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Finance minister complains of spending restrictions
Published on February 4, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

Finance Minister Washington Misick, speaking in the House of Assembly on Friday, seemed to go off subject when he complained that he had to operate within certain spending limits.

Finance Minister Washington Misick
The House was at the time debating the private member’s motion for the repeal of value added tax (VAT); however, Misick appeared to go off topic when he spoke about a limit of $10,000 dollars that he can authorise to be spent without approval.

Misick added, however, “I feel the British FCO has the best interests of the TCI at heart but we disagree with the degree of control they have placed on us.”

This general type of complaint, also previously made by Premier Rufus Ewing, had already been addressed by Deputy Governor Anya Williams within the last two weeks. For large expenditures to be authorised, current regulations require the spending to be justified.

Between 2007 and 2010 Washington Misick, as then chairman of the ill-fated TCI Bank, was entrusted with $23.5 million of the National Insurance Board (NIB). All but $5 million dollars was lost within the three year period due to poor management.

The final $5 million deposited was authorised by then Governor Wetherell in a futile effort to save the bank. The deposit was made with a first priority guarantee. However, someone seemingly on the bank’s board leaked the fact that the bank, which had been known to be in financial straits, had become liquid to three large private depositors, who withdrew all of the funds within a one week period leaving the bank insolvent again.

Within 30 days it closed, taking down 80 percent of the funds of 4,000 small depositors and $18.5 million dollars of the pension funds. The three who withdrew their funds have never been revealed.

Misick, who served a shortened on year term as chief minister ending in 1995, also heads the Alexandria Resort, which was recently placed into receivership and the local real estate firm of Prestigious Properties, which has been forced by financial constraints to close its upscale Grace Bay office.
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