Friday, February 22nd 2013 - 18:25 UTC

Falklands confirms £ 26m fishing and oil ‘windfalls’ only for the Consolidated Fund

The Falkland Islands government at a public meeting defended their position of not including in the annual budget what they described as ‘windfalls’ from fishing and oil and instead adding the ‘exceptional” excess revenue to the Consolidated Fund.

MLA Sawle said “the Oil Development Reserve is a potential precursor to a formal Sovereign Wealth Fund”

Responding to a demand from a member of the public to justify the Medical Services Tax (MST) when £26 million had been added to the Consolidated Fund over the past two financial years, Member of the Legislative Assembly and Chair Dick Sawle said the £26 million had arisen from a number of positive budget variances, primarily fishing licences, in excess of projected budgets, of £15M and £17M from oil exploration related tax receipts.

“However, what these mask is an underlying operating deficit over the last two years of £6 million. Government have long maintained a policy of not relying on the volatile revenues from Illex squid and have used these as ‘windfalls’ as they are received, rather than use them to support the underlying operating budget”, said MLA Sawle.

He added the revenues received from oil exploration had been transferred to a separate part of the Consolidated Fund to be known as the Oil Development Reserve, “effectively an earmarked reserve for planning purposes.”

The Falklands lawmaker said the receipts were also non-recurring and could not yet be relied on to continue into the future.

MLA Sawle said: “The Oil Development Reserve is a potential precursor to a formal Sovereign Wealth Fund however the first call on these monies will be to ensure that the required infrastructure and capacity are in place within the Falklands to ensure the further development of oil.”

He explained that the government’s continued budget policy was to maintain, “at least a balanced budget and as mentioned earlier, recent years show an underlying recurring deficit despite some beneficial windfalls.”

MLA Sawle added that the purpose of the MST was to support the ongoing operating budget: “This continues to be the case and as an example the Health budget increased by 12% over the two year period mentioned.”

MLAs Summers, Elsby and Hansen however went on to note their disapproval of the MST.

MLA Summers said he had at the last budget proposed that MST rates be reduced to zero but this had not been accepted and that he would raise the issue again at the next budget. MLA Elsby commented that the tax hit the poorest paid in the community. (PN).-

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1 Joe Bloggs (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 06:47 pm Report abuse
Steady as she goes MLAs until there is no doubt about the future hydrocarbons income. Keep the reins tight on the operating budget.

As for the MST. I don't really think it's required as long as medical services remain appropriately funded.

I would like to see the return of the HCS but let me make it clear that I would also wish to see it means tested which would rule family Bloggs out of contention.
2 Orbit (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 08:44 pm Report abuse
Nice to see transparent governance in action.
3 Doveoverdover (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 08:49 pm Report abuse
I see electioneering has already started even before the Referendum is behind us.

“MLAs Summers, Elsby and Hansen however went on to note their disapproval of the MST.”

More importantly, it is good to see the oil money being ring fenced to pay for oil related infrastructure and associated costs and for all of it to be headed to the City of London for safe keeping. So much easier to retain for UK the fruits of its possession that way, at the appropriate time.
4 Joe Bloggs (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 08:52 pm Report abuse
2 Orbit
We have very transparent governance. You are right about that.
5 puerto argentino (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 09:12 pm Report abuse, pirateeeeeeeeeee!!!
6 Be serious (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 09:17 pm Report abuse
Don't be silly Think.... I mean Dover.
Chuckle Chuckle.
7 Orbit (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 09:24 pm Report abuse
@5 - just to be clear, you are highlighting this article to undermine Argentina's claim to the Falklands right ?

The State Department said last month it recognised “de facto United Kingdom administration” of the Falkland Islands but “takes no position regarding sovereignty”.

When the public vote was announced last year, a State Department official said: “We will not speculate on a referendum that has not taken place. Our position remains one of neutrality.”

“The US position has not changed. The US does not support Argentina's sovereignty claims. The US recognises the UK's administration of the Falkland Islands, but takes no position on sovereignty.

”Unlike Argentina, the UK has no desire to bring third parties into a bilateral issue. Our position on supporting self-determination for the Falkland islanders is underpinned by the United Nations Charter, which is binding on all UN members.”
8 Anglotino (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 09:27 pm Report abuse
I agree Joe. It is atypically banana republic knee-jerk reaction to just spend any windfall. One offs or short-termism is the quickest way to squander any boom. Something my own country is guilty of to a degree, but nothing like other countries such as Venezuela that have little to show for the massive increase in oil revenues in the past 10 years.

Wile I don't fully understand or know about the FIG budget and taxes, means testing is an efficient and fair way to spread wealth. The Australia government means tests everything. Government benefits should be safety net. If you can afford to pay it yourself you should.

The coming boom and inevitable population increase will deepen the Falkland's economy. As part of this deepening, there will be more lower paid and less skilled employment opportunities. Setting the boundaries now is a wise move.

I see a troll is out fishing already too-yawn on that one!
9 Joe Bloggs (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 09:52 pm Report abuse
8 Morning Anglotino!

Thanks for your vote of confidence. Quite a few in the Falklands are getting frustrated by FIG's prudence but I think they are doing the right thing.

We do very little means testing. Quite similar to the UK really. I agree with Australia's view. If you can afford for it you pay yourself. The UK are more into everyone is entitled to it. The Falklands follows in a similar way but I think the tide is turning.

Yep, the troll is making no sense today at all. Desperate I guess.
10 Doveoverdover (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 10:19 pm Report abuse
@ 8 and 9. As is the way around here, your claim to have so much in common marks you out as being one and the same person.
11 Joe Bloggs (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 10:24 pm Report abuse
Yes Think. Whatever you say.
12 Anglotino (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 10:40 pm Report abuse
Why thank you DoThink.

That is the nicest thing you have ever said to me. With a compliment like that I am truly blushing.

Of everyone on here, Joe is the guy I'd wanna be mistaken for!
13 Joe Bloggs (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 10:45 pm Report abuse
12 joe

You should hear me sing Waltzing Matilda.
14 yankeeboy (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 10:57 pm Report abuse
Good job Falklands by next year you'll have more reserves per capita than Argentina. Don't loan them and $ though you probably won't get it back.
15 Doveoverdover (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 11:27 pm Report abuse
@3 How very perceptive of you. Why, only this evening UK lost 1/3rd of its AAA Credit Rating. No need to go with austerity now so let's party on the back of our new found oil wealth.
16 Raven (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 11:32 pm Report abuse

Finding an old unopened tin of Castrol R at the back of the shed isn't going to make you wealthy.
17 Joe Bloggs (#) Feb 22nd, 2013 - 11:37 pm Report abuse

It really surprises me how many of my friends, family and colleagues are getting upset with the MLAs for their stance on expenditure. Most of the people I'm thinking of are pretty damn fond of their own hard earned and don't part with it too readily. I am really pleased that FIG is taking this approach.

The chances of oil flowing in a big way are almost certain but it ain't flowing yet. If something goes wrong that money is going to have to last a long time.

Even Mrs Bloggs is upset about it. She's always been a bigger fan of the welfare state than me. I'm hardly a conservative though.

I really wish we could get serious about means testing. We do the odd bit but not enough. I tried to give an allowance (or something of value. I don't want to expose my ID), that I didn't need, back to treasury once and they said I couldn't. Madness.

I don't understand the system sometimes.

Are all potential handouts ain't Australia are means tested? Pensions, dole? What else? How much does it cost you to study?
18 Lord Ton (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 12:00 am Report abuse

19 Anglotino (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 12:35 am Report abuse
@17 Joe

Yes everything is means tested. It doesn't include your family home and a normal amount of assets but if you are asset rich then your benefits decline. For instance, my uncle is retired but he still works. Each week he reports his earnings and they reduce his pension. For every dollar over a certain amount you lose 50¢ of your pension. Something like that.

There are special study benefits for aboriginals but for me I must pay a HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) to study. You can pay up front and get a 10% discount or you defer and pay a percentage of earnings after your income crosses a threshold. My course will cost me about $6,000 to $8,000 per year. It is a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and not full fee. As some architecture subjects are Band 2 they could cost $1,045 each and not $734.

So this degree will leave me with a debt of about $20,000. However once my salary exceeds $50,000 I start paying it back at 4% and that incrementally increases up to 8% at $99,000. Oh it's also indexed each year to the CPI so it does increase.

Unis can also offer full fee places to Aussies; so my course would be about $20,000-$25,000 per year as I'm doing a Bachelor of Environments and a Diploma of Language. International students would pay nearly $30,000 per year.

Mind you Melbourne University is quite prestigious so its more expensive than others. My flatmate is an international student from Colombia. He pays $15,000 a year to study at a small private university.

This is one of the reasons why Australia has such low government debt. There is nothing wrong with a welfare state that is sustainable. I don't think many European welfare models are. We started changing 30 years ago.

Hopefully the Falklands follows our model more than the UK's. There's nothing wrong with free education and benefits as long as you can afford them over the long term.
20 Marcos Alejandro (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 12:36 am Report abuse
18 Roger

This article is better :-)

“Foreign Secretary William Hague will discuss the United States’ position on the Falkland Islands with John Kerry following reports that Washington will not recognise the result of next month’s referendum on sovereignty”
21 Anglotino (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 12:43 am Report abuse
The Argentineans are having a difficult time understanding a friendship that isn't sycophantic.
22 Marcos Alejandro (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 12:46 am Report abuse
Ok Joe :-)
23 expbrit (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 12:56 am Report abuse

The comments are even better than the article. Especially Stephen Pike's response to Further Beyond :)
24 Marcos Alejandro (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 01:02 am Report abuse

Sorry but I like this one better :

“FurtherBeyond • 3 hours ago −

”The reason the U.S. does not support the U.K. on this issue, notwithstanding their otherwise incestuous relationship, is simply because under international law there are territorial limitations to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves where a pre-colonial claim of sovereignty exists. This is the case with the Falklands. As a coloniser, the U.K. cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising.

In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the colonised territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

By the way, conducting a referendum of the colonising population the U.K. has implanted in the Falklands, is simply an attempt to obfuscate the issue by the U.K. The U.K. tried the same ploy in Gibraltar in the late 1960s. However, the referendum it sanctioned then was declared invalid by the UN when it adopted Resolution 2353, which observed that the referendum was contrary to the various resolutions which had been adopted previously by the UN General Assembly requiring the UK to decolonise Gibraltar”
25 expbrit (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 01:07 am Report abuse

Of course you do ;-}
26 Marcos Alejandro (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 01:13 am Report abuse

I like this fresh news too :-)

“In a symbolic blow to the Government’s economic plans, Moody’s, one of the biggest global credit ratings agencies, downgraded Britain.”
27 Orbit (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 01:50 am Report abuse
@26. So you are only 14 (fourteen) credit grades behind us now, not 15. Pop the champagne MA !
28 Marcos Alejandro (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 02:24 am Report abuse
Mr. Cameron must be applauded for inflicting so much damage in such a short time.
Not wonder he went to India lol.
29 Anglotino (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 09:31 am Report abuse
Oh I love it when someone stupid falls so quickly into a trap I didn't even realise I set.

Me @21 “The Argentineans are having a difficult time understanding a friendship that isn't sycophantic”

Marcos @22 ”Ok Joe :-)“

Huh you say! Here's DoveoverDoverThink @10 ”As is the way around here, your claim to have so much in common marks you out as being one and the same person.

And then along comes a sycophantic friend. Congratulations Marcos!

You're a sycophant. The UK might have had a credit downgrade but you just got an intelligence downgrade. Not much longer until you hit imbecile level.
30 Doveoverdover (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 09:47 am Report abuse
@29 Yeh Joe, now keep your stupid trap shut.
31 Joe Bloggs (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 09:53 am Report abuse

What's on this weekend Commander? Dining in night at the local officers mess or trout fishing in Chubut? Are you going to be British or Argentine in your mind tonight? Do people somewhere take you seriously? It would be tragic if everyone thought as little of you as the Marcopress posters.

Chuckle chuckle.
32 Doveoverdover (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 10:00 am Report abuse
@31 Sorry A'tino, that should have been “now keep your ”stupid trap“ shut”. Of course Think and I didn't mean you to deny our readers the wit and wisdom of your Joe persona.
33 Anglotino (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 10:02 am Report abuse
Oh damn I used the wrong login!
34 Doveoverdover (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 10:03 am Report abuse

Damn, me too
35 lsolde (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 11:03 am Report abuse
Keep it going, Gents.
36 Marcos Alejandro (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 03:36 pm Report abuse
I was wondering why in the world a Skip was so interested in Malvinas lol
37 Conqueror (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 07:03 pm Report abuse
@24 Do you think copying and pasting someone else's words is clever? I suppose it does take a certain amount of manual dexterity. As you well know, Britain's sovereignty extends back to 1765. Which “other State” did the Falklands belong to? Not the Spanish certainly. They didn't turn up until 1767. And when they tried to expel the British settlers, they lost. Read up on the Falklands Crisis (1770-71). The Spanish had to return everything they'd stolen and pay compensation as well.

By the way, no UN GA resolution is binding. So you can screw them up and give yourself a thrill with them.
@34 You're already damned. Of the British armed forces, only the Royal Navy has a “Commander” rank. Does it give you a thrill claiming a “rank” so far above whatever grade you could have achieved. Did you get to (incap) able seaman? Or perhaps just “incapable semen”. Although some ships still have Chinese laundrymen. In any event, you are a disgrace to the Navy. Probably dishonourably discharged anyway! Let's move to getting you investigated. If you've ever held a place in the RN, perhaps we can get you prosecuted for bringing the Navy into disrepute!
@36 None of your business!
38 Shed-time (#) Feb 23rd, 2013 - 09:50 pm Report abuse
@36 I was wondering why in the world an Argentine would be so covetous about the Falklands (10th Commandment) .... then I realised they're also into theft of the Falklander's land (8th Commandment) and worship Maximo (1st Commandment). Then I realised they love to lie in public fora like the UN (9th Commandment). Then I remembered that they threw a lot of land mines around in 1982 in a willful act of international terrorism (6th Commandment).

Makes it more interesting when you add that Timmerman is a jew, and the next pope is probably going to be Argentine.
39 Anglotino (#) Feb 24th, 2013 - 02:31 am Report abuse
@36 Marcos

“I was wondering why in the world a Skip was so interested in Malvinas lol”

Oh of course you wonder. I'm sure you walk through this life wondering about of lot of things that make little sense to you, but not to anyone else.

So back to your confusion! Why would a Skip be so interested in a country that shares the same language, the same Queen, a harsh environment, is resource rich, well governed and much richer then its neighbours because of all of the above?

Most people wouldn't wonder.

But if you are trying to allude to my being a Falklander-there are ways to prove I am in Melbourne but do you really want to?

Ambiguity seems to be the name of the Argentine troll game after all. It's definitely how Think and/or Doveoverdover get their jollies now their giggle stick is used purely for decoration.
40 Doveoverdover (#) Feb 24th, 2013 - 09:52 am Report abuse
@39 Think's bladder still keeps him occupied though.
41 Think (#) Feb 24th, 2013 - 11:41 am Report abuse
@40 That one was below the belt ;-)
42 lsolde (#) Feb 24th, 2013 - 12:19 pm Report abuse
@41 For your sake l hope it was.
Or you wear your belt low
Or have a different physiology to everyone else.
But then, Think, we know that you ARE different.
43 Think (#) Feb 24th, 2013 - 04:27 pm Report abuse
You, one way minded young squatter bint..... ;-)
44 lsolde (#) Feb 24th, 2013 - 08:11 pm Report abuse
lt takes one to know one...........;-)))))))
45 Troy Tempest (#) Feb 24th, 2013 - 11:20 pm Report abuse

@40 Dame DoverThink
“ Think's bladder still keeps him occupied though.”

”That one was below the belt ;-)

What a 'card' you are! Chuckle chuckle chuckle...
46 row82 (#) Feb 26th, 2013 - 11:41 pm Report abuse
Please support this page - Falklands Forever British - dedicated to Falkland Islands current affairs, keeping the islands free and poking fun at the lunacy of the Argentine government and their various claims and winding up their Internet trolls -

Please support our other page - Falkland Islands Desire The Right - dedicated to Falkland Islands current affairs -

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