Honorable Edwin A. Astwood
Leader of the Opposition
#TurksandCaicos, April 9, 2022 – The PNP Government after being elected into power as the Government of the TCI have shown the people that they cannot handle the work. After 420 days into Office it is now quite clear that the workers the people hired on February 19th, 2021 are not the same workers who showed up for the job.
The objective “we come for this work” was all over each of their resume which convincingly got them on the job, but now that they are on the job it is quite clear they cannot handle the work, for which they were hired.
The people in this country are hurting more than ever before because this PNP administration does not understand the hardship and the real problems that are facing real people.
The minister of finance loves to talk about a “Booming” economy and a country doing extremely well, and people living “their best lives” but sadly he along with the honorable Premier and other members of this government are talking about a prosperous economy that does not exist for most Turks and Caicos Islanders.
Pricing is increasing daily it is now harder for the average Turks and Caicos Islander to providing for and put food on the tables for their families to eat. While this administration got the nerve to brag and boast about people in the TCI “living their best lives”? Honorable Premier and Honorable Minister of Finance, let me remind you that a country in which its people are struggling to make ends meet and provide for themselves and their families, is not one in which you can say “the people are living their best lives” but instead it is a country in which the Government is not handling the people’s work.
Over a year ago the People spoke; this PNP Government walked into Office with everything ready to go; They were handed this country on a golden platter, projects tendered and awarded, money in the bank, new development agreements, policies, and a prepared blueprint to move this country and its people ahead were all in motion and ready to go.
But instead of taking the realm of Government from day 1 as the great workers, they claimed they were on the election trail. They believe that the effective way of running a country is to talk ”the work” and not do “the work”.
We have seen that this high level of inflation is not transitory, and strong policies and measures must be put in place immediately. These Band-Aid measures that this PNP government is putting in place and promoting are not going to work to combat inflation, The measures do very little to lower the cost of goods and services. We need to see a fundamental change in policy and structures that will ensure any concession and tax write-off to suppliers will create real savings down to our people.
Many of our people in the TCI are running out of money long before payday. And in all this, wages and pay are off pace with inflation. Everything that we are earning is being wiped out by the high prices everywhere. This government must get to work and do something about this.
Our people can no longer afford to go to the grocery stores only to pick up an item look at it and put it back down because the price is too expensive for them to purchase. Our people can no longer tolerate having to choose whether to pay their mortgage or buy food for their children.
Our people can no longer bear having to sell their hard earn possessions just to keep a roof over their heads. And if the hard financial strain on families is not enough, violent crimes are at an all-time high, and even with the gun amnesty- crimes committed with guns are at an all-time high.
Too many innocent men and women across the country are being robbed, hurt, or killed, and too many homes and properties are being burglarized.
With this increase in crime, detection, and prosecution of those committing crimes are at an all-time low, and our Premier remains silent as a mouse.
This PNP administration’s Band-Aid crime measures are doing nothing to address the present crime situation, and do not address the root causes of crime.
Our national security is at the highest risk level than it has ever been. Aside from people, more and more guns and drugs are coming. Whatever the number of illegals that are intercepted is, there is about three times that number that get through undetected. And as more and more illegal persons call home and let their family and friends know that they made it, the numbers will only increase. It is becoming an overwhelming situation for our border control agent. And again, our Premier remains as silent as a mouse.
This PNP administration’s inability to effectively tackle the issues outlined has led me to one conclusion, that they simply do not have the mental readiness required to tackle the job the people hired them to do. And without serious interventions being put in place, sadly, our people’s issues will continue to be ignored and our economy is poised to worsen.
So, I close with the same sentiments I started with, and stated all through this document, “This PNP Government, just cannot handle the country’s work”
Register of Interests of the Members of the House of Assembly
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Integrity Commission advises that the Register of Interests for Members of the Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022 has been completed.
Members of the House of Assembly are required by the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution, Section 103(2), and the Integrity Commission Ordinance (the Ordinance), as amended, Section 52(1), to file with the Commission, Statements of Registrable Interests. The Commission would, therefore, like to inform members of the public that, it has compiled the information contained in these Statements of Registrable Interests and has produced The Register of Interests 2022 for the Members of the House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022.
The Register of Interests 2022 is now available for public inspection at the following locations:
- House of Assembly in Grand Turk
- Office of the Premier – Grand Turk and Providenciales
- Office of the Integrity Commission – Grand Turk and Providenciales (during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm from Mondays to Thursdays and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Fridays.)
- Office of the District Commissioner – Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Salt Cay and South Caicos.
The Register can be viewed at these locations during normal working hours or at a time that is convenient for the respective offices.
For further information or any assistance please contact the Integrity Commission:
By telephone at: 946-1941(Grand Turk Office) or 941-7847 (Providenciales Office) By e-mail at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU
#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.
This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.
This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper, was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”
The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.
Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”
Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.
Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.
Guyana to build regional food hub
#Guyana, September 29, 2023 – Guyana is making moves to become the primary food production center for the Caribbean, going ahead with plans to develop a USD$14 million regional food hub.
In fact, as reported by the Observer, the facility has already been identified on the country’s Soesdyke /Linden Highway.
“We want Guyana to be the food hub, the primary production hub of the Caribbean so that we could supply the Caribbean. What we have, our colleagues in the Caribbean don’t have. We have arable flat land and abundant fresh water,” he said, adding that with the multi-million dollar US investment, the country can, “modernise the infrastructure, and start ramping up the productions.”
Also, the Agriculture Minister pointed out that the project is geared to make for a more competitive local Agriculture industry as well as developing high-yielding varieties, pest-resistant and climate-resilient varieties.
Additionally, in the facility’s development, Guyana, Mustapha said, will work with Belize.
In fact, with more on Belize’s involvement, Dr. Ashni Singh, Finance Minister, informed that the Government is in talks with the Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley about sourcing inputs from northern Brazil and transporting them through Guyana to Barbados and vice versa.
Singh also reportedly revealed that the project will help develop the growing logistics industry in Guyana.
Considering regional food import cost, with this development, Guyana is the leading Caribbean Community country pushing ahead with plans to reduce the multi-billion dollar regional food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, the Observer says.
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