In today’s Executive Council meeting, two issues were considered on the Open Agenda.
The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2017 makes provision to amend the application of Investment Tax Credit (ITC). It was recognised that there had been significant local investment amounting to over £3.5 million, but the current policy meant significant under recovery in revenue which will have consequences for the sustainability of SHG revenue streams in the current and future financial years. The proposal would replace the current ITC with an Investment Tax Deduction scheme. Council approved the draft Bill to be published and presented as Government Business at the formal Legislative Council meeting on 24 March 2017.
Council then considered the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2017. Following a significant period of consultation, Council agreed that the following provisions should go forward to Legislative Council on 24 March 2017:
- The minimum age to vote will be reduced from 18 years to 17 years
- Only persons with St Helenian Status will be allowed to register to vote
However, persons who are already on the Register of Electors who do not have St Helenian status will be allowed to remain on the Register until 2020, by which time it was expected that the individuals will acquire St Helenian status.
Councillors were generally in favour of compulsory registration to vote, but not if it meant that the register of voters would be used to select people for jury service. They were in favour of compulsory jury service however but wished to de-link voting and jury service by using an alternative list. It was agreed that further work will need to be undertaken on this matter.
The Governor informed Members that she is planning to leave the Island on 21 March for a period of overseas leave and business. The Governor will return to the Island on 16 May 2017, via Ascension Island.
The meeting ended at 12.30pm.
7 March 2017