27 July 2018
Today, the Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, delivered the 2018/19 Budget Speech for St Helena.
In his opening remarks, the Financial Secretary said:
“It has been a challenging budget process, however the budget presented today strikes a balance between resourcing the key priorities for the Island whilst mitigating the significant risks to SHG and St Helena.”
The Budget presented today is the product of collaborative working between Elected Members, officials and other key stakeholders including the UK Government.
The Budget is presented following agreement of the Financial Aid settlement of up to £27.1 million for the financial year 2018/19.
Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, said:
“While there is still much to do in many areas, this is still an exciting time for St Helena.
“Let us all rise to the challenge together. St Helena’s future will require an intensified collaboration of all, of every single organisation, every individual, we all need to get through this difficult period whilst ensuring that the most vulnerable members of society are protected, for us to successfully deliver on the promise of fulfilling transformative sustainable economic development.”
The Motion to consider the Appropriation Bill 2018 now stands adjourned until Monday, 30 July 2018, when the details of the Bill will be debated by Legislative Council.
Highlights from the 2018/19 Budget Speech include:
- Total recurrent public spending is planned to be just under £40.9 million in this financial year. Representing a net decrease of £1.2 million (2.9%) in comparison to the previous year
- The cessation of the subsidised RMS St Helena passenger and freight service is the primary contributing factor to the decrease
- Total financial aid support for this financial year will be £27.1 million
- Spending on Health will decrease by £0.4 million (7%)
- Spending on Safeguarding will rise by £0.4 million (15.9%)
- Spending for Corporate Finance for payments on behalf of the Crown will increase by £2.5 million (43.9%). This includes funding specifically for litigation
- Basic Island Pension (BIP) and Income Related Benefits (IRB) budget will increase by £211,000
- Additional support in the year ahead for fishing
- Total forecast revenue for the year is £40.8 million
- No significant changes in taxation for individuals or companies
- The basic rate of tax remains at 26%, personal tax allowance stays at £7,000 and income tax paid by companies stays at 25%
- Small policy changes to customs duties include the expansion of the Sugar Tax, reducing the duty on healthy alternatives and facilitating changes in the customs tariff to support the objectives of the Sustainable Economic Development Plan (SEDP)
- FCO funding of £0.2m to address specific areas of security including immigration
- In 2018/19, the inflation expectation is 4.40%
The full Budget Speech is available on the Finance page of the SHG website at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/finance/
27 July 2018