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St Helena: Overseas Aid

Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL6486, tabled on 30 March 2017

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statement in their policy paper, 2010 to 2015 government policy: UK Overseas Territories, that the reasonable assistance needs of overseas territories "are a first call on the UK’s international development budget", why the St Helena Council had not been informed, as of 30 March, how much its annual revenue support grant for 2017–18 will be; and what assessment they have made of the impact of the timing of the funding decision on the ability of the Council to make financial plans.

Answered on

6 April 2017

The process to determine the level of UK Government financial support to St Helena for 2017/18 has followed standard DFID procedures. It began during November 2016 when the St Helena Government (SHG) provided budget forecasts and DFID officials visited the island for intense discussions of the budget proposals. Elected Members took an active role throughout these discussions.

A revised budget from SHG in January provided more detailed and prioritised spending projections. Following internal quality assurance Ministers approved the level of DFID’s contribution to the budget on 30 March 2017. This approval was relayed to SHG Officials on 31 March.

Throughout the process DFID officials were in regular contact with their SHG counterparts. Financial Aid makes an important contribution to the long term growth and development of St Helena.

The UK Government has a duty to ensure value for taxpayers’ money as it meets its international commitments.