Falklands : MLA Edwards Speaks to the Finance Bill 2012/13
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 02.06.2012 (Article Archived on 16.06.2012)
Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, I personally would like to thank the Staff of the Treasury for producing this yearís budget.
The Finance Bill 2012 (The Final Stages) Report of the Select Committee:
MLAs spoke to the Motion to accept the report.
The Hon Mr Roger Edwards MLA
Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, I personally would like to thank the Staff of the Treasury for producing this yearís budget. Itís a long process; itís a hard process and I know some of them have voluntarily remained in the Office until late in the evening to complete the papers that we need and sometimes additional papers that some of us tend to forget from time to time when we turn up for meetings. The rate of decisions taken in the Finance Bill and the appropriation Bill is enormous. And I sometimes wonder if people really do understand the extent of the decisions we have to take.
In addition to looking at the process charged and the operation, freight and passenger services for FIGAS and the lower paid, the Budget Select Committee has also agreed to look at the Medical Services Tax to see how this can be better put in place for the lower paid. And on this we hope to get a report in before we begin the next annual budget round so that by the end of the year we have firm proposals to go for in the next annual cycle.
We also agreed that we would look at the retirement Pensions contributions for the lower paid. Some of these under £190.00 a week drop out of the system. They are not required to make payments and therefore can reach retirement age without actually having sufficient payments to receive their full pension.
We are also going to be looking at the basis for the current charging for the present charging policy for Government Housing. It has been that we are putting prices up year on year to get in line with the private sector but we wonder if this is the correct way of going. There is no end in sight. And so the plan is that we will actually look at the whole charging policy for that going forward.
I must mention the windfall because we have been criticised for not making better use in passing that back. And I can assure people who are listening that indeed we do take into account the windfall and we say we are not going to include it in the budget because it is much better that at the year end, we have a pleasant surplus that we can then put into our savings, into our pension funds and give some back to the population rather than arriving at yearís end with the horrific decision of what we can cut.
So, Mr Speaker, I move that the report be accepted.
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