The Commission regulates Guernsey’s financial services industry.Continue reading
The Government Work Plan (GWP) was debated at the July 2023 States meeting but that was only a green paper (for discussion only, no amendments).
The true debate about the island’s priorities will be at the States meeting that starts on the 17 October 2023 (new date, was 18 October). A revised, amendable version of the GWP will be discussed alongside a ten-year Funding and Investment Plan (options to raise the revenue needed) and the Capital Portfolio (which infrastructure projects can go ahead).
This landmark meeting will determine what this States wants to spend money on and how they intend to raise the revenue to pay for it. It throws up huge and challenging decisions about GST and borrowing – or cutting plans to the bone instead.
The debate has been delayed several times. Originally it was due at the June meeting, then July, then the 27 Sept meeting, now it’s happening in October.
Where to start
1. Funding & Investment Plan (options to raise the revenue needed over the next ten years):
Start with the F&I Plan as it’s new, whereas the GWP was debated in draft form in July. P&R and States Comms are trying hard to communicate the three funding options in layperson’s terms. So the best place to start is definitely the Public Finances section of ‘ourfuture.gg‘ which has graphics and an informative FAQ section.
For a good media summary of the F&I Plan, see Bailiwick Express’s article here.
2. Government Work Plan (what’s going to be delivered in this political term):
The GWP policy letter has two public-friendly GWP summaries in the appendices. Firstly, there a Monitoring Report that sets out the GWP progress so far. Then there’s a summary of the new GWP, listing the work that has been prioritised under each of three ‘strategic portfolios’.
Housing is a clear focal point. Overall, committee presidents seem to be happy with their work plans, as negotiated with P&R. The GWP also has its own page on gov.gg’s Our Future website.
3. Capital portfolio (infrastructure projects over the next ten years):
The two main infrastructure projects are the Education Transformation Programme and the Hospital – Phase 2 and these are specifically mentioned in summaries of the F&I Plan. But if you want to dig deeper into all the other capital projects, you’ll need Annex 2 of the F&I report.
Deputy Murray has written a good summary of which capital projects are included in each of the three funding scenarios here.
It’s too early for amendments to be lodged as yet but Education has already announced that it will be seeking to amend the GWP to provide more funding for the Sports Strategy.
To dive into the detail, here are the policy letters in full:
Independent panel created to oversee fiscal policy (15 Aug, BBC Guernsey)
States in talks to fund new housing at Bridge (19 Aug, Guernsey Press)
P&R seek support to invest in housing and flood defences at the Bridge (19 Aug, Bailiwick Express)
P&R warns of rising costs as it backs sports strategy review (21 Aug, Bailiwick Express)
Editor: States must get serious over GWP (22 Aug, Guernsey Press)
States set to build 400 homes in five years (22 Aug, Guernsey Press)
Committee asks for £300k budget boost to save Guernsey’s long-term sport strategy (23 Aug, ITV Channel)
Pulling in the same direction: Committee presidents’ response to P&R Policy Letter (26 Aug, Bailiwick Express)
Home Affairs President voices support for P&R reset (28 Aug, Bailiwick Express)
Commissions urge States to back Active 8 amendment (28 Aug, Guernsey Press)
Tax reform and borrowing seen as prime way to make island sustainable (5 Sep, Bailiwick Express)
Smaller outlets have “significant concerns” with GST (5 Sep, Bailiwick Express)
Meerveld agrees to scale back anti-GST protests (5 Sep, Guernsey Press)
P&R taking GST proposal to the States for a third time (6 Sep, Guernsey Press)
‘Fairer alternative’ leaders disappointed by third GST bid (7 Sep, Guernsey Press)
P&R finance plans out (11 Sep, Bailiwick Express)
Are you prepared to do what is right for the island?’ (11 Sep, Guernsey Press)
GST will not damage small businesses, P&R says (14 Sep, Bailiwick Express)
Roffey: Hobson’s choice? (14 Sep, Guernsey Press)
Claims GST will damage small businesses are untrue – Helyar (15 Sep, Guernsey Press)
Island could end up being £1bn. in debt (18 Sep, Guernsey Press)
We were right to avoid extra borrowing earlier in term – P&R (18 Sep, Guernsey Press)
Editor: True cost of borrowing must be clear (18 Sep, Guernsey Press)
Murray: A bridge too far? (19 Sep, Guernsey Press)
Hopes grow to export wind power (19 Sep, Guernsey Press)
Chance to grill President over funding plans (21 Sep, Bailiwick Express)
States likely to miss its own savings target of £10m. a year minimum (21 Sep, Guernsey Press)
‘Say no to GST’ red ribbon campaign gets resurrected (21 Sep, Guernsey Press)
Peter Ferbrache ‘has his say’ on Facebook (21 Sep, Guernsey Press)
States media releases
Short delay to publication (10 Aug)
Fiscal Policy Panel to independently assess F&I plan (14 Aug)
Revised GWP for October debate (18 Aug)
Educations’ Sports Strategy amendment (18 Aug)
50% of small businesses won’t need to register for GST (12 Sep)
Be at the heart of your local community. Elections on 1 November 2023.Continue reading
The new electricity strategy means it’s an exciting time to get involved.Continue reading
Welcome to the Women in Public Life Politics Group, your chance to keep up to date on Guernsey politics, understand it in more detail and share your interest with other women.
Please read this guide to understand how the WhatsApp groups work and help everyone get the best out of their experience.
The main WhatsApp group that everyone joins is ‘Politics – Info’. This is where Shelaine posts what’s going on in the States – agendas for States meetings, dates of Scrutiny hearings, links to consultations, newly-published reports etc. And for big States debates, you’ll get live updates summarising the speeches. It’s also where you’ll hear about the dates and times for upcoming Politics Group Live sessions.
The Discussion group is optional additional WhatsApp group. It’s for people who are keen to discuss political issues with others online. We keep discussion separate from the information group so that important information doesn’t get lost when there’s a flurry of discussion posts on a big topic. Feel free to just observe the discussion, you don’t have to take part – there’s lots to learn from just reading others comments.
3. What should I post?
Politics – Info:
The majority of the information posted on the Politics – Info group will come from Shelaine. If you think she’s missed something, either post it yourself, or drop her a direct message to give her a nudge.
If you want to comment on an Info post, please forward it to the Discussion group first – we’re trying to keep the Information group as ‘clean’ as possible.
Politics – Discussion:
To kick off a discussion, you could post:
– a media article about a Guernsey political issue
– a question about a Guernsey political issue
– an observation about a Guernsey political issue
If you post a media article, say why you think people should read it, what about it sparked your interest. Make it accessible/interesting to people, don’t just post it without comment.
By ‘political issues’ we mean:
– policies eg the Energy Strategy or the Tax Review
– standard items up for States debate eg Budget, Accounts, Govt Work Plan
– amendments, sursis or other use of the rules
– membership of committees, code of conduct, deputies behaviour
Please don’t post about:
– ‘Outrage’ issues already being discussed prolifically on social media eg pylons
– Issues that you feel a personal need to ‘vent’ about
– Poor support or services you’ve received from the States or others
– Criticism of individual members of the public who have no right of reply
When you are taking part in a discussion try to add value with a different point of view or a useful link to background information.
4. When should I post?
There are no specific guidelines about what time to post – sometimes something really important might come up first thing in the morning.
Nevertheless, please remember that each time you post, 50+ people’s phones ping across the island (unless they are muted), which might not be appreciated late at night or early in the morning.
Keep your contributions short and to the point. Essays are hard to read on a phone!
In terms of frequency of posting, judge this as you would any conversation. Am I adding value? Is it time to let someone else speak?
6. Who are the admins?
There are two admins for the groups – Shelaine Green and Linda Rolf from the Women in Public Life committee. Occasionally they may delete your post because it doesn’t meet the guidelines above. Please don’t take offence, they are simply trying to keep the group healthy and flowing. Their decisions are to be respected at all times, it’s their call.
7. What should I do if I’m concerned about someone’s post?
We are all responsible for the health of the group. If someone posts something you don’t think is appropriate, tell them, either on the group or by direct message. They may not have realised how it reads to others and may take it straight down.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, or it hasn’t worked, contact Shelaine or Linda directly. As Admins, they are able to delete someone else’s post.
There will be times when the volume of WhatsApp messages may be too much, particularly when a States meeting is in progress. Feel free to mute the group. You will still be able to go back and read the posts later if you want to but you won’t get endless notifications pinging your phone.
Go into the group you want to mute, tap on the group name at the top of the page, scroll down, select ‘mute’ and then choose the length of time you want to mute for.
If you want to start a discussion about information that Shelaine has posted on the Politics – Info group, forward it to the Politics – Discussion group first.
On a phone/tablet, hold your finger on the message you want to forward, select ‘forward’ from the menu, click the arrow in the bottom left of the screen, select the group or person you want to forward to, then click ‘forward’.
On a laptop/desktop, click on the small arrow top right of the message, select ‘forward’ from the menu, click the arrow bottom right of the screen, select the group or person you want to forward to, then click ‘forward’.
10. How do I reply to someone personally, rather than on the group?
On a phone/tablet, hold your finger on the message you want to reply to, click ‘more’ then click ‘reply privately’.
On a laptop/desktop, click the small arrow top right of the message and click ‘reply privately’.
Interesting public office roles delivered straight to your inboxContinue reading
Join the board of the holding company for Guernsey’s two tankers.Continue reading
Dr Melissa McCullough will investigate complaints against States members.Continue reading
Ask Bailiff to be stricter
Standing orders of the States of Jersey:
99 Behaviour of members during meeting (refers to ‘conversing noisily’) (page 60)
104A Time limits of speeches in debates (page 63)
109 Presiding officer’s power to direct withdrawal of offensive etc words (page 64)
Film States meetings
Guernsey States meetings could be televised (11 Jun 2014, BBC Guernsey)
Billet proposing permission to broadcast – page 1889 (29 Jul 2014)
Hansard for the 2014 debate – page 1376 (29 Jul 2014)
States debates ‘should be filmed’ (19 Jul 2022, Island FM)
Code of behaviour
States of Deliberation Code of Conduct (page 167 of Blue Book)
Training and mentors
No links as yet.
Women just as likely to vote as men UK (Prof Rosie Campbell, King’s College, 2019)
Women vote more than men US (Dora Mekour, 2021)
This year’s iteration of the Government Work Plan (GWP) is billed as a ‘reset’, coming as it does after the States rejected all of the options in the Tax Review debate in February.
It is also a Green Paper (rule 17(9)). That is, it’s a discussion paper only, with no amendments allowed. The true debate has been pushed back to September. That’s when funding for the GWP will be agreed, together with the plan for Capital Prioritisation.
At this preliminary stage, the States is being asked to agree a new structure for the GWP, centred around three strategic portfolios:
– Public service resilience, security and governance
– Plan for sustainable healthcare services
– Grow economic competitiveness
A good starting point is the GWP summary on the Our Future (gov.gg) Government Work Plan page. Plus the analysis of major funding requirements from the policy paper, reproduced below (click to enlarge):
The full GWP policy paper is HERE.
Unlike 2021 and 2022, there is no Monitoring Report setting out progress on the Plan so far. That will come in 2024.
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way of comparing this GWP with the last one. The 2022 policy paper, amendments etc are here.
If it would help to have a reminder of what happened with the Tax Review in February and the projects that emerged from it, there’s a good Our Future (gov.gg) Tax Review summary here.
P&R have submitted an additional policy paper covering existing propositions that they would now like to rescind because they are no longer necessary, and setting out the priorities for legislation in this States term.
The States accounts for 2022 show a loss of £135m. That sounds terrible but it needs deconstructing. The operating loss (what the States received in income minus what it paid out in salaries and other expenditure) was £3m. Still not good, much better to be in profit, but not £135m negative.
There are several reasons for the £135m figure:
– Guernsey’s investments made a 11.6% loss in a difficult year for the markets (-£89m).
– P&R are going through a gradual transition process to make the island’s accounts meet international accounting standards (IPSAS). That means they’ve included depreciation for the first time this year (-£29m).
– Social Security funds have been included for the first time (-£13m).
The accounts for the States Trading Assets are separate to the main accounts. All the relevant links are here:
The equivalent set for 2021 are listed here.
Editor: A plan for spending – or raising even more money (13 Jun, Guernsey Press)
Digard: Future Guernsey: the tax and spenders have won it (23 Jun, Guernsey Press)
Black hole now £135m. after investments take big hit (27 Jun, Guernsey Press)
Sloan: Just how bad is it anyway? (29 Jun, Guernsey Press)
Camp: In search of the black hole (30 Jun, Guernsey Press)
Digard: Black hole star-gazing (7 Jul, Guernsey Press)
Letter from Nicolas Moss: States financial situation is nowhere near as dire as some might say (11 Jul, Guernsey Press)
Hemans: Underlining “the difficulty of evaluating the States’ financial position” (19 Jul, Bailiwick Express)