28 June 2023
The Minister for Treasury, Infrastructure and Sustainable Development, Mark Brooks, today, Wednesday 28 June 2023, delivered the 2023/24 budget speech for St Helena to the Legislative Council. A copy of the budget speech is available online at www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Budget-Speech-2023-24.pdf
In his opening remarks, Minister Brooks said:
“This budget continues to support our Vision, published in March last year, but also takes into account the realities of the changing economic and operational environment resulting from yet another year of continuing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing global inflationary pressures.”
“At the heart of our vision is our environment, our economy, and our social obligations. While the government, I feel, is clear on its priorities, in tandem it is important that I highlight the need for a genuine mind-set change. A mind-set change by SHG, its leaders, the civil service, and indeed the general population. We believe we need to focus on what makes St Helena attractive, what truly makes us great and unique, and use these characteristics to grow and develop.”
The budget is presented following agreement of a 4% increase in the Financial Aid settlement from the UK Government when compared to 2022/23, equivalent to an additional £1.27 million. This includes an increase in core financial aid of £1.071 million, £114,000 for airport operations and £500,000 to further develop the tourism industry.
The UK Government continues to provide contingency funding on a call down basis, albeit at a lower level of £1.7 million. This means total available funding from the UK Government of £33.06 million.
In his budget speech, Minister Brooks expressed gratitude to His Majesty’s Government for their continued support to St Helena through Financial Aid.
In concluding his budget speech, Minister Brooks said:
“We speak a lot as an Island, about creating an enabling environment on St Helena. In reality there is still much we need to do across SHG to perform better, be it our procurement systems, HR processes or customer services. We are also well aware of the need to update some of our outdated procedures, policies, and legislation across the board. But the change in mind-set does not just involve the government.”
“The challenges we face demand a united front and a shared commitment to progress. By embracing the strength of collaboration, we can combine our diverse talents, ideas and perspectives to achieve outcomes that surpass our individual capabilities.”
“Each and every one of us must take ownership of our own futures, recognising that our choices, actions, and contributions play a crucial role in shaping the destiny of our Island. It is not enough to simply rely on external forces or wait for others to chart our path.”
The motion to consider the Appropriation Bill 2023 now stands adjourned until Friday 30 June 2023, when the details of the Bill will be debated by Legislative Council.
Allocations for both recurrent and capital expenditure as outlined in the Appropriation Bill 2023 and the Budget Book are as follows:
- Pensions and Benefits – £5.7 million
- Health and Social Care – £9.1 million
- Education, Skills and Employment – £3.6 million
- Environment, Natural Resources and Planning – £1.7 million
- Treasury, Infrastructure and Sustainable Development, which includes grants and subsidies, centrally managed contracts like the swimming pool and public transport system etc. – £14.1 million
- Central Support Service which includes support to Council and the Technical Cooperation Budget – £10.0 million
- Safety, Security and Home Affairs – £2.6 million
- Attorney General’s Chambers – £105,000, and
- Judicial Services – £147,000
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