Financial Secretary Dax Richards this afternoon delivered his first Budget Speech for St Helena, following agreement of the Financial Aid budget settlement of £28.7 million for 2017/18. 

Financial Secretary Dax Richards said:

I believe that 2017/18 can bring about the change needed to turn around the fortunes of the Island and our people.  This year’s budget will see an increase in public spending on essential services of £5.8m – the largest increase we have had year on year. This complements the anticipated start of commercial air services later this year.  

“It is so important for all of us to work in partnership in order for everyone on the Island to benefit and put us on the path to becoming more self-sufficient.”

Highlights from the 2017 speech include:

  • Total recurrent public spending is planned to be just over £42 million in this financial year. This is an increase in spending of some £5.8 million compared to last financial year
  • Total financial aid support for this financial year will be £28.7 million.  This is an increase of £6.2 million from last financial year, representing over 27%   
  • The most significant spending increases are on Shipping, Health, Education and Safeguarding
  • Spending on Health will increase by £250,000 (4.5%)
  • Spending on Safeguarding will rise by £267,000 (7.3%)
  • Spending on Education will rise by £270,000 (8.9%)
  • 2017/18 will see a further increase in both Basic Island Pension (BIP) and Income Related Benefits (IRB), at a cost of £100,000 
  • Additional support in the year ahead for fishing
  • For the year ahead, there are no significant changes in taxation
  • A reduction in the rate of customs duty to 5% on renewable energy generation and storage systems like solar panels, photovoltaic panels and wind turbines
  • A reduction in the rate of customs duty to 5% on rain water storage
  • The basic rate of tax remains at 26%, personal tax allowance stays at £7,000 and income tax paid by companies stays at 25%
  • Total forecast revenue for the year is £42.1 million
  • The impact of exchange rate fluctuation and inflation continues to put pressure on the budget
  • Annual inflation of the retail price index is currently 4.7%

The full Budget Speech is available on the Finance page of the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/finance/ *

 *Direct Link – http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Budget-Speech-2017-18.pdf

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SHG

12 May 2017

 

 

 

 

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