THE APPROPRIATION BILL 2018 – ANNUAL ESTIMATES FOR 2018-19 NOW AVAILABLE

The Appropriation Bill 2018 which provides for public services for the financial year 2018/19 was approved by Executive Council on Thursday, 12 July 2018, to stand as Government business at the next formal meeting of Legislative Council to be held on Friday, 27 July 2018.

The Budget Session will be held in the Council Chamber and will commence with the Budget Speech by the Financial Secretary. The Motion will be adjourned until Monday, 30 July 2018, when Legislative Council will debate the proposed Budget.

The Budget proposes public expenditure of Pound 40.9 million. This represents a decrease in public expenditure primarily resulting from the cessation of the RMS St Helena freight and passenger service to the Island.

This expenditure is proposed to be funded as follows:

Customs revenue of Pound 5.9 million

Tax revenue of Pound 5.0 million

Other local revenue of Pound 2.5 million

DFID Financial Aid of up to Pound 27.1 million

FCO CSSF funding support of up to Pound 0.2 million

The expenditure is further supported by a withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund of Pound 0.09 million that represents the unspent committed funding in the previous financial year allocated to Health of Pound 0.08 million for the purchase of essential medical equipment and Environment & Natural Resources of Pound 0.01 million.

The proposed Budget will see an overall reduction in the recurrent budget of Pound 0.4 million for Health. Health undertook to review the current funding allocated to overseas medical treatment and the aero-medical evacuation budgets. Based on current trend and analysis, it is proposed to reduce the aero-medical evacuation budget by Pound 0.9 million and increase the overseas medical treatment budget by Pound 0.5 million. This has resulted in an overall decrease in budget in comparison to the previous year by Pound 0.4 million.

An overall increase is proposed for Corporate Finance of Pound 2.5 million. This increase primarily covers funding to maintain certification of St Helena Airport, pension contributions for Government employees, additional funding to support the St Helena Fisheries Corporation and funding allocated for Connect Saint Helena Ltd for subsidy to limit tariff increases in this financial year. Also included is the specific funding allocated by DFID for litigation and associated costs. This funding is provided on a contingency basis and if not utilised by SHG the funding will not be released by DFID. The proposed increase also includes the Airport Contract Management Unit budget where previously this has been funded as a separate budget by DFID but has now been incorporated into the SHG recurrent budget.

An increase in the Safeguarding budget of Pound 0.4 million is also proposed. There are four key areas within Safeguarding where it is proposed to allocate additional funding, this includes proposed additional funding to support the Home Care Policy, funding to develop a specialist service provision for children and young people with complex needs, funding to increase staffing capacity at the Community Care Complex and funding to support the Child in Need policy.

The Budget also includes a reduction in funding for Enterprise St Helena of Pound 0.3 million and an increase in funding allocated for Income Related Benefits and Basic Island Pension of Pound 0.2 million.

Source: St Helena Government

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