During last week’s Cabinet meeting on Thursday June 16, 2022 the following matters were agreed and or noted by the members of Cabinet.
LANDHOLDING LICENCE APPLICATION
- Cabinet noted that a new process for handling applications for Landholding Licences was in place which included enhanced background checks.
BUDGETARY AID 2022/2023
Cabinet discussed Montserrat’s budgetary aid for the 2022-2023 fiscal year and noted that the first tranche of aid funds had been received. However, because of the exchange rate, a lower amount than budgeted but slightly higher amount than claimed had been paid into the GoM account. The volatility of exchange rates globally could result in a continued lower aid amount being received versus the overall budget.
NATIONAL PERFORMANCE REPORT FOR YEAR 2020/21
Cabinet received the updated National Performance Report 2020/21 produced by the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit in the Office of the Premier. During the meeting, Cabinet noted the updated Report and authorized its publication.
Cabinet approved the National Audit Office Bill 2022 for submission to the Legislative Assembly. The Purpose of this bill is to meet the constitutional requirements to have an independent national audit office to support the ongoing governance of the territory. This bill is the first requirement in the process to establish the Auditor General as an independent body.
EXTENSION OF AIRLINE TICKET SUBSIDY
Cabinet approved the extension of the Airline Ticket Subsidy at EC$170 per one-way fare, from July 1 to September 30, 2022. Further details will be communicated by the Access Division, Office of the Premier.
Cabinet also requested the Access Division, Office of the Premier, provide Cabinet with an updated comprehensive strategy on access in and out of Montserrat to include current operational arrangements. This report is expected at the end of July.
UPDATE ON THE COVID-19 EPIDEMIOLOGICAL SITUATION AND ADVICE ON THE WAY FORWARD
Ministry of Health officials: Chief Medical Officer – Dr. Sharra Greenaway-Duberry and Director of Primary Health Care/Epidemiologist – Dr. Dorothea Hazel-Blake attended Cabinet to discuss the COVID-19 status and detail of the recent outbreak on the island. The CMO set out options on the way forward. Cabinet will take recommendations into consideration when determining the policies as it relates to living with COVID-19.
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING
Cabinet noted and supported that Wednesday July 20, 2022 should be proclaimed a national holiday in observance of a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving on Montserrat.
Minister of Health, Education, Youth Affairs and Sports – Hon. Charles Kirnon will be away on official duties as follows:
- UNICEF Education Ministers Meeting, St Maarten – 27 June to 1 July 2022;
- OECS Education Ministers Meeting, St Lucia – 6-7 July 2022.
During his absence, Parliamentary Secretary Hon. Veronica Dorsette-Hector will act as Minister of Health, Education, Youth Affairs and Sports.