Government watching, Tax Breaks & Concessions could be extended, says Premier
By Deandrea Hamilton
#TurksandCaicos, November 23, 2022 – The government is watching consumer pricing in Turks and Caicos supplier markets and according to Washington Misick, TCI Premier the move to cut taxes on imports and cap costs on fuel surcharges is a measure poised to be extended.
“I don’t want to pre-empt the decision by Cabinet, but I believe it is fair to accept that to the extent that that prices continue to rise and to the extent that, until we are able to do something with the living wage, we will be making every effort to assist consumers by holding down the prices.”
The matter of the dreadfully high cost of living arose as among the first concerns of residents who turned up at the Gus Lightbourne Gym for the government hosted public meeting on Monday night.
“We don’t actually have a price control law in place. What we prefer to do is to provide that support to consumers by way of subsidizing critical imports however there are many ways that the issue of cost of living is being addressed by the government.”
Turning to his Border Services minister, Arlington Musgrove, the premier announced there is a planned extension to the Food & Fuel Tax Break, which sliced 2.5 per cent of the Customs Processing Fee (CPF) and reduced government fuel tax by 25 per cent; a $15 million cost absorption by TCIG which was laid out in March 2022.
The concession took effect on April 1 for a period of 12 months.
“Only today, we agreed to extend – a policy decision made six months ago, to remove the duties including taking off the CPF a whole basket of goods, that is being extended for a further six months, if I am not mistaken,” he said on Monday in the second of a series of roving public meetings.
Residents want more however, fearing that the duty free concessions which were added to the Food & Fuel Tax break are not being passed down by retailers. The premier admitted to similar concerns and agreed that government must find a way to track how the concessions meant for consumers are actually experienced by them. Until then, the government is having to get creative so that the consumers feel the savings and assistance.
“What has happened is that the government realised that we can’t control the transfer of savings through customs duties that we might have given to the merchant. Because of the absence of the ability (because of our tax structure) to literally examine people’s books and see what is going on, we can’t control whether they are passing those savings on.”
The PNP Administration, this summer announced a second plan to buffer the hard-hitting costs of consumables. A $16 Million concession was rolled out and included duty exemption to all residents bringing goods in for their households and a duty free list of food items which resulted in savings at local grocers. Residents also received a $1,000 cash stimulus and eventually benefitted from a $2.5 million Fuel Factor Stabilization Credit which resulted in a dramatic drop in energy bills.
The Government agreed to cap the fuel factor rate, which is being driven by high oil prices, paying the excess and saving FortisTCI customers hundreds of dollars at a time.
“Electricity now on your bill, you would notice, the fuel factor is something like about 30 cents or more, I’m not quite sure but we have capped to a maximum of 20 cents and that goes until the end of December, and the government has subsidised that directly to the consumer to the tune of $2.5M at least.”
The pace of this historic inflationary season is also challenging for governments; Turks and Caicos, like others is experiencing around an 11 per cent inflation rate, while salaries remain stagnant and as living costs, food and other commodities including fuel have surged to record-setting levels.
TCI Police Detective Holden Speaks Up on Blue Hills Rapes
#TurksandCaicos, March 27, 2023 – Following the announcement that several women had been robbed and assaulted in Blue Hills in the past weeks, Magnetic Media queried why the Police would wait until they had a man in custody to release an alert.
TCI’s newest addition to the top brass Detective Superintendent Dean Holden, Head of Crime, Safeguarding and Public Protection, told us that it initially appeared to be an isolated offence and not part of a series of incidents.
“The full circumstances needed to be investigated to ascertain the facts before a public alert could be considered. Misinformation in such a case would only cause unnecessary public concern and confusion and could adversely impact the investigation and the safeguarding of persons involved—” he said. “Even now there is no definitive information that these offences are linked, and investigators remain open-minded.”
Holden claimed an early alert with limited information could have hindered the investigation and they were trying to protect the women who may not have wanted to be identified based on where they lived.
As it turns out, the public concern was very much warranted, because there have been more violent sexual attacks, and more victims got hurt, forcing their hands.
“When further similar offences were committed, the overriding principle of sustained public protection was considered, hence the alert/release issued,” he said.
That alert was coupled with the news that a man had been arrested. Whether those further similar incidents could have been prevented if the public was informed earlier and taken extra precautions, is the underlying question. To date, we don’t know how many victims there are.
Police have increased patrols in the Blue Hills area and condemned the crimes as unacceptable. They have not indicated if anyone was charged for the offences yet.
Louise Garland Thomas High School are TCISS Inter-High Track & Field 2023 Champions
#TurksandCaicos, March 27, 2023 – After a festive three days of competition, the TCISS Inter-High Track & Field Championships 2023 have concluded with the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School reigning as Champions. Featuring a great turnout, eleven schools from across the Turks and Caicos Islands met to compete at the National Stadium March 9-11, 2023.
The competition was stiff among athletes, who were all competing for top spots and by extension a spot-on Team TCI’s CARIFTA 2023 team. From high-spirited invitationals to entertainment by DJ Shakes, spectators enjoyed the best Nationals competition yet.
- 1st Place: A. Louise Garland Thomas High School
- 2nd Place: Clement Howell High School
- 3rd Place: Marjorie Basden High School
Twenty athletes have been selected for Turks and Caicos Islands National CARIFTA Team, some who would have competed in the TCISS Inter-High Track & Field Championships 2023 and some living abroad.
Here are the athletes:
- Roniesha Johnson U-17 Girls CHHS
- Branary Delancy U-17 Girls LGTHS
- Krysann Williams U-20 Girls LGTHS
- Anesha Varus U-20 Girls CHHS
- Lynn Antoine U-20 Girls Unattached
- Chyna Simmons U-20 Girls BWIC
- Rayvon Black U-17 Boys Denbigh/Jam
- Renaldo Registre U-17 Boys RGHS
- Jarmal Missick U-17 Boys HJRHS
- Melique Evans U-17 Boys CHHS
- Love Joseph U-17 Boys LGTHS
- Kaeson Garland U-17 Boys MBHS
- Shamar Garland U-17 Boys HJRHS
- Alieandio Durham U-20 Boys CHHS
- Bernard Hyde U-20 Boys CHHS
- Markey Zepherin U-20 Boys CHHS
- Rayvon Walkin U-20 Boys KC/Jam
- Anthon Walkin U-20 Boys KC/Jam
- Alidavidson Higgs U-20 Boys JC/Jam
- Darvioun Rigby U-20 Boys Keiser/USA
Soca Warriors crush Bahamas at home
By Rashaed Esson
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors dominated the Bahamas at home, at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, for the 2022/2023 Concacaf Nations League on Friday, with a 3-0 victory.
The Soca Warriors struck their first blow within the first 5 minutes of the game, with Kareem Moses making the first shot in the top left corner of the net giving T&T one to the Bahamas’ zero (1-0).
Soon after, in about 26 minutes, they made another shot giving them 2-0 away from home; the scorer Joevin Jones. By the 34th minute mark, the winning goal was made by Ryan Telfer, T&T now at three.
Neither team scored any additional goals as the match progressed despite attempts made by various players.
Trinidad’s win gives them 12 points through five matches. Next match for the Soca Warriors is against Nicaragua; that clash is set for Monday March 27 (at home in Tobago at the Dwight Yorke Stadium), in a tussle of winner-take-all on the final match day. The victor takes home a promotion to League A and a spot in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Angus Eve, T&T’s head coach expressed that the job is only half done, keeping aware that more challenges are coming their way, one of which is the nearing match against Nicaragua who is one point ahead of the Warriors.
Meanwhile, The Bahamas will journey to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with hopes of emerging victorious there.
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