2022 BUDGETARY APPROPRIATIONS: Ministry of Finance and Health

The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

In his 2022 Budget Address to the House of Assembly on January 4, 2022, the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance and Health, Ellis L. Webster, MD, presented the following regarding funding for the operations of this Ministry, and Departments, for the year 2022:

The 2022 recurrent budget for the Ministry of Finance and Health is EC$101.10 million. This is a 6.09 % or EC$6.09 million decrease when compared to the 2021 approved budget of EC$108.09. This variance is mainly attributed to the discontinuation of the public assistance program for COVID-19 as the island re-opened and persons have been returning to work.

This year, the Ministry of Health will focus on revitalising the Unit’s mission while guiding workplaces and schools to develop sustainable actions to continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry is currently working with the relevant authorities to advance the construction of a new Dialysis Unit and Isolation Ward at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. It is anticipated that construction will commence early this year and be completed by year end.

The [2022 calendar] year will see the climax of several policy initiatives as HAA undergoes accreditation through Accreditation Canada International and the reintegration of primary health care services in all three-health districts at the three polyclinics. The HAA will also pursue full time psychiatric services in Anguilla for the first time in order to address mental health programmes and services in a comprehensive manner.

We will supply the Health Authority with around EC$ 20 million from the consolidated fund, which will support a little over 50 % of their operating expenditure.
This 2022 budget equips our Inland Revenue and Customs Departments, our lead revenue collecting agencies, with additional personnel resources for this task.

These departments’ strategic work programmes will be based at enhancing voluntary compliance whilst curbing revenue leakages through targeted enforcement activities.

This year, the Customs Department will forge ahead with the upgrade of the ASYCUDA platform which will simplify processes and improve the ease of doing business. The Inland Revenue Department will continue with the digitisation of tax filings and payments through their recently launched online portal; improving the customer experience and making paying taxes simple and efficient.

Currently, the Companies Act and the International Business Companies Act are in the process of being replaced and repealed by a new piece of legislation the “Business Companies Act” which will provide a modern flexible companies regime, catering to the needs of our international clientele providing for structures such as the Segregated Portfolio Companies, Exempted Companies and Restricted Purposes Companies.

Our new and highly secured bespoke company registration system is now a reality and is scheduled to launch at the start of 2022. The bespoke system is governed by its own piece of legislation and will also house the Beneficial Ownership Register, an initiative that will see Anguilla at the forefront of the global agenda in setting the standard for transparency of company ownership. The bespoke system provides services for both our local and international customers through payment gateway. It provides real time information and reports on the management of entities thus helping Anguilla to be a viable choice for business.

The Social Security Board’s estimates of income and current expenditure for 2022 anticipate a surplus of EC $5.2 million (before accounting for depreciation).
The strategic programme will include developing a benefits funding policy as well as refocusing on alternative investments through reactivation of the Board’s Investment Committee.

The Public Service Pension Board continues to administer the Pension Fund for the Government of Anguilla and its agencies.

Further work will continue in relation to the public procurement framework to improve the functionality of and increase public confidence in the procurement proceedings.

Our debt service for this year is around EC$51 million. ‘Debt service’ means what we pay in both principal and interest payments. This equates to around a quarter of the Government’s recurrent budget.