New policy document to shape future TCI economy

| 29/06/2012

(CNS): As controversy mounts in the Turks and Caicos Islands over the introduction of VAT, officials there have published a new Green Paper, described as the beginning a new economic development strategy for the country. The Interim Administration said the document drafted by the interim government’s finance ministry will kick off the public consultation period. “The Green Paper recognises that the TCI has real potential for economic growth,” said TCI Governor Ric Todd. “It also recognises that in order to achieve and maximise this growth, the way that things have traditionally been done here may need to change; these issues require public debate.”

Listing the advantages of TCI, from its use of English, its stability and safe friendly environment to its use of the US dollar and short flight from the American markets, he said the economy was very good in terms of tourism.

“What can we do, not only to build on this success but also to encourage the growth of other industries, agriculture or financial services, to name but two?” Todd asked ahead of the public consultation.

Facing a number of challenges since the British imposed direct rule three years ago amidst a corruption scandal involving the previous administration, the people of the islands will be electing their own government again in November. However, changes to the constitution have ensured that the Britishwill still be keeping a tight hold of the public purse strings and have recently proposed introducing VAT, which is being strongly opposed by the business community.

Todd said the economy was in much better shape than it was when the Interim Administration took over in 2009, but he said he recognises that not everyone on the islands may feel that they were benefitting from these improvements.

“The draft strategy recognises that there is probably too much bureaucracy in the TCI and that this hinders business development. Do we require so many regulations, restrictions, permits and licences? One of the advantages of VAT in that it will replace six different sets of tax legislation and reduce customs duties, making that aspect of the system easier to comprehend.”

Todd also pointed to the need to look at work permits and immigration and the need to balance the encouragement and protection of employment rights and opportunities for TC islanders with the overall growth of the economy.

Category: World News

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  1. Libertarian says:

    “The draft strategy recognises that there is probably too much bureaucracy in the TCI and that this hinders business development. Do we require so many regulations, restrictions, permits and licences? One of the advantages of VAT in that it will replace six different sets of tax legislation and reduce customs duties, making that aspect of the system easier to comprehend.” Probably one of the most ambitious things I have heard Todd said. Credit to whom credit is due. However, let us be honest. If the UK's FCO is going to pretty much keep "a tight hold of the public purse strings," why have General Elections. It is just giving the people a false system that there is a democracy when in fact they will be electing leaders that are not free to financially manage the country for themselves. Hence, the people are not really involve in shaping the country, because you need to have financial autonomy. Why waste resources and the people's time with an illusive democracy?  That is wrong. Typical FCO!  Governor Todd should declare once and for all that TCI is for the FCO and by the FCO, because the FCO values its own interest over the inhabitants. That to me is being honest with the people.

    • Truth says:

      Your absolutley right!  Holding a government to follow rules that would guarantee good governing that was put in place because of very bad governing in the first place just so the original government won't screw it all up again is not letting them govern their way.

      If they were Honest with their own people they(TCI) would not have gotten into such a huge mess would they?  And yes.                Cayman is doing all it can to get in line next.