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PDM Deputy Leader: No to VAT, Silence on Crime, Where’s the Water and call for Financial relief



#TurksandCaicos, April 22, 2022 – I am very disappointed to see the lack of representation for Five Cays, following the shocking crime wave of last week. Many of you may know, I consider Five Cays home because that is the community I grew up in, so the disregard for the situation is just fully unacceptable.

Earlier this year I expressed deep concern for the way life was deteriorating in so many of the communities of the Turks and Caicos, and that crime was escalating. It is a trend that has sadly not stopped, it is getting worse. In my regular visits to areas like Five Cays, I am learning that people continue to feel deserted, and this latest shooting spree with no one from the government coming out to offer a word of comfort or hope, demonstrates that the representative elected for the work is so preoccupied with her Cabinet seat, that she seems to have forgotten about her Constituency seat.

I hear nothing being said about National Security – sad to say – the Five Cays constituency has the most crime happening in the country. It is on her watch that nothing is being said and it seems nothing is being done when young people are committing serious crime and people are dying or being seriously injured as a result of violence.

We all know that if the PDM were the government, when this crime spike broke loose, the current MP would have been all over it. Now that she has the power she asked for, we get silence. It’s a total no show on her job of taking care of Five Cays and Chalk Sound.

Chalk Sound is also an area I grew up in, and so to see, that these areas are being neglected is hurtful. While this government continues to promote their “Best life’ slogan around like all is well with the world, the people in this country are struggling under the weight of global inflation, run down infrastructure, slow government services, low or unchanged salaries and the fear of being the next victim of deadly crime.

On another note, Economists, Accountants, the Business Community and the Media have all reported that the reduction in CPF and government fuel tax will not change the costs to consumers, but the Government, who is aware of these reports, is silent on this issue. Not one word from the elected government in a month. This is disrespectful to our professional community.

A decision was made without proper and thorough consultation, so the taxes announced last month have so far been a waste of time and added paperwork which offers no real money savings that residents can feel. We know that you the people of this country are frustrated. You voted in people who said they would work, but the work must improve.

But, do not despair, the PDM will continue to speak out and agitate on your behalf. I will continue to keep this government aware of what you need or what you say, and how many of their policies are failing you.

I saw the Minister of Finance in one of his many boasts, highlighting what was not even a handful of businesspeople receiving grants through the MSME of Invest Turks and Caicos Agency. To me, to show off for two people receiving government funding proves the goals for this PNP Administration are far too conservative. We are an enterprising people; ready to build our own businesses and succeed. We need a government with big goals and big heart who are ready to equip us and help us achieve our goals. If we are going to be serious about changing the lives of people, and empowering people economically, then we need to be attracting crowds. The kinds of crowds which were attracted when you were giving out the stimulus.

Thousands came when you gave $1,000 and $500; so ask yourself, why then are they not coming when you are offering $10,000 or more in program benefits?

Let’s discuss Grand Turk for a moment. What credentials do the people of Grand Turk need in order for you to get them a reliable water supply? Year after year, we hear of issues about the water for Grand Turk including broken equipment and lack of security to protect it. What is it going to take for the Government to just give this matter the dedicated attention it deserves? Your priority list needs shuffling PNP. You’re thinking about vendors’ markets and how to accommodate more cruise passengers when Grand Turk can’t even supply water to a few thousand people.

Water is a fundamental, essential part of life and living, and doing business and providing health care. How do these officials rest at night knowing, thousands of people in Grand Turk are denied basic water? Once and for all, fix the water problem in our nation’s capital.

We are still in a pandemic which demands higher levels of good hygiene which means they need reliable water services. It is where the majority of tourists come in due to the cruise ships, the water cannot keep running out.

Back to finance. Mr. Finance Minister, the IMF is coming in here, looking for ways to make more money on the backs of the smallest earners, and government services are struggling to keep pace with the growing population demands. As for E Government – can we have a progress report on that? Yes, we can apply for a police record online, but it’s taking three months to get one in hand. Adding to these issues, you want to introduce a new tax, maybe a VAT tax.

The PDM is not in support of VAT.

Our people cannot handle a bigger tax burden. From where I stand, you are not getting the work done as much as our people need, and in the meaningful ways we need it. Your show and tell time is up, you cannot get tired now. Work





#TurksandCaicos, January 27, 2023 – The Ministry responsible for Education confirms that a recent report of alleged sexual abuse was brought to the attention of authorities at a particular school. For the protection of the child, we will not divulge details of this matter. We do acknowledge that there were issues experienced which resulted in less than appropriate response to the incident.

 The Ministry is continuing its investigation of the incident, in its totality and has since requested a comprehensive report on the response from all involved. Several meetings, visits and discussions were held. The key is to ensure that the minor involved is afforded additional counselling and care and that other students within the institution are also afforded the relevant support needed. The Student Support Services has been active in coordinating this response which is currently in operation.

 As an immediate further action, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) entities will convene and existing protocols will be reviewed and investigations conducted to determine the consistency of the response, exactly where the established protocols were not followed and the subsequent actions to be taken.

 The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services considers its responsibility for the Safeguarding of children of utmost importance. In so doing, the Ministry of Education has instituted a number of measures over the years to ensure that allegations of abuse to children in schools are treated with urgency. The creation of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) was created to ensure that teachers, leaders, Social Workers, and Police can respond to allegations with the child’s safety and protection as the core consideration. Child safeguarding remains the Ministry’s primary concern.

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Caribbean News

Turks & Caicos Islands Cabinet Report, Meeting held January 10



#TurksandCaicos, January 26, 2023 – His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 1st meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday 10 January 2023 at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales.

All Members were present.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Approved the Fiscal Strategic Policy Statement (FSPS) 2023-27 which includes the fiscal targets of the Government for the next four (4) years to be submitted to the UK Government before being submitted to the House of Assembly for approval. Members also agreed a wide range of associated steps going forwards.
  • Approved an application for duty concessions on the importation of construction materials, furniture, fixtures and fittings from Grace Bay Club Ltd. to allow the resort to complete refurbishment work.
  • Approved an extension and revision to the MOU between the TCI Government and TCI Finance Limited, which leads on the development and growth of Financial Services in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Approved adjustments to the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro- Grant Incentive) for the provision of compensation for registered farms that incurred damages due to Hurricane Fiona in 2022. Members also supported the adoption of a “Farmer Information System”.
  • Approved proposed measures to control the roaming of livestock in the country covering the registration of livestock farms, construction and maintenance of holding facilities, and the transport of livestock.
  • Approved a proposed model and structure for the New Destination Management and Marketing Organisation and Tourism Regulatory Authority. Members also approved an implementation process, the composition of the appointed Board of Directors, staffing implications, and a financing model, including the establishment of Tourism Improvement Districts and the payment of fees by tourism entities.
  • Approved amendments to the Schedule of the Ports Authority (Stevedorers, Fees, and Charges) Regulations 2008, introducing a variation of stevedoring tariffs. Members also agreed next steps.
  • Noted the impact of the moratorium on the issuance of new visas to Hattian nationals originating out of Haiti and approved the implementation of a moratorium on the issuing of all visas to Haitian Nationals entering the Turks and Caicos Islands for six months with effect from 11 January 2023.
  • Approved the granting of a licence to a named individual for the purpose of erecting a swim deck protruding from the Crown parcel 60400/366 into the adjoining sea and the payment of associated annual fees.
  • Approved the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Planning Department on Providenciales for a period of three years.
  • Discussed the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Gender Affairs and Social Development Departments on Grand Turk and agreed next steps.
  • Approved the use of existing funds for the use of retrofitting the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College.
  • Approved the gradual outsourcing of janitorial services for government buildings, including schools.
  • Approved the observance of Public Holidays on 8 May 2023 to mark the King’s Coronation and on 19 June 2023 to mark the King’s Birthday.
  • Was updated on issues related to the Ministries of:
  1. Tourism,
  2. Education, and
  3. AG Chambers,
  4. Office of the Deputy Governor, and
  5. Office of the Governor

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Multibillion-Dollar Shipyard Project Launched



#Kingston, Jamaica, January 23, 2023 – Economic opportunities are expected to abound for Jamaica, through the establishment of a multibillion-dollar ship repair and maintenance facility in the country.

Called the German Ship Repair Jamaica (GSRJ) Shipyard, the project will provide dry docking (lifting the ship out of the water) for commercial vessels up to 20,000 tons, and a range of maintenance and repair services to vessels operating in and around the Caribbean and Central America.

Phase one of the project, which is to be completed by October/November this year, is being undertaken at an overall cost of nearly $6 billion (or US$37 million), with financial partner Sagicor Bank committing to half of this amount as a bank loan. This will see the first floating dry dock, JAM-DOCK 1, becoming operational.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who  delivered the main address at Tuesday’s (January 24) launch at the Kingston Harbour along the Sir Florizel Glasspole Highway,  said that “this project will earn foreign exchange”.

“It will provide high-quality jobs, and it will contribute greatly to the prosperity of our country,” he added.

Mr. Holness noted that the development will contribute to the positioning of Kingston Harbour as a global logistics hub, pointing out that each year, Jamaica receives approximately 3,000 port calls while approximately 180,000 vessels operate within the region.

“With the investments that are being made in improving Kingston as a logistic hub, we are certain that we have now closed one of the major gaps that have existed and that more ships passing through the region will be inclined to come to Jamaica,” he said.

For his part, GSRJ Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Colonel Martin Rickman, said that the project “represents a new industry for Jamaica with great opportunities for other spin-off businesses, hence even contributing more to the economy”.

He pointed out that Jamaica’s “excellent geo-strategic location” makes the country particularly suitable for having a shipyard.

Detailing the specific operations of the facility, Colonel Rickman explained that “we here at GSRJ Shipyard will be able to lift that ship out of the water to conduct many types of work on the hull, the propeller, engine repairs and the entire nine yards, so this is significant for us”.

By international maritime law, all ships are required to be dry-docked to check for safety and integrity once every five years and attain class certification.

The CEO said that the training component of the project is crucial to enable  workers to meet the international standards to carry out the required operations.

He informed that some persons have already been trained.

In his remarks, President and CEO of Sagicor Group, Christopher Zacca, said that as lead arranger, the organisation is “confident that this new development will make a significant impact on the country’s shipping industry while also contributing to our productive economy”.

“We want all Jamaicans to share the vision of the stakeholders; this is a big deal for Jamaica and we want Kingston to have the leading ship repair and servicing port in the Caribbean,” Mr. Zacca said.

The GSRJ’s partners include Harren and Partner Group, Germany; Kingston Holding, Jamaica; Kloska Group, Germany and HAT-SAN Shipyard, Turkey.

Government agencies involved in the project are the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), the National Land Agency (NLA), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Attorney General’s Department, and others.

Several private-sector entities are also involved in making the project a reality.

The GSRJ started business in Jamaica in 2016 with the intention to build a ship-repair facility at the Kingston Harbour to boost employment and introduce the country to viable economic activities in the shipping and maritime industry.


Contact:  Mickella Anderson

Release: JIS

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