Governor Ric Todd chaired a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday and released the following statement on Thursday:
Cabinet received a presentation from the legal firm conducting the TCI’s Civil Recovery Programme, Edwards Wildman Palmer (EWP). Cabinet noted that $16.6m had been recovered and banked for the people of the TCI, with another $2.6m due to be received. The firm estimates that the 2,500 acres of land that it has recovered for the Crown is worth approximately $100m to the TCI. EWP’s costs so far totalled $13m. A breakdown of these would be given to Cabinet.
The meeting discussed the financial performance of quarter three of financial year 2012-2013. Cabinet noted that although revenues were lower than budgeted, public expenditure was under control, and that the significant ‘non-recurring’ payments would ensure that there is a surplus as budgeted by the end of the financial year to 31 March 2013. Looking forward, Cabinet discussed the revenue challenges that remain for the next financial year where expenditure is currently forecast to exceed income.
Cabinet agreed to accept the Pay and Grading Review. This sees the 10% pay cut imposed previously on civil servants reinstated from 1 Feb 2013. The other elements of the review, which examine the terms, conditions and benefits of civil servants, will be held for the time being, probably until the financial year 2014-2015 with Cabinet to review this matter again in October 2013.
The Governor noted the vote in the House of Assembly on the VAT Reform Bill 2013. He informed his colleagues that Minister Simmonds has received the Premier’s letter on VAT of 29 Jan and that his considered response will be provided shortly. The Governor also informed Cabinet that, as a matter of course, he had referred this Bill to the Attorney General’s Chambers for advice.
The Governor also confirmed that the SIPT will be moving from the Hilly Ewing Building as soon as suitable alternative accommodation can be identified and secured.
The session agreed to accept a proposal by the Minister of Education to draft a new ordinance with regard to the Sports Department.
A working group is to be set up to modernise the TCI’s telecommunications laws.
Cabinet agreed to consider at a future meeting the future regulatory framework for the electricity industry in the TCI.
Cabinet noted that the matter of the merchant vessel MV Mega Triton stranded on Governor’s Beach was now in the hands of the courts.
Cabinet agreed to postpone the next Cabinet meeting until Wed, 27 Feb 2013 due to both the Governor and Premier being out of the country in week beginning 18 February.