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Tuesday, January 24, 2006 

Turks & Caicos chief minister addresses current issues

Thursday, January 19, 2006

GRAND TURK, Turks & Caicos Islands: The Chief Minister of the Turks & Caicos Islands, Michael Misick, recently addressed the nation following a high level two-day retreat during which he and his Cabinet Ministers reviewed and focused on their performance and assessed their goals.

“Despite what some may say the Turks and Caicos Islands has never had it so good,” said Misick. He went on to note that the country has made significant strides in the areas of tourism, investment, constitutional reform, education, lands, public works, finance, telecommunications, infrastructure, sporting facilities, job creation and the empowerment of belongers.

On the economic front, he said, “Our fundamental goal is to provide a reasonable standard of living and quality of life for all citizens in this country.”

He emphasised the firm stand the government is willing to take in order to ensure that an environment exists where Turks and Caicos Islanders have first opportunity for jobs, thereby receiving a fair share of the economic pie. Expanding on this, he said the government plans to implement legislation that will govern training and development.

This intended legislation will give inspectors the teeth they need to enforce the policies and laws and to prosecute offenders.

“This government recognises that advancements in economic development must be met by civil advances at the social level. It is thereby our intention to devise a program of poverty alleviation and citizen empowerment” said Misick.

This program he said, will draw on the resources of each of the individual Ministries but it will also have a strong social component. Through this exercise, it is intended that small contractors and business people of the Turks and Caicos Islands will reap significant and continued benefits by way of contracts and opportunities.

In reference to matters of crime, Misick said that the current level of criminal activity in the Turks and Caicos Islands must be lowered and the criminal elements rooted out and punished. He stressed that his government remains committed to empowering the Police Force in the fight against lawlessness.

He went on to announce that as at January 1, 2006, the Government increased the salaries of Police Officers by 30%. In addition, Government will provide funding for additional manpower needed to bring the Police Department to its full complement in 2006/2007.

Furthermore, to assist with the detection of crime, CCTV’s will be introduced in the islands.
In closing, Misick stated, “We will recommit our efforts in 2006 to bring us closer to our goal of economic self sufficiency and nationhood”. He continued, “We remain committed to building a better and greater Turks and Caicos Islands for all”.

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