The strength of the Manx economy and the impact of policies aimed at getting more people into employment are reflected in the latest Isle of Man Government accounts, as the Treasury declares a £23.1 million budget surplus for 2017-18.
Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan MHK has welcomed the positive news, but warned against complacency as the Government faces up to significant financial pressures in the immediate and long-term future.
The unaudited accounts for the financial year ended 31 March 2018, known as the Light Blue Book, will be laid before the July sitting of Tynwald.
The highlights include:
- Income tax receipts £21.6 million better than forecast
- National Insurance income £13.7 million better than forecast
- Closing market value of external reserves and cash of £1.9 billion – an increase of £20 million on the opening balance
- Vibrant economy and more people in employment contributed to a significant reduction in spending on job-related support
- Budget surplus enabled Treasury to fund overspend on health and social care services without drawing further on Government reserves
The Treasury Minister said:
‘The detailed Government accounts for the past year deliver another message of strong financial control and signs of positive economic growth. The improved income performance allowed us to fund the supplementary vote of £9.5 million for the Department of Health and Social Care without having to draw further on the reserves.’
‘While these results give cause for optimism we must not be complacent, particularly given international events. I am mindful that there continues to be significant financial pressures on services, particularly our Health Service, but we must have an eye for the longer term and prepare for the significant cash-flow pressure that will hit the revenue account in 2022-23 when the Public Service Employee Pensions Reserve is forecast to be depleted.
‘As a financially responsible Government we are focusing on the objective of delivering sustainable public finances for a secure future.’
The Light Blue Book is aligned with the Budget Pink Book to promote transparency and understanding of the year’s financial transactions and the year-end financial position.