek resolution to ensure that the standards are met.
“This is a quality assurance measure for the Ministry itself and our schools to ensure that public and private and public schools meet these standards. We value that. Because the objective of the Ministry is to ensure that we meet the standards so that our young people who enter these institutions are afforded the best opportunity possible.
 “Education is a cultural value; a norm. We submit ourselves to the work of NAECOB to ensuring what happens is done at least to make the acceptable standards of the delivery of education in our schools,” she said.
Cassia Minnis, registration officer, said “registration” certifies that a local educational institution/provider has met the criteria to offer an educational service in The Bahamas as outlined in the Education Act. She said it is mandatory that all educational institutions/provider offering/proposing to offer an educational service in the Bahamas must be registered according to the NAECOB Act and the Education Act.
 She said NAECOB is aware of “small” schools operating within residential homes and warned that this is in contravention of the law.
She encouraged the public to view listings of all registered institutions on the website at
NAECOB is responsible for registering and accrediting primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools, and any institution that offers training in The Bahamas.

BIS Photos/Mark Ford

Header: Seated at the table, from left: – Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin; Dominique McCartney Russell, Acting Director; Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer; Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson; Howard Newbold, Inspector, Council Member; Shena Williams, Council and Inspector; Dorothy Anderson, Inspector; T. Nicola McKay, Deputy Chairperson;  (seated behind) Willard Barr, Council and Inspector.

1st insert: Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson

2nd insert: Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member

3rd insert: The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training

4th insert: Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer

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Bahamas News

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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