The Falkland Islands Government yesterday published its budget for the upcoming financial year, describing it as a prudent budget that focuses on stability and continuity. The budget forecasts operating expenditure of £78.3m and revenues of £92.2m, as well as a capital programme totalling £53.5m for the upcoming financial year.
Falkland Islands European Union exports are now subject to tariffs due to the UK not obtaining an agreement on behalf of the Falklands in relation to Brexit. On Wednesday, Legislative Assembly members released an opinion piece that expressed disappointment and frustration.
In light of the recent unavoidable disruptions to the South Atlantic Air Bridge (SAA) schedule, British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) have been looking at options to increase the frequency of access to Southbound flights for Falkland Islands Government (FIG) fare-paying passengers.
The Falkland Islands Government confirmed its commitment to delivering its capital program, despite some disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The approved total capital program is valued at £130m over five years and there is significant work on-going to deliver critical infrastructure projects.
Some key changes within the Falkland Islands' Budget for 2020/21 from July 1, 2020, unless stated otherwise a 1.5% pay increase for Government employees.
This Sunday we will mark Liberation Day, the day when we commemorate, and indeed celebrate, the liberation of these Islands from Argentine invasion in 1982.
The Falkland Islands Government on Friday announced it will be easing some restrictions in its response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The steps, approved by Executive Council, will over coming days include reopening schools and nurseries, permitting greater social mixing, and allowing non-essential work and activities with some exceptions.
A statement on the status of the current restrictions, and updates, will be made on Friday by the Chief Executive, Barry Rowland. This is part of the permanent information that FIG provides to the community on the coronavirus challenge.
While the Atlantic Airbridge between the Falkland Islands and Brize Norton continues to service normally and is crucial for sending swab tests to labs in the UK, the two commercial flights to the Islands, one from Chile and the most recent from Brazil remain suspended.
The Falkland Islands Executive Council last Friday agreed in principle that construction activity on the Islands can resume this Wednesday, 22 April. However, Chief Executive Barry Rowland said the final decision would be subject to COVID-19 test swab results from the United Kingdom expected to be received this Tuesday 21 April.