Above: the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Turks and Caicos’ draft budget projects a 20 percent increase in revenues for the financial year 2012/2013.
The new draft budget, which goes to Turks and Caicos’ Advisory Council and Consultative Forum for consideration and approval this week, was announced Tuesday by Governor Ric Todd.
The budget projects a total revenue of around $200 million and a return to a fiscal surplus.
It was prepared in March by the TCIG’s Ministry of Finance after submissions by five Permanent Secretaries.
United Kingdom Ministers initially assessed the overall strategic direction of the budget, and now local debate and agreement of the proposals by the Advisory Council and Consultative Forum will take place over the next two weeks.
“It must be remembered that when the Interim Administration took over in 2009, the TCIG spending was over $50 million more than its income, and it owed around $75 million in unpaid bills,” Todd said.
Todd said the revenue increase would permit the government to proceed with several large investments, including the construction of the Ona Glinton Primary School, the HJ Robinson High School Administrative Block and improvements to Grand Turk’s water supply, among others.
While the territory’s revenue has increased, so, too have calls to reinstate the constitution and hold new elections; those will not occur until the government reaches a series of milestones set forth earlier in its administration, however.
Earlier this week, the government said a number of milestones remained.
“It is clear that while significant progress has been made in many areas, further work remains to be done before UK Ministers can judge significant enough progress to allow them to reinstate the constitution, thus triggering fresh elections,” Todd said Monday.