Ministers have now considered the amendments proposed to Jersey’s first-ever Government Plan and have tabled five modifications to them, with the aim of supporting States Members’ ideas for constructive improvements to the Plan.
23 amendments have been lodged for consideration by the States Assembly on 26 November. In considering their response, Ministers have recognised what each amendment is trying to achieve and have sought to go as far as possible to meet the objectives of each amendment, in a way that is sustainable and affordable.
Ministers have kept in mind their responsibility to ensure that all spending commitments are sustainably funded. Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “It is important that we maintain the Government Plan as a combined package of spending, investment, efficiency and modernisation proposals for the coming four years. We share an ambition to invest in the long-term, sustainable wellbeing of all Islanders, but we must do so in a responsible and fiscally prudent way.
“We have lodged amendments to five of the amendments in an attempt to accommodate the changes suggested by States Members, while also maintaining funding for the priorities agreed by the States Assembly and balancing our books over the four-year plan.”
Ministers have proposed:
- to amend Amendment 2 (Deputy Russell Labey) - to reduce the extra car-parking charging hours by one hour and to increase the hourly cost of parking by 5p
- to amend Amendment 18 (Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel) - to match the increase in the Food Costs Bonus to the increase in food costs, rather than to the all-items measure of RPI
- to amend Amendment 5 (Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel) - to increase capital investment in the Sport Division by £125,000 from within existing resources
- to amend Amendment 11 (Deputy Inna Gardiner) – to provide £100,000, from the Criminal Offences Compensation Fund or from existing resources, to fund two youth workers to engage with young people from the Portuguese, Polish and Romanian communities. This would run as a one-year pilot, with the option to request sustainable funding from the Government Plan in 2021.
- To amend Amendment 8 (Deputy Mike Higgins) – to increase funding for the four cadet forces in line with RPI, to £11,010 for 2020, and to conduct a review in 2020 to inform the level of funding for the rest of the Government Plan.
Senator Le Fondré added: “We appreciate the careful thought that has gone into these amendments, and we have lodged our own amendments to those proposals that we believe could work with only slight modifications.
“We look forward to a constructive debate, so we can get on with improving the lives of Islanders.”
The States debate on the Government plan starts on 26 November.
Government of Jersey News Release.