Government Work Plan 2021 - Stage 2
The States has just decided the Island’s priorities for the next four years.
The first outline stage of the process was in March. Stage 2 was published on 16 June 2021 and was debated at the States meeting that started on Wednesday 21 July. States media release.
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 and involves borrowing a further £200m.
What’s included in the Government Work Plan (and what’s left out) will have a material impact on all of our lives. Compromises and difficult decisions have been 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 developed, and have updated it regularly with links to relevant documents, videos and media articles. Because we’re Women in Public Life, we’ve paid 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.
Deputy Heidi Soulsby, the Vice-President of Policy and Resources, leads the Government Work Plan project. She explained Stage 1 of the Plan to the IoD in March and you can watch a recording at the top of this page.
Policy and Resources has led the development of the Plan, with the input of all of the committees of the States. But no matter how collaborative the process, there were still aspects that Deputies want to change or add. They did this by lodging amendments – these were debated first.
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).
How to watch/listen
The best way to watch a debate is in person, sitting in the Public Gallery at the Royal Court. For a step-by-step guide to using the Gallery, click here.
Alternatively, you can listen on the radio by tuning to 1116AM (medium wave). Or listen online on the BBC Guernsey website – just search for ‘BBC States of Guernsey Live’.
Or you can listen on the States website. This is particularly useful if you are busy during the day and want to access a recording later. Go to the States Meeting Information Index. Choose the date of the meeting you are interested in and then ‘Watch the States meeting online’.
Members of Women in Public Life were in the Gallery and listening in from home on 21 July. To be added to our Politics WhatsApp group, send your name and mobile phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll keep you up to date with arrangements for the Gallery visit and you can share thoughts and questions with other interested folk during the debate.