Government Work Plan 2021-2025
In 2021 the States decided the Island’s priorities for the subsequent four years.
The first outline stage of the process was in March 2021. Stage 2 was published in June 2021 and was debated at the States meeting that started on Wednesday 21 July.
Prioritisation exercises are common in the States – in the past you may have heard of the P&R Plan or the States Strategic Plan. But this version, called the Government Work Plan, is particularly significant and worthy of everyone’s attention because it comes directly after the upheaval and financial impact of both Covid-19 and Brexit.
What’s included in the Government Work Plan (and what’s left out) has a material impact on all of our lives. Compromises and difficult decisions have to be made to agree a Plan that is achievable and affordable, yet ambitious enough to kickstart Guernsey’s recovery.
We created this resource page to help you follow the Government Work Plan as it develops, and we update it regularly with links to relevant documents, videos and media articles. Because we’re Women in Public Life, we pay particular attention to the involvement of female Deputies to give you an idea of what you could expect if you were elected to serve your Island.
The sections below start with the most recent news about the Plan and then work backwards to lay out its history.
The Government Work Plan is intended to be a fluid document that is reviewed and updated as the States term progresses. In May 2022, P&R published a GWP policy paper including a report on progress to date and a revised version of the Plan for debate at either the States meeting that start on 14 June or 28 June 2022.
To understand the Plan, we recommend starting by reading the latest Monitoring Report and listening to Deputy Heidi Soulsby’s interview with Bailiwick Express.
If you want to go further, read Appendix 5 and 6 of the policy paper. These describe the areas that States committees want to prioritise (Appendix 5) and P&R’s response to those priorities (Appendix 6). If you are interested in the States’ finances, check out the numbers in Appendix 8.
The main area of contention relates to whether work should begin on a review of the potential change to the legal status of cannabis – Health and Social Care are in favour, Home Affairs are not. If you read the propositions in the policy paper, you’ll see cannabis has its own proposition (13B) so that the States can make a specific decision on that point.
To understand the Plan in detail, read the policy paper in full and the remaining appendices.
To date, five amendments to the plan have been lodged:
Amendment 1 Roffey/Ferbrache – formalises intention to scope out replacing the States Dairy.
Amendment 4 Inder/Ferbrache – proposes creation of a Housing Action Plan.
Amendment 5 Oliver/Helyar – proposes that developers have the option to pay cash in lieu of affordable housing obligations.
Scrutiny hearing May 2022
The Scrutiny Management Committee held a public hearing with P&R to discuss the Government Work Plan on 30 May. Watch the recording.
Links to each section of the policy paper
Government Work Plan is published as Policy and Resources grapples with limited resources (Guernsey Press, 13 May)
P&R says States ‘must tackle’ housing needs and cost of living (Bailiwick Express, 13 May)
Cannabis law moves closer – and States to debate GP costs (Bailiwick Express, 13 May)
Housing will be first item on the agenda at next States debate (Guernsey Press, 14 May)
Capital projects can now be funded without borrowing (Bailiwick Express, 14 May)
Comment: Priorities are looking expensive (Guernsey Press, 16 May)
Focus: The States’ agenda this year (Bailiwick Express, 16 May)
Comment: Not all good news on finances (Guernsey Press, 17 May)
Comment: A juggle of individuals’ priorities (Guernsey Press, 18 May)
Podcast: P&R VP backs HSC on cannabis review (Bailiwick Express, 19 May)
States on verge of new reciprocal heath agreement with UK (Bailiwick Express, 31 May)
Previous States accused of doing ‘almost nothing’ (Guernsey Press, 31 May)
‘Staff shortages will make it impossible to do everything’ (Guernsey Press 31 May)
Comment: Work Plan shows signs of struggle (Guernsey Press, 31 May)
A user-friendly summary of the Government Work Plan and a report on progress were published on 20 January 2022.
Click on the front pages below to read them.
The Scrutiny Management Committee of the States regularly organises public hearings to hold States committees to account.
On 12 January 2022, Deputies Burford (chair), Fairclough, St Pier and Gabriel questioned Deputies Soulsby, Helyar, Ferbrache and Mahoney about the progress of the Government Work Plan.
It was a wide-ranging and interesting session, covering development plans for States property assets, broadband rollout, air and sea links, and the tax review.
Here are some of the media stories the hearing generated:
Jersey blindsided by Guernsey’s Condor ferry purchase (Bailiwick Express 13 Jan 2022)
Confusion over the schedule for fibre rollout (Guernsey Press 14 Jan 2022)
Island faces a stark and binary tax choice – Helyar (Guernsey Press 14 Jan 2022)
Watch the Scrutiny Management Committee put questions to the Policy and Resources Committee about progress on the Government Work Plan.
Policy and Resources led the original development of the Plan, with the input of all of the committees of the States. But no matter how collaborative the process, when the Plan was debated in July 2021 there were still aspects that Deputies wanted to change or add to. They did this by lodging amendments – these were debated first.
If you want to study the detail of the debate, you can read the original proposals and amendments, watch the debate, analyse the voting records and download the Hansard report HERE.
Two of the ten amendments were led by Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller. Amendment 3, seconded by Deputy Yvonne Burford, related to the way in which the GWP workstreams will be managed. P&R wants to create a standardised governance structure for each workstream. Sasha and Yvonne believe that committees already have well-established ways of managing significant workstreams so P&R’s new structure isn’t necessary. LOST 13-23.
In Amendment 7, Sasha and her seconder, Deputy Gavin St Pier, proposed that the States should not agree to borrow a further £200m until it is clearer what direction the Assembly wants to take on taxation in the future. A review of Guernsey’s taxation system is due for debate in September 2021. LOST 9-27.
In Amendment 8, Deputy Lindsay De Sausmarez wanted to reinstate the review of the delivery of Primary Education as a priority during the life of the Plan. Her amendment was seconded by Deputy Steve Falla. LOST 10-27.
Lindsay also seconded an important amendment in relation to closing Guernsey’s Gender Pay Gap. The Plan puts legislation for Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value on the back burner, not to be worked on until 2026. Amendment 2, led by Deputy Peter Roffey, sought to bring that start point forward to 2022/23, arguing that it make sense to do the policy work at the same time as replacing Guernsey’s Sex Discrimination in Employment Ordinance. LOST 18-19.
In total, Deputy Yvonne Burford seconded three amendments. As well as Sasha’s governance amendment (3, see above), she also backed Deputy Gavin St Pier’s proposals that (a) initiatives such as public private partnerships should come back to the States for approval (Amendment 5) LOST 15-23 and (b) P&R should be able to approve capital projects up to £10m, rather than the unlimited sum proposed (Amendment 6). LOST 18-20.
As the proposing committee, P&R are allowed to lodge amendments at any time. One such late amendment, seconded by Deputy Heidi Soulsby, was a compromise proposal in relation to funding for drugs for cancer and other serious conditions, referred to as ‘NICE TAs’. In January 2020 the States agreed to fund drugs with an ICER of £30,000, going up to £40,000 after a review. Guernsey’s financial circumstances have changed since then so the GWP delays that review until 2026. Amendment 12 was in response to Amendment 1 (see below) and would have brought that review forward to 12 months after the roll-out of NICE TAs with an ICER of £30,000. LOST 17-20.
Guernsey Press 17 June 2021:
Guernsey Press 21 June 2021:
Guernsey Press 22 June 2021
Bailiwick Express 25 June 2021
ITV Channel TV 16 July 2021
Guernsey Press 18 July 2021
Guernsey Press 19 July 2021
Bailiwick Express 20 July 2021
Guernsey Press 20 July 2021
‘What’s in the Plan?‘ (opinion piece by Deputy Gavin St Pier)
‘Six-minute States‘ podcast – preview of the GWP debate.
Guernsey Press 21 July 2021
‘Six-minute States‘ podcast – first day of the GWP debate.
Bailiwick Express 21 July 2021
Guernsey Press 22 July 2021
‘Six-minute States‘ podcast – day two of the GWP debate.
Bailiwick Express 22 July 2021
Guernsey Press 23 July 2021
Bailiwick Express 23 July 2021
‘Six-minute States‘ podcast – final day of the GWP debate.
Guernsey Press 25 July 2021
Bailiwick Express 26 July 2021
Guernsey Press 27 July 2021
Guernsey Press 31 July 2021
‘The motherhood penalty‘ and ‘I felt betrayed by the law for not protecting us‘. (Original 4-page supplement refers to the omission of plans to update maternity and adoption leave from the Government Work Plan).