09 March 2010
Jersey’s comprehensive spending review is now underway and is looking for savings of £50m (10% of budget) from the 2011-2013 business plans.
States departments are reviewing their existing activities and budgets, and are due to submit initial savings proposals for the first 2% of savings for 2011 by the middle of April 2010.
The departments will then consider options (by July 2010) for the remaining 3% and 5% savings for 2012 and 2013 respectively. This will bring the total savings to 10%.
Those departments undertaking major reviews will be going through a longer process and are not expected to report back before the end of August 2010.
No detailed plans for delivering the savings have yet been formulated, but it is clear that in an organisation with more than 50% of its budget allocated to salaries, this level of spending cannot be saved without radical changes to service provision and some reduction in staffing levels.
In the last 5 years public spending has gone up by more than 30%. In 2009 it rose by 6.6%*. This kind of annual increase is unsustainable and we must reduce our spending if we are to deal with the deficit and successfully manage Jersey’s future.
The unions have been briefed on the CSR process and asked to play their part in it. It is important that we all contribute ideas on how to save money, reorganise and work as efficiently as possible to get the best results from taxpayers’ money.
Independent reviewers are in the process of being appointed, who will oversee the major reviews in partnership with the relevant Chief Officer.
The proposals from departments will be reviewed by the CSR team and Scrutiny, and then considered by the Council of Ministers, before any firm plans can be proposed.
Once the CSR has completed its work, the Fiscal Strategy Review will be investigating options for any tax increases that are still deemed necessary.
* 2009 spending is provisional and subject to audit