Updated: Jul 1, 2021
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government is budgeting $342.9 million during the 2021/2022 fiscal year, according to Premier and Minister of Finance Hon. Washington Misick, as he delivered the estimates of expenditure on Tuesday, June 29, in parliament.
Premier Misick said this year’s budget represents a two percent increase over last year’s estimates and embodies a nine percent rise over the roll forward forecast.
He said $304.2 million is for recurrent expenditure such as wages, goods, and services; $11.7m for non-recurrent expenditure; while $27m will go towards capital development. In addition, The Infrastructure Fund will support $4m in projects.
The premier set the expected revenue over the period at $274.5m, of which $273.1m will account for the recurrent expenses.
He said government hopes to fill the $69.5m projected operating deficit through debt financing. Other funds should come from external donors (grant from the CDB - -$750k), and $0.4m through capital receipts.
The Ministry of Health and Human Services will get the lion’s share of the budget with $81.4m, representing 23.8 percent of the pie.
That allocation will cater to the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccination management programme, oxygen generation, fencing of the solid waste facilities, funding for the treatment abroad programme and the indigent population, in addition to Education, Employment Services and Sports.
He said $40.3m or 11.8 percent of the budget will go towards early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational education.
The premier disclosed that $300,000 of that allocation will go towards maintenance of recreational/sporting facilities, while $800,000 will go towards integrating the TVET with the Community Colleges.
Also, $1.45m of the Health Ministry budget will underwrite transport by school bus and security services for secondary education.
He said the early childhood education programme is estimated to cost $115,000.
Allocation for the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force is $30.2m, which represents 8.8 percent. Included in that budget is $3.6m for the Special Investigation and Prosecution (SIPT); 500,000 for ballistic vests for police officers; and 1.5m to improve IT Command and control system and radio control for all islands over the next three years.
He said also that allocation provides for filling 70 vacant positions in the Royal Turks and Caicos Island Police Force.
The premier further outlined that $27m or 8 percent of the budget will go towards the Ministry of Physical Planning, Infrastructure and Development. The new allocation, according to the premier, will cater to fiscal policy - economic stimulus (works programme) that is estimated at $8.3m.
He said the allocation will allow for the Planning Department to be outfitted with additional development control inspectors, saying that $450,000 of the distribution will assist with the infrastructural adjustments required for the reopening of schools.
The Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investments will pocket $20.1m or 5.8 percent of the budget. Among the areas that the funding will support are: Offshore and Development Finance - $1m; E-governance (administrative charges) - $500,000; formation of the Revenue and Statistical Authorities -$325,000; contribution to the Special Development Fund (CDB) - $778k; and seed funding for the Credit Union -$250,000.
The premier pointed out that $35 million has been allocated to statutory charges, excluding capital expenditure.
The new allocations include: $13.45m for property acquisitions; $2m for terminal benefits for civil servants; and $1.3m for contingent allocation for claims against Government.
“There is a $5m Contingency Fund for urgent and unforeseen circumstances - $1.4M for Disaster Risk Insurance,” Misick revealed.
The premier also pointed out that $2milion will be spent to acquire property and to develop the framework and programs for training of law enforcement personnel.
“This National Security Training Academy will provide ongoing training for Police Officers, the Military, Customs, and Immigration Officers. It will facilitate recruitment and training of the best candidates our country has to offer and rebuild a positive image of these various bodies,” the premier said.
He said also that $13.9m or 4.1 percent of the budget will fund the Immigration and Border Services, while $6.1million will go towards the Customs Department and repatriation and detention.
He said further that 100,000 will be provided to acquire new vehicles for the Immigration Service, saying that the funds will include the installation of security cameras at the Providenciales International Airport gates.
An estimated $7.3million or 2.1 percent of the budget will serve as allocation for the Governor’s Office, for the Bodies of Good Governance, which include the Integrity Commission, Internal and External Audit, Elections Office, Human Rights Commission, Complaints Commission and the Financial Intelligence Agency.
The National Security Secretariat will get $1.9m or 0.6 percent of the budget, while $1.4m will go towards the support a contingency military force formation.
Allocation for the Office of the Premier is set at $3.4m or 1 percent of the budget, pointing out that $1.3m is earmarked for a Policy/Programme Management & Implementation Unit.
He said the unit will support all ministries and is designed to build capacity to effectively scope projects and programs, provide life-cycle costing, monitor and evaluate frameworks and improve key performance indicators to measure results.
Allocation for Home Affairs and Transportation is set at $18.7m or 5.6 percent of the budget.
Premier Misick said the ministry will focus on utility regulation, community development and bolstering communication activities.
Social Welfare allocation is $4m. That budgetary allocation will see home-help increasing by 40 percent and welfare benefits by 100 percent.
The budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Tourism, Agriculture, Fisheries, Heritage, Religious Affairs and Environment is set at $13m or 3.5 percent.
Marketing of the destination and the establishment of the DMO will cost government $1.m, $1m to redevelop agriculture and $500,000 to manage the COVID-19 Travel portal.
The budget for the legal sector, which include the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution is set at $17.4m or 4.1 percent.
Of this amount, approximately $5.1m will pay for defense related expenses in the ongoing SIPT trials; $500,000 is allocated to an ongoing arbitration and $700,000 to civil recovery.
The premier revealed that plans will begin this financial year for the construction of a purpose-built court complex in 2022/2023 in the amount of $3m.
Allocation for the House of Assembly is set at $3.4m or one percent.
Utilities and communication expenses - $6.8m.
Premier Misick said $10m will go towards general maintenance of government facilities including roads and other infrastructure.