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Montevideo, June 23rd 2024 - 22:16 UTC

 

 

Falkland Islands Government publishes Budget for 2024/25

Wednesday, June 5th 2024 - 16:59 UTC
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Portfolio Holder for Corporate Government Services, MLA Roger Spink said: “This budget follows the principle of ensuring the long-term financial stability of the Falkland Islands.” Portfolio Holder for Corporate Government Services, MLA Roger Spink said: “This budget follows the principle of ensuring the long-term financial stability of the Falkland Islands.”

Focusing on our current and future generations is at the heart of the Falkland Islands Government Budget for 2024/25. The Budget recognises these two themes are essential for the community to mitigate against the continued global cost of living crisis, and the uncontrollable situations happening around the world, which ultimately impact our economy.

 The operating budget for 2024/25 is £101.8 million (excluding internal recharges) with the main areas of investment for the coming 12 months including:

• £18.9m for health and wellbeing
• £10.9m for education and training
• £2.8m increase in government wages, including a cost of living increase for all staff and step point increments
• £8.4m on protecting the environment, including funding for subvention bodies and scientific research

Our commitment to capital projects, which provide a boost to private sector activity, will continue in 2024/25. The top priorities within the capital programme are; the new Port Facility, new Power Station, Sand Bay Wind Farm Phase 3 and the new waste management facility. Other significant projects and programmes of work include: improvements to the hospital and services for vulnerable people, including the completion of Tussac House in 2024, the continuation of maintenance to Stanley and MPA roads, repairs and investment in new Camp roads, the new Sports Facility, replacement of critical ICT infrastructure, continued funding for housing and building maintenance, and the development of new housing plots which will see an addition of £6m to the capital programme fund.

From 1 July 2024, all government establishment employees will receive a cost of living pay award of 5.5% and eligible employees will also receive a step point increment. From 1 January 2025 the minimum wage hourly rate will increase from £8.57 to £9.19; the income tax personal allowance will increase from £15,960 to £16,860; and the 21% threshold will increase from £12,000 to £18,000.

Weekly retirement pensions will see an increase to payments from £177.78 to £192.57, in line with the September 2023 RPI increase of 8.3%. This increase of 8.3% will also be added to the Retirement Pension contributions from 1 January 2025.

Supporting Health and Community Wellbeing has been an important part of the budget for this year. Caring for the community has seen an additional £0.4 million for additional resources for Health and Social Services, the medical treatment overseas resources will benefit from an addition of £0.8 million, and in line with the projection to the increase classroom sizes, an increase of £0.3 million has been allocated to educational resources.

Portfolio Holder for Corporate Government Services, MLA Roger Spink said: “This budget follows the principle of ensuring the long-term financial stability of the Falkland Islands. It ensures sustainable pension arrangements whilst delivering an increase in pensions. A range of other benefits are increased in line with Sept 2023 RPI by 8.3% whilst additionally the rises in income tax personal allowances and thresholds will provide relief for working people across our community. Rises in charges and fees have been moderated to reduce their inflationary effects. The critical infrastructure capital investment to support sustainable social and economic development supports the long-term development of the Falklands whilst providing opportunities for the private sector. The decisions made will result in a small net decrease of posts to the permanent establishment. Full details of the Budget and Financial Plans for 2024/25 are available in ExCo paper 77/24 and its appendices.”
 

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