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Killer of Millions of Men: Accidental Injury

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

January 15, 2023 – It is likely doctors will never ever warn you about this particular risk even though it kills millions of men per year and affects men disproportionately.  In fact you’re more likely to hear about it from your mother or father.

Accidental injury, it’s not strictly speaking a medical condition but it is one of the leading causes of death globally and men are affected far more than women almost twice as much according to the CDC a fact confirmed by the WHO.

In 2020 even with lockdowns men in the US easily doubled the amount of unintended deaths compared to women. A recent US study revealed that accidental death is the leading cause of death in males 1 to 44 years of age.

Causes of unintentional death include drug overdoses, car crashes , falls, drowning, burns, poisoning and acts of violence against oneself or others, among other causes the World Health Organization says.

There’s no surefire reason men are more at risk but gender norms where young men are encouraged to take risks and applauded for partaking in potentially harmful activities may play a part.

Higher levels of substance abuse and hazardous workspace environments like construction, lumberyards etc. are also causes.

Undiagnosed mental health issues like ADHD and autism can also play a part.

Prevention in this case is difficult. Starting young boys off young by treating them as gently or as strictly as girls are treated could result in less of a desire to engage in dangerous activity.

Monitoring young men for symptoms of drug abuse and providing them with the needed help could offset any serious problems in the future that might lead to unintentional injury.  Modeling safe driving and punishing poor road use in young men is also a good way to get them to drive more safely.

Children live what they learn, modeling careful and considerate behavior and avoiding unnecessary risk.  As a parent, through your actions, you can teach your children to avoid risky behavior which has the power and potential to cut short or diminish one’s quality of life.

Caribbean News

Paid internship opportunity in Energy Data Collection,  Application DEADLINE is April 19

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April 19, 2024 – The Caribbean Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) in cooperation with the Energy and Utilities Department (EUD), Ministry of Public Safety and Utilities (MPSU), is looking for a motivated intern to work in close collaboration with regional and national institutions to survey and collect energy-related data that will be used to create the Energy Report Cards (ERCs) for the Turks and Caicos Islands. A stipend for the intern will be provided by CCREEE.

The intern will be based at the EUD/MPSU. The internship program will provide students and/or young professionals with a unique opportunity to work with the energy sector institutions and stakeholders in TCI, gain practical experience in the energy sector, and contribute to the knowledge management functions of the Regional Energy Information System within the CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH).

SCOPE OF WORK

The CCREEE in collaboration with the EUD/MPSU will collect specified data and information that will be used to develop the TCI Energy Report Cards which will be made accessible through the CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH). The hub may be accessed by registering at https://cekh.ccreee.org. The Energy Report Cards will also offer important support to the CCREEE work program, including support for energy planning and the development of sustainable energy projects.

DESIRED PROFILE

  • Bachelor’s degree or on course for completion of one by December 2024.
  • Interest in the energy sector and willingness to learn about the socio-economic, technical and environmental aspects of the energy landscape; studies in sustainable energy, environmental sciences or related fields are an asset but not a National or resident of one of the relevant countries.
  • Proficiency in English.

INTERNSHIP TIMEFRAME

The internship will run for a period of eight (8) weeks from May 27 to July 19, 2024.

APPLICATION

The intern applicant should send their application (motivation letter and CV) on or before April 19, 2024 to recruitment@ccreee.org and copy eud@gov.tc.

 Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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$485 Million Budget for TCI; Figures Revealed for 2024-2025

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – The PNP Administration is using their final budgetary allocation, an all-time high of $485 million to do ‘More in ‘24 ’ according to Washington Misick, TCI Premier and Finance Minister, when he opened the 2024/25 budget debates on April 16.

A people-focused budget is what Misick says the PNP has created for residents with tackling cost of living as its ‘number one priority.’Citing the expanding economy with rates over 12 percent and the possibility of a revised A Economy rating he said:

”The one thing that keeps me up at night is the constant quest for ways to help our people, especially those in the middle-income bracket and those below the poverty line. Our macroeconomic success must translate to human and social development. It must mean well organized and functioning communities where modern amenities are available and it must mean a better life for all.”

The Premier cited this determination as the reason for denying the recent FortisTCI application for an electricity rate increase and lowered fuel taxes.

In the Construction realm, Misick maintained the government was leveraging its power to deliver for residents as well while criticizing the PDM for allowing wealthy contractors to slide without paying maximum taxes

“Everywhere you turn there’s a new building going up— because of the splitting of purchase contracts for land and construction by foreign wealthy individuals, which the former administration supported, the government is earning less from stamp duty but I promise that will change,” The. Premier said

Misick revealed that the PNP had removed tax holidays, allowing more money to flow into the country from large developments.

Misick doubled down on his administration’s commitment to social welfare programs highlighting the over $6 million increase in welfare since the start of their tenure. For retirees, a 20 percent increase has been granted and the pension fund now has $21 million as of March 31, 2024.

”Fairness to us is supporting people out of poverty not trapping them in a cycle of dependence,” he maintained.

In terms of figures many remained unchanged from the draft budget tabled two weeks earlier. Revenue remained at $452 million while expenditure went up to $389 million.

The GDP of the country grew by 13.7 percent in 2023 and is projected to grow by 4 percent in 2024, and the TCI is now listed as a ‘positive’ economy up from a ‘stable’ rating.

TCIG only managed to spend 29 million out of the 57 million that was budgeted for capital projects which the premier blamed on the drawn-out procurement process, outdated laws, and insufficient resources. He maintained that the government is spending 300,000 in this financial year to review the procurement process. Optimistically TCIG again budgeted $63 million for capital projects this year.

The $485 million budget for 2024/25 was split into 10 main parts.

  1. $117.4 million – Public Service (Offices of Governor, House of Assembly, Ministries etc.)
  2. $ 90.5 million – Health
  3. $86.5 million –  Economic Affairs (Environmental and Coastal Resources,  Media, Energy and Utilities, Infrastructure Development including land acquisition, Tourism Product Enhancement, Agriculture, and Catastrophic Risk Insurance)
  4. $71.6 million –  Public Order and Safety ( $39.0 million will go towards Police Services, $20.9 million to the Judiciary, $19.2 million for Customs and Border Protection, Immigration, and Repatriations, $7.7 million for Prisons, and  $1.5 million has been allocated for Fire and Rescue.)
  5. $58.7 million – Education (Special Needs, Community College, Primary, Secondary and Daycare)
  6. $27.0 million – Social Protection
  7. $18.8 million – Estate Management, Housing and Community Amenities
  8. $9.6 million Defense (National Security Secretariat, Military, Disaster Management)
  9. $3.1 million  – Environmental Protection
  10. $1.3 million – Culture

The Premier also broke down a list of priority initiatives encapsulated in the allocation, they included:

  • $157.3 million for staff costs, around $30.7 million compared to the previous year.
  • $6 million for the Community Enhancement Projects/Works Programme across all islands.
  • $3.7 million for the Border Force
  • $3.5 million for the pay and grading exercise of statutory bodies.
  • $3.1 million for the Senior Citizens’ Financial Assistance Programme.
  • $1.5 million was added to Social Welfare allocations for a total of $10.1 million.
  • $1.4 million to cover an increase of 20 percent for pensioners and former legislators.
  • $900,000 for MSME Investment, which includes funding for training programs, technical assistance, and opportunities for business development.
  • $ 300,000 for the Prison Reforms and the Juvenile Intervention and Diversionary Programme to review the prison resourcing model within the Department of Correctional Services.
  • $ 800,000 for additional staff enhancement of the growth and capability of the TCI Regiment to strengthen the islands’ security against illicit activities.

As for how the Turks and Caicos will afford all of this, revenue is expected to be $465 million leaving the country in a deficit of $19 million. Misick admitted, though, that it was unlikely that the deficit would come to fruition.

The top ten earners are expected to be:

  • $119.6 million – Accommodation Tax
  • $112.5 million –  Import Duties
  • $54.2 million – Other Receipts
  • $50 million – Stamp Duty on Land Transactions
  • $42.9 million – Work Permit
  • $38.8million – Other Customs Duties
  • $11 million – Excess Revenue from Ports and Sea Travel Taxes –
  • $10.9million – Fuel Tax
  • $7.9 million – Vehicles and Driver’s License Fees
  • $7.3 million – Business and Banking Related Receipts

Misick maintained that the PNP is delivering for the people, and the budget would provide ‘More in ‘24’, he said:

”If you recall, when we came to office in 2021, I made it clear that this is “The People’s Term” We have never wavered from that commitment. We have used the People’s Contract as our guidepost to ensure that we deliver on the promise—Our budget is designed to give our people opportunities and change their lives for the better.”

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Ralph Higgs blasts ‘Biggest Budget’ bragging, calls Premier “do nothing minister”

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – All-Island candidate for the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), Ralf Higgs says the last three “Biggest Budgets,” have not “significantly improved” the lives of the majority of the Turks and Cacaos Island (TCI) citizens.

In chiding the Government for passing “these historic Budgets,” he said schools, roads, parks, police vehicles, coastal patrol boats, police plane, police stations, and public medical facilities “have all deteriorated over the last three years and more.

“This Government has not prioritised nation building to the extent of the PDM administration from 2016 to 2021, even though it has not faced the same level of natural disasters as its predecessor,” Mr. Higgs argued, adding that the PDM delivered significant developments such as road paving in Grand Turk, improvements and new buildings on the parade grounds, construction of a new school block, and the removal of Mega One Triton, an old wrecked boat, from Governor’s Beach, among others.

He further added that in Salt Cay, under the former administration, there was the construction of a new airport terminal and expansion and resurfacing of the runway.

Under the former administration, Mr. Higgs said, the South Caicos saw tangible physical projects from “our country’s budget for the first time in a long while, including a new airport terminal and office complex.

Mr. Higgs said the police got a new headquarters on airport road. Customs, Immigration, and the Department of Motor Vehicles got new professional offices on airport road. A new post office facility was constructed, and a building for the establishment of the first-ever technical school was purchased.

Mr. Higgs said Heaving Down Rock was developed to ease shipping between the islands. Forty Million dollars were approved for the redevelopment of South Dock by the Ports Authority.  New police vehicles were purchased, and several other capital projects were approved and funded under the former administration “but did not commence due to the pandemic.”

He said the Minister of Finance has been involved in TCI finances for “almost all of your 40 years in public life,” yet you have “done little with the people’s money to develop our communities. Why shouldn’t you be described as the Do-Nothing Minister of Finance? At the peak of your political career, you accomplished very little, why do you still think that in the twilight of your career, you can achieve more?” he said.

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