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$100 MILLION Dollars More; Deputy Premier holds largest increase

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Dana Malcolm

Staff writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 7, 2024 – Set at $485,054,646 million, the new National Budget for the 2024/25 financial year will supersede the actual spending for 2023/24 by $100 million according to Budget Drafts prepared by Washington Misick, TCI Premier and Finance Minister obtained by Magnetic Media.

Last fiscal year a total of $436 million was allocated, which reflected a twelve million dollar increase over the originally laid estimates. But data in the proposed 2024/25 budget shows that the Misick administration didn’t manage to spend the $436 million; instead using an actual $385.3 million.

That is $50.9 million less than the government had budgeted and $100 million less than what they are planning to spend this 2024/25 financial year.

As is to be expected with such a large jump in the budget, almost every Ministry is getting an increase.

The largest increase went to the Office of the Deputy Premier and the Ministry of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development with a total allocation of $33.7 million; an increase of $10.9 million over the previous $22.8 million.

Leading that increase is the Maintenance Division, Estate Management Department, Physical Planning and Development Department and Policy Planning and Technical Support.

The Ministry of Health is not far behind with a $93.1 million allocation up from $84 million the year before, an increase of around $9 million after slightly over-spending an actual $85.5 million.

The Ministry of Education is getting $59.8 million.

It’s an increase of around $8 million over the 2023/24 estimates of $51.1 million, during the 2023/24 year. The MOE had spent $46 million of the allotment.

The Ministry of Immigration has allocations of $27.7 million, a notable increase of $5 million over the 2023/24 estimates of $22.7 million.  During the 2023/24 year the ministry used $21.7 million. The new larger allocation is attributed to the creation of the TCI Border Force.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is also receiving a sizable boost. They’ve been allocated $17.7 million, an increase of $4.7 million over the 2023/24 estimates of $12.9 million, during the 2023/24 year they spent $13.6 million. Social Development and Welfare are driving the need for more money in Home Affairs.

The Police Force will see $39 million, a jump of $2.9 million over the 2023/24 estimates of $36.08 million, during the 2023/24 year they depleted nearly all of their budget using $35.01 million spent.

The Judiciary is getting  $10.1 million, that’s a jump of $1.1 million over the 2023/24 estimates of $9.8 million, during the 2023/24 year the judiciary used. $8.3 million.

Statutory Charges which include pensions and the Contingency Fund will see $89.1 million, a hike of $1.74 million over the 2023/24 estimates of $87.4 million. In the 2023/24 year spending amounted to $51.2 million.

The Office of the Deputy Governor is getting $4.4 million, and will see an increase over the previous estimates of $3 million after spending actuals of $4.4 million in 2023/24.

The House of Assembly was granted $4.4 million a $430,000 increase over the $3.9 million granted to them before. The HoA spent $4 million in the previous financial year.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is getting $2.6 million, a slight increase of $433,000 over the 2023/24 estimates of $2.1 million, during the 2023/24 year they actually spent $1.6 million.

The National Security Secretariat got a significant uptick of $4.1 million with a 2024/25 allocation of $9.6 million over the estimates of $5.5 million. In  2023/24 the Secretariat actually spent $5.6 million of that disbursement.

The newly created Ministry of Public Safety and Utilities, will have $15.7 million to work with; an increase of $2.4 million over the $13.3 million that was allocated to them the previous year. This department spent its budget in full, using up $13.981 million.

The National Land Secretariat, a new entity, has been granted $4.4 million and the National Audit Office, another new entity, is getting $2.2 million.

There were only a few decreases and a few departments that stayed relatively the same including: the Ministry of Finance is getting $26.1 million, which is practically equal to the 2023/24 estimates of $26 million, during the 2023/24 year they actually overspent at $31.1 million.

Allocations to the Attorney General’s Chambers were listed as $7.56 million, a major drop of $5.4 million under last year’s estimates which were $12.4 million. This is due to the Crown Land Department being moved from the Attorney General to a minister.

During the 2023/24 year the AG’s Chambers actually spent $9.8 million.

Allocations to The Office of The Governor were listed as $7.4 million which reflects a decrease of $182,000 under last year’s estimates which were $7.62 million. During the 2023/24 year. The office actually spent $6.9 million.

Finally, the Office of the Premier and Public Policy will see a roughly equal allocation of $8.2 million compared to the $8 million allocated to them in the 2023/24 financial year; the actual spending was $7.1 million.

Following the scrutiny of the Appropriations Committee set for this coming week, Budget Debate begins on April 15.

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TCI Red Cross Hits New Heights with 3rd Annual Red Hot Challenge Success  

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June 13, 2024: PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS: The TCI Red Cross recently hosted their successful 3rd Annual Red Hot Challenge, a testament to the organization’s commitment to community engagement and humanitarian efforts.

This year’s event, held at the National Stadium in Providenciales, brought together over 13 teams in a thrilling display of sportsmanship and skills. The Beaches Marlins emerged victorious, with the Amanyara Cruisers in second place and the Beaches Pirates in third.

Speaking on the event, TCI Red Cross Director Candianne Williams said, “Year after year, the Red Hot Challenge fundraiser has grown more successful, and we really could not have done it without the support we have received from our participating teams, sponsors, volunteers and supporters.”

She continued, “When we started the Red Hot Challenge series of fundraisers, our goal was not only to raise funds for the work we do here at the Red Cross but also to create an event that would bring together the community in a spirit of unity, support, and fun-filled camaraderie.”

This year’s event showcased an active lineup of exciting competitions, which included traditional favorites like arm wrestling and tug-of-war, alongside engaging challenges such as football tosses, planks, spoon relay races, egg tosses, water balloon tosses, sprint races, and soccer kicks.

Williams added, “The games were not only interactive for the participants but also fun, and I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Beaches Marlins on winning first place in this year’s competition, as well as the Amanyara Cruisers on their second place and the Beaches Pirates on coming in third, respectively.”

Keneisha Thompson, the Turks and Caicos Athletics Association representative, emphasized, “We commend the teams for their participation, especially as this is the only event in the TCI for sporting participants. Their dedication this year, from organizing the rules to meeting the teams and executing the event, is truly remarkable.”

The annual Red Hot Challenge stands as a cornerstone of the organization’s acclaimed ‘Red Hot’ fundraising series, serving as a pivotal event in the TCI Red Cross’s fundraising initiatives. This series has witnessed the success of two corporate sports days and two fashion extravaganzas. These events not only raise crucial funds but also foster community engagement and support for the humanitarian work of the TCI Red Cross.

Karen Whitt of the Hartling Group, who serves as Chair of the TCIRC Fundraising Committee, commended the participants, stating, “Congratulations to all of the participants; you are all winners for supporting this year’s Red Hot Challenge. The event’s success is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our community to support the vital work of the Red Cross in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

This year’s team lineup featured the Beaches Marlins, Amanyara Cruisers, Beaches Pirates, NSS Destroyers, CHHS Eagles, Waterloo Worriers, The Palms, Royal TCI Police Enforcers, Louise Garland High School, NCS, The Sands, and The Source. Proud sponsors of the team included The Strand and The Marlin Limited, with Powerade joining as the official drink sponsor of the games.

The next Red Hot Challenge is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 2025, at the National Stadium on Providenciales. For more information on the TCI Red Cross and its activities, please visit their website at https://www.redcross.org.tc/ and follow their social media accounts: Turks and Caicos Red Cross on Facebook and @TCIRedcross_ on Instagram.

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EXPERIENCE TURKS AND CAICOS ROLLS OUT EXQUISTE TURKS AND CAICOS

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 13th June 2024– Experience Turks and Caicos is set to roll out a new initiative designed to promote immersive tourism in the islands.
Titled ‘Exquisite Turks and Caicos’, this immersive tourism programme, conceptualised by the Strategic Development Unit, collaborates closely with industry partners to curate and deliver on niche product offerings and services to enhance our visitors’ overall experience.
 
Focused on adding significant value in education, culture, history, eco-friendliness, entertainment, engagement, and affordability, the programme has identified priority areas through which new or existing micro and small businesses can partner. The programme targets businesses that are land-based, water-based (excluding dive and charters), and involved in the promotion of the cultural arts, nature and wildlife, gastronomy, agriculture and heritage. The goal of Exquisite Turks and Caicos is to ensure that the traveller will walk away not only having an exquisite experience, but a learned one that will be treasured always.
 
“Immersive Tourism is about creating compelling and interactive visitor experiences through strategic partnerships with local vendors. It goes beyond traditional sightseeing and offers travellers a deeper connection to the destination’s culture, history, and environment,” says Mr. Courtney Robinson, Strategic Development Manager.
 
“‘Exquisite Turks and Caicos’ is our commitment to our pillar of Inclusive Growth which ensures that everyone in the Turks and Caicos Islands benefit from the tourism industry through the enhancement of our offerings. It extends beyond the warm smiles, white sandy beaches or picturesque landscapes; it is a promise to curate and deliver on experiences that create memories, that resonate with the soul of every traveller,” he added.
 
Mr. Robinson will visit Grand Turk, North Caicos, Middle Caicos and South Caicos to meet with business owners about the programme.

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Caribbean News

TCI Sport delegation visits the Cayman Islands and Barbados with key sport leaders

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TCI Sports Commission delegation traveled to the Cayman Islands and Barbados to visit with key Sport leaders. The TCI delegation included the Sports Commission Director, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, Deputy Director, Mr. Alvin Parker, and Facility Manager for Providenciales, Mr. Darian Forbes. The aim of the travel was to visit major facilities, with priorities being pool facilities, and discuss sport development strategies.

The team had the pleasure of being hosted by the Deputy Chief Officer for Sport, Dr. Dalton Walter, and the Director of Sports, Mr. Kurt Hyde in the Cayman Islands; who facilitated the facility tours and shared valuable information on Sports Development. Meetings were held with Deputy Chief Officer Ms. Joan West and Technical Director for the Cayman Islands Aquatics Sport Association, Mr. Jacky Pellerin, on the Cayman Islands’ new 50-meter and 25 meter 10 lanes Mrytha pool facility, as well as with Ms. Shakeina Bush from the National Olympic Office on National Federation development and funding opportunities. The Sports Commission delegation was also grateful for the courtesy call with the Minister of Sport for the Cayman Islands, Hon. Isaac Rankine, and the Chief Officer Ms. Teresa Echenique.

During the Barbados leg of the exploratory travel, the Sports Commission team was hosted by the Director of the National Sports Council, Mr. Neil Murrell, and the Assistant Director of Sports, Mr. Ryan Toppin. The TCI team toured the National Sport Council facilities and visited the Barbados National Olympic Association. Significant to the TCI’s plan to develop an aquatic center, the TCI Sports Commission visited the Barbados Aquatic Sport Association and met with former National Olympic Academy Director, Mr. Dave Farmer, and the President and Second Vice President of the Barbados Swim Association, Mr. Robert Armstrong and Mr. Nicholas Mathis. Insights were shared regarding swimming pool design, development and maintenance as well as pool programming strategies to ensure the growth and sustainability of swimming in the islands.

The TCI delegation also visited other stadium facilities such as Track and Field, Football and Cricket, and other major facilities in Basketball and Boxing. The TCI Sport Commission officials had great discussions with both the Cayman Islands and Barbados sports officials surrounding the development of coaches, athlete development pathways, and strengthening relationships with National Sport Governing Bodies.

Director of Sports, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, said, “We were very grateful for the hospitality and support extended by our Caribbean colleagues. Their support affirmed the commitment and unity among the Caribbean community to develop sports in the region.”

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