Alderney says leaner States 'helping balance books'

Making Alderney's States departments leaner and more efficient is helping the island to balance its books, according to the Policy Committee.

The 2014 budget goes before the States later this month and it includes a recommendation to reduce business occupiers' rates.

If approved, the business rate will drop by 10% from the current charge of £1.37 per square metre to £1.23.

Domestic rates will stay at £1.13 sq m and charities will still be exempt.

Revenues from Alderney's offshore gambling industry continue to fund major capital projects on the island.

Consultants are being used to identify savings across States departments and a recent audit showed more than £100,000 could be shaved from the States Works department budget.

Robert McDowall, vice chair of the Alderney Policy Committee, said they would have to look at raising extra money in future if the contribution from Guernsey were to fall further.

Lower contribution anticipated

The cash allocation for 2014 has been frozen - with the exception of pay awards - meaning a real-terms decrease.

The Guernsey payment of £1.96m will bring Alderney's total income to just under £2.97m.

"Unless the States of Guernsey's financial situation improves, I would anticipate a reduction in the contribution in 2015 and therefore Alderney has to look at other sources of revenue generation in anticipation of that," he said.

States members will debate the budget at their meeting on 23 October.

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