Economic Development Committee Meeting – Monday, 9 December 2019

A special meeting of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) took place on Monday, 9 December 2019, and the following is a summary of the main items discussed:

The SHG Economists, on behalf of the Tax and Revenue Working Group, brought forward a discussion paper to consider further changes to the Customs Duty for motorcycles, as well as a reduction in duty for incontinence pads. It was recommended that as well as the lower band for electric motorbikes, bands should be introduced so that a lower duty would apply to smaller, low cc motorcycles. Since there was time before the January Executive Council meeting, where any change would be endorsed, the Economists agreed to develop the policy further in this respect and bring back to EDC for endorsement. There was general agreement that the duty for incontinence pads should be reduced from 20% to 5%.

Members received a presentation from the Agriculture & Natural Resources Division regarding the review of policy that is being undertaken for use and management of the Crown agricultural estate. An overview was provided of the key issues and challenges being experienced with regards to use and stewardship of these agricultural assets, options for policy to direct their use and stewardship for the future, and recommendations for changes to policy. Investment to upgrade key assets within the estate is a key requirement to improve this policy and enable its implementation over the short to medium terms.

Through the Chamber of Commerce forum, a presentation on the Review’s recommendations has been delivered to a number of agricultural producers who currently let Crown agricultural and building assets for their feedback and input.  Further consultation will continue in January 2020 with a  cross-section of producers who are not involved with the Chamber but currently are tenants with the Crown’s agricultural estate.

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16 December 2019

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470