Falklands : Motion for Adjournment Speech by the Honourable Mrs Phyl Rendell, MLA
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 24.04.2014 (Article Archived on 08.06.2014)
Thank you Mr Speaker, Honourable members, In rising to support the Motion I am taking the same theme as my Honourable Michael Poole has done.
Motion for Adjournment Speech by the Honourable Mrs Phyl Rendell, MLA
Thank you Mr Speaker, Honourable members, In rising to support the Motion I am taking the same theme as my Honourable Michael Poole has done. For both of us it’s our first budget and that really is preoccupying my mind a great deal at the moment. I really do not underestimate the magnitude of the deliberations we are undertaking currently and the decisions that we’ve got to take in the next few weeks. And I understand that those decisions will impact on the lives of the people of the Falkland Islands.
Quite frankly we have got quite a healthy economy and we look forward to further revenue from oil exploration in the next year and hopefully further revenues in the future. So we have to plan and prepare. I am very pleased to see how much the departments are doing just that – planning and preparing for the ‘what ifs and the when’s.’ It is absolutely vital that we address the issues and have procedures in place to embrace a new and exciting industry.
But we also have to manage the growth of the recurrent budget and I think this is really what we are wrestling with currently. We started two or three days in Select Committee. We had a break – we have a look at things again the week after next. And I think we have to be really careful that we don’t have major increases in the recurrent budget that are not sustainable because it’s going to be much more difficult to undo things than put them in situ in the first place. So this is really taxing my mind currently.
I think we all do and I do want to maintain high standards of service particularly in Health and Education but we have to make sure that other areas of Government are not left so far behind and I think that really is an issue for us. We might have first world services in some areas but if we leave the rest of Government services behind and put all our emphasis in certain areas, I think we would be doing a disservice to everybody.
And we do also need to support those departments that are working on growth in the economy, particularly my portfolios, fisheries and agriculture – particularly fisheries. That is the key regulator in the department that insures we have a healthy income from the fishery resource. At the last legislative Assembly Meeting I was very pleased to report on the success of the Illex catches and that’s continued. And that is to be welcomed. We know that it is very much a variable and can’t be relied upon.
Many of my colleagues have referred to the Capital budget we are going to be looking at in due course and I really do look forward to the feedback from the public about what they see as the priorities and I think inevitably we already have a list that is far too long for this Assembly to address. We need to look long-term and look to see which projects we can start now and those which we have to delay so there will be disappointments and difficult choices. We only have a finite amount of money and our community’s expectations are very high and it will take time to deliver those capital projects.
But I warmly encourage people to give us their views on what they think of the priorities.
Mr Speaker I support the Motion.