Books about Anguilla


Saturday, 6 April 2013


Hon. Chief Minister of Anguilla: 
Hubert Benjamin Hughes

April 05, 2013

My Fellow Anguillians,

Through this medium of the Press Corp invited here this morning to witness my signing on behalf of the Government of Anguilla of the Framework for Fiscal Sustainability and Development (FFSD) with the UK Government, I would like to make the following comments.

As indicated at the most recent public forum on the matter (which was held on 18 March, 2013 at the Rodney MacArthur Rey Auditorium and carried live by several Radio Stations), the UKG in April 2011 submitted for the GoA's consideration a draft Framework termed the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR) to replace the 2003 Borrowing Guidelines which had served as the prudential guidelines concerning fiscal matters. Those Borrowing Guidelines proved to be inflexible and unable to withstand the rigours of the financial and economic crisis that rocked the World and our small nation since 2008.

It has taken some time to reach this point, but this was necessary, not only to achieve consensus with the UKG and to arrive at an arrangement that both sides can live with but also to secure what is best for you the Anguillian people. The FFR was considered within Government, taken to you the people and also shared with our regional and international development partners for their review and technical support in order to ensure that we were doing the right thing and securing what was best for Anguilla. We also discussed with our sister UK Overseas Territories that were also subject to these arrangements and carefully monitored their realities as a result of their Frameworks in operation. I take this opportunity to thank all who supported us during this process. In short, we took this very seriously.

As indicated at the public forum on 18th March, 2013, following the commencement of formal negotiations in Anguilla in September 2012 and further discussions in London in December 2012 I wrote to the UK Minister with responsibility for the Overseas Territories the Hon Mark Simmonds on December 14, 2012 outlining the GoA's position on the proposed FFR (it should be noted that this correspondence was considered and approved by Executive Council).

Minister Simmonds responded in correspondence dated March 6, 2013 acknowledging the progress that had been made in the negotiations between the two sides to date. He however indicated that the UKG was not prepared to agree to one of the GoA's main requests, namely that the fiscal anchor utilised during the Borrowing Guidelines regime - Debt to Recurrent Revenue - be changed to Debt to GDP.

At the public forum on 18th March, 2013 I indicated that, acting on advice of the GoA technical officials, I along with my Ministerial colleagues were prepared to continue with Debt to Recurrent Revenue fiscal anchor provided that the Framework to be agreed and the enabling legislation would be reviewed 5 years from implementation.

After further discussions in Executive Council and among UKG and GoA technical officials I can state that we have arrived at the point where the new framework, the Framework for Fiscal Sustainability and Development, FFSD, for short, can be signed. 
So my people, what are the next steps?

In Minister Simmonds' letter of 6th March 2013, he spoke to the UKG's undertaking to provide a grant of the equivalent of EC$12.5 million for 2013, demonstrating their commitment to Anguilla's economic growth and development in a bid to ensure that we can undertake crucial projects without using our fiscal reserves. It should be noted that originally we requested a grant of EC$140m over a period of 3 years to support our capital development. However, we accept this proposal and we express our thanks to the UKG. Minister Simmonds spoke to the effect of the UKG and GoA agreeing on a Framework to replace the 2003 Borrowing Guidelines (and within this the establishment of Capital Development Fund endowed with the above mentioned grant) as to, and I quote "put us in a position to move forward quickly to agreement on the 2013 Budget".

We thank Minister Simmonds for this undertaking to move ahead with UKG assent of the GoA's 2013 Budget, which normally should have taken place in December 2012.

Operating on a Provisional Budget, which the GoA has been doing since January 1, 2013, is never ideal and comes with its own set of complications, not only for our internal operations but also for our partnership with the European Union. UKG assent to the GoA's annual budget is a key supporting factor in EU financial support through the European Development Fund (EDF) programme. The 2nd tranche of EDF 10 Funds is expected shortly.

As the Anguillian public would recall, the EU Ambassador to Barbados and the OECS, Mr Michael Barford, attested to this in his comments to the Press a few weeks ago in connection with his visit to attend the 3rd Annual Review of Anguilla's Medium Term Economic Strategy (MTES) covering the period 2010 - 2014.

In closing let me reiterate that we look forward to receiving UKG assent of GoA's 2013 Budget at the soonest but no later than April 30, 2013, the receipt of the EC$12.5 million grant to endow the Capital Development Fund, and we commit that with the support of the UKG in terms of legislative drafting assistance, and adherence with our legislative processes, to have passage of the associated FFSD legislation by 30th June, 2013.

May God bless you, and may God bless Anguilla.

No comments:

Post a Comment

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” – MLK.