30 September 2015
The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Susie Pinel, has today published the Department’s 2014 report and financial statements. This comprehensive document provides a full account of all of the department’s activities in one publication, combining information on both contributory and tax-funded benefits and services.
From today (30 September) people can view and download the document via the States website.
The 2014 annual report provides a summary of departmental activity during the year. This includes:
- the successful introduction of Jersey’s new long- term care benefit
- implementation of the first section of the new discrimination law, dealing with race discrimination
- ongoing work to address high local levels of unemployment
- conclusion of the independent review of the Social Security Fund
- the Back to Work scheme helped unemployed people into 2,140 paid jobs, an increase from 1,818 in 2013
Deputy Pinel said “2014 saw a series of landmark achievements for the department. We successfully introduced a long-term care benefit with a new funding stream, which helps local people meet the costs of care whilst protecting their family assets. We took the major step of introducing the first section of discrimination law, and commenced work on sex discrimination legislation, although there is much work still to do in this crucial area. We continued to offer the front-line response to short-term issues such as high levels of unemployment, whilst carrying out long-term planning to address the structural and financial challenges arising from the Island’s ageing population.
“Establishing a long-term care benefit represents a particular achievement on the part of the States. This new benefit offers help towards the costs faced by Islanders who need long-term help with their daily care, either in a registered care home or in their own property. The costs are being met from a dedicated fund paid for by contributions collected from 2015 onwards, as well as annual grants from the Treasury. More than 1,100 people who were already receiving care were automatically transferred to the scheme when it launched in July 2014.
“In addition to the new long-term care scheme, we need to meet other challenges of an ageing population such as the increasing future cost of pensions and medical benefits. The actuarial review confirmed that the Social Security Fund was in good order, but drew attention to the decisions that will be needed in the near future to ensure the fund remains sustainable for future generations. I will be launching a major public consultation on possible changes to contributions and benefits in 2016.”
Deputy Pinel continued “The report is an excellent overview of the varied work carried out by the department in 2014. It provides an insight into the challenges we faced, and continue to face, the substantial progress that has been made and the decisions that Jersey must take to secure a sustainable future. Finally, it records the important achievements of my predecessor, Senator Francis Le Gresley, who played such a significant role in the development of these social policy areas.”