Executive Council met today with just one item on the Open Agenda. This was to discuss the proposed increase in the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for the up-rating of Income Related Benefits (IRB) and Basic Island Pension (BIP). Council noted that the proposed uplift would take account of the recent tariff increases for water and telecommunications introduced by Connect St Helena Ltd and Sure South Atlantic Ltd respectively on 1 July and 1 August 2018. The proposed uplift will see Income Related Benefits increase from £65.10 to £67.90 per week, and Basic Island Pension will increase from £67.30 to £70.20 per week. In both cases this represents a 4.3% increase.
Executive Council Members recommended and the Governor agreed to approve the increase in MIS and the amended Social Security Regulations, both to come into effect from 10 August. In noting that the increase had been delayed due to budget constraints, Council agreed that an ex-gratia payment should be paid to recipients at the same time to offset the week lost. Further details will issue in a separate press release shortly.
Council noted that a further price collection will take place in September. Members were also keen to see a review of the Minimum Wage take place at the same time.
The Governor took the opportunity to inform Members of Council that the issues relating to payment of UK pensions to recipients living on St Helena, have been successfully resolved and all pensions (90 in total), have now been reinstated.
The meeting closed at 11am.
7 August 2018