Connect with us

Haiti

The Turks and Caicos Budget – The good, the bad and the ugly – Caribbean News Now

Published

on

Drexwell Seymour is from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting at age 19 and a MBA in Finance at age 20. In 1992 at age 22, he took and passed all four parts of the CPA exam. He is currently part of a credit union exploratory committee and hopes to have credit unions established soon in the TCI. His articles are also posted on his website www.drexwellseymour.com

By Drexwell Seymour

For the past couple of years, the budget of the Turks and Caicos Islands has been growing at a rate of more than 4 percent. Only one year the budget remained unchanged and that was 2017/18 because of the hurricanes. The biggest increase in the budget was in 2016/17 at a rate of 12 percent. In 2013/14, Budget (B) was 209 million and Actual (A) was 202 million, 2014/15, B was 218 million and A was $246 million. In 2015/16. B was 228 million and A was $264 million. In 2016/17, B was $255 million and A was $263 million. In 2017/18, B was $273 million and Actual was $277 million. In 2018/19, B was $273 and Actual was $277 million. In 2018/19 B was $273 million and A was $309 million and in 2019/20 B is $303 million representing an increase of 11 percent.

The increases in our budget on an annual basis indicate a continuous positive trend in our country. This article will examine the good, the bad and ugly elements of the budget.

The good

Accommodation tax and import duties continue to dominate the budget representing $69,403,664 and $78,485,921 respectively. This is a good indicator that tourism is expected to increase.

The legislation for credit unions was passed in August 2016 and now two and half years later, regulations for credit union are expected to be implemented by June.  Another great initiative is the provision for the trade vocational institute. This is indeed a great milestone and is long overdue.

This budget has provision for the establishment of a ministry of housing and trade. We have such a major housing shortage issue, pricing of housing and an increase in illegal shacks in our country. Hopefully, the ministry will address these issues. Well done on the creation of these ministries.

The government intends to review the procurement ordinance and the cost of living assessment. Should these initiatives become activated, this will be great for all residents.

The bad

Given the changes in the all-inclusive accommodation tax rate, I am not sure the budgeted accommodation tax will be realized.

Work permit continues to be a major revenue earner for the Government projecting $30, 142,059 which is an increase over last year budget and last year actuals. The majority of this is for work permits fees and permanent residence fees. Does this mean more workers are expected to come to TCI? Are the fees increasing? Should we encourage and promote locals living abroad in Bahamas, USA and UK to return home? Perhaps offer some sort of incentives.

Three million was spent to purchase a school building a few days before year-end with the intent to accommodate the vocational institute. That building is not suited for a vocational institute in its current state. Since the Government has already purchased the building, I recommend the government retain the building as a permanent place for the Oseta Jolly Primary School. The Oseta Jolly location in Blue Hills can be used for expansion of the Clement Howell High School since they plan to introduce A-level in the secondary school. I also heard the former Minister of Education recommended that form 3 should be at Clement High High School. I highly recommend that the Government find suited land perhaps next to the Long Bay High School to construct the vocational institute.

If the government is building a complex and has already purchased three buildings on the island of Providenciales, then why Property rentals are increasing in 2019/20 to $5.2 million and remain so in 2020/21. There is a slight decline in 2021/22.

The ugly

NHIB and Hospital charges are the second largest expenditure of the budget in the amount of $54,880,168, with $33,254,427 for NHIB and $21,625,741 for Hospital. This line item is steady over the next three years. Does this imply that the overseas medical treatment costs are not expected to decline? Are there no plans to expand additional services at the Hospital?

The integrity commission made recommendations to changes in the parliamentarians’ allowances since June 2016. These were approved at this budget hearing. I know there are some parliamentarians who have made and are making sacrifices in their career and time to serve in parliament but I think in comparison to the rest of the Caribbean, our parliamentarians are adequately compensated. I don’t see the need to make any changes at this time for any allowances let alone making them retroactively.

Conclusion

I hope this financial year is not like previous years in which projects never materialized and some believe it is due to the absence of project managers. Perhaps the government needs to change the procurement ordinance and outsource project management similar to what was done many years ago.

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Haiti

Court in Cayman Islands Rules No Marriage for Same-Sex Couples But They Must Get Equivalent Rights

Published

on

By

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, Wednesday November 13, 2019 – The Court of Appeal in the Cayman Islands has sided with the government of the British Overseas Territory, overturning a lower court’s ruling that granted marriage equality. At the same time, the government has been ordered to move to quickly establish a marriage equivalent for same-sex couples.

But the
government says it will not be able to address the issue until next year.

The ruling handed
down last week overturned Chief Justice Anthony Smellie’s decision handed down
back in March this year, in a judgment brought by Chantelle Day and Vickie
Bodden Bush who were seeking the right to marry. Smellie had ordered the government
to amend its marriage law to define marriage as the union of two people, not between
a man and a woman.

The
government challenged Smellie’s ruling in the Court of Appeal.

And in its
decision, the Court said: “Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden Bush are entitled,
expeditiously, to legal protection in the Cayman Islands, which is functionally
equivalent to marriage.”

“It would be
wholly unacceptable for this declaration to be ignored. Whether or not there is
an appeal to the Privy Council in respect of same-sex marriage, there can be no
justification for further delay or prevarication,” the court continued, adding
that if the Cayman Islands government did not act, the United Kingdom should
intervene.

Reacting to
the decision, Premier Alden McLaughlin said he was pleased that the Court of
Appeal had agreed with government that the original ruling of the chief justice
“created significant ambiguity” surrounding the Constitution and Bill of
Rights, as well as the interpretation of and ability of the court to amend
laws.

And while he
acknowledged the need to address the matter expeditiously, he said the
government could not do so “hastily”, and indicated that the Legislative
Assembly was unlikely to deal with the issue of same-sex marriage until early
2020.

“Given that
we have before us a two-year budget to get through, as well as a referendum, I
do not see this honourable House turning our attention to this issue before
early next year,” McLaughlin said.

However, he added:
“I believe the responsible thing for this House to do is to face up to this
issue and take its own decision….It is clear to me that if this legislature
does not provide the legal framework that provides the protections for same-sex
couples in a form that is acceptable to all Caymanians, then undoubtedly we will
end up with the UK levying upon us protections that suit them rather than us.”

McLaughlin said that while Cayman Islands had in the past accused the UK of interfering in matters that should be decided by Caymanians, “by the same token, we cannot abdicate responsibility for taking the hard decisions when they are staring us in the face”.

Click here to receive news via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Haiti

Haïti – Vertières 216e : «Comme Capois Lamort je vais dire EN AVANT» dixit Jovenel Moïse

Published

on

By


Haïti – Vertières 216e : «Comme Capois Lamort je vais dire EN AVANT» dixit Jovenel Moïse
18/11/2019 11:28:39

Haïti - Vertières 216e : «Comme Capois Lamort je vais dire EN AVANT» dixit Jovenel Moïse

Ce lundi 18 novembre, le Président de la République empêché par l’opposition de se rendre à Vertières (Dept. Nord), dans le but de commémorer les 216 années de la bataille de Vertières, s’est contenté de déposer une gerbe de fleurs au Musée du panthéon national haïtien (MUPANAH) et a prononcé un discours à la Nation que nous vous invitons à découvrir.

Extrait du discours du Président Jovenel Moïse :

« […] le pays est plus que divisé, le pays est déchiré, en ce 18 novembre nous demandons l’unité, entre les riches et les pauvres, entre ceux du haut et du bas, entre les personnes de peau noir et celles de peau claire, entre les ruraux et les urbains, si nous étions unis l’un ne voudrait pas exploiter l’autre dans un système qui facilite un petit groupe pendant que la majorité croupi dans la misère, la pauvreté et l’insécurité, ce n’est pas cela que nos ancêtres voulaient […]

Les personnes qui font parti des forces sociales, économiques et politiques, comme moi, nous avons l’obligation de nous unir pour être capable de convertir la crise que le pays traverse en une grosse opportunité qui permettra de mettre Haïti sur la route du changement dont nous rêvons tous, nous sommes tous d’accord sur les problèmes mais nous avons beaucoup de divergences sur comment les résoudre.

La seul façon de trouver des solutions aux problèmes c’est le dialogue, nous entendre, nous regarder sans préjugé […]

Vous n’avez pas voté pour que je cours devant mes devoirs et obligations, vous avez voté pour moi, pour que j’affronte tous ce qui vous a mis dans la faim et l’insécurité, comme Capois Lamort je vais dire EN AVANT à tous ceux qui veulent changer ce système […] qui nous empêche de faire un pas en avant […]

[…] c’est dans un dialogue inclusif avec toutes les personnes sans exceptions, toutes les personnes qui veulent le changement que nous arriverons à trouver un bon accord politique pour mettre sur pied un gouvernement d’union national avec une bonne feuille de route qui va permettre de faire des bonnes réformes contre ce système […] »

Écoutez le discours complet du Président Jovenel Moïse :

HL/ HaïtiLibre

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Haiti

Gunshots wound four at Haiti protest

Published

on

By

news, latest-news

At least four people have been shot and wounded during a protest in Haiti’s capital after a speech by embattled President Jovenel Moise. Several hundred people were marching from the Delmas to Petionville neighbourhoods when shots were fired from nearby. Associated Press journalists didn’t see the source of the shooting, but saw a local journalist, a police officer and two protesters rushed away with apparent bullet wounds. No information was immediately available about the condition of the wounded people or their identities. Monday was the anniversary of a key battle of the Haitian Revolution, and earlier in the day Moise rejected calls to resign. The president said he would continue to try to negotiate with his opposition. Opponents say Moise should leave office over economic mismanagement and failure to investigate corruption. Leaders of the opposition including members of Haiti’s Senate organised months of protests that have paralysed the country but demonstrations have been slackening in recent days, with some sections of the capital returning to near-normal activity. Opposition members had called for mass marches on Monday but they did not materialise. “The country is more than divided, the country is torn apart,” Moise said after reviewing members of Haiti’s newly reconstituted army. “We ask for unity, between the rich and the poor, between those of the top and the bottom, between the people with black skin and light skin, between rural and urban. “If we were united as one we would not see exploitation of a small group while the majority stand in misery, poverty and insecurity. This is not what our ancestors wanted.” Australian Associated Press

https://nnimgt-a.akamaihd.net/transform/v1/crop/frm/silverstone-feed-data/29302472-3f67-47be-b785-4c4ac13099c8.jpg/r0_74_800_526_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Trending