Tough measures coming for TCI

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos, Monday November 29, 2010 – Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) residents have been warned to expect “tough decisions in the weeks ahead”, as revenues fall way below budget and the economy falters.

The state of the island’s economy was highlighted in a press release from the British Overseas Territory’s Advisory Council which met a few days ago, following information provided by Chief Economic Advisor to the Governor, Brian Titley. 

The Council said Chief Finance Officer Caroline Gardiner briefed it on the state of public finances.

“With the exception of Accommodation Tax, major sources of revenue were well below budget and a deficit of $60 million was forecast. Work was in hand on short term measures to close the revenue gap and on longer term measures to lay the foundation for a sustainable future,” the Advisory Council statement said.

“Credible plans to bring the budget into balance by 2012/13 were necessary to meet the UK Government’s conditions for a package of financial support. These would require some tough decisions in the weeks ahead. Ian McKendry, a visiting senior official from the UK Department for International Development, underlined the importance which UK Ministers attached to credible plans to balance the budget as a basis for providing support,” it added.

Meantime, Governor Gordon Wetherell also provided the Council with a summary of his recent meetings in London, including the Overseas Territories Consultative Council.

Several other government officials provided the Advisory Council updates on activities within their ministries and departments.

The Advisory Council assists Governor Wetherell in the formulation of policy and the exercise of his functions. It was set up after the British government implemented direct rule in 2009.

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