A Falkland Islands mini budget looks much less likely now, based on what Financial Secretary Tim Waggott told MLAs (lawmakers) at a meeting of the Standing Finance Committee.
At the time of the Budget in June this year, it was announced that a mini-budget exercise might be needed and Mr Waggott said at SFC last week that there would be a better idea by the end of the year about whether or not a minibudget would be needed.
However, he also pointed out that next year’s Budget process was about to start and he claimed that a mini-budget would not be in any way worthwhile.
MLAs had already been told by Management Accountant Mark Rutherford that the carryovers approved at last month’s meeting meant that the current forecast was for a “slight deficit” (£3.854m according to the agenda papers) instead of the budgeted operating surplus (£9.873m according to the agenda papers).
MLAs were also told that Health and Social Services spending was operating within budget in spite of COVID-related spending and they approved funding for the decision taken by ExCo to approve an orthodontic service in the Islands and provision for treatment on students in the UK. Also approved was the funding for measures to support tourism and other businesses announced last week.
These measures will cost up to £3.67m, leaving £4.44m of funding available for a potential second wave. SFC Chair MLA Roger Spink thanked those who had worked to bring the measures together “as quickly as they have” but he also warned that the implementation of the measures could be “equally as challenging”