27 January 2015
The Council of Ministers has published its priorities for Jersey for this term of office and beyond. Ministers are asking for views on these priorities before publishing their draft Strategic Plan in March.
The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said “Jersey is a great place to live. It compares well with the top performing jurisdictions in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Better Life Index for overall life satisfaction, personal safety and social support networks. Jersey is one of the world’s most successful small island democracies, with strategic reserves that would cover a year’s revenue expenditure.
“These strengths are reflected in our international credit rating, which is one of the best possible for a jurisdiction of our size. Jersey is in a stable position because over generations we have consistently looked ahead and prepared for the future.
“Now, like many countries, Jersey is facing significant economic, social and environmental changes, and our income is rising at a slower rate than in the past. While we will continue to provide essential services, we have highlighted the issues we believe we need to focus on, to ensure Jersey can adapt to this fast-changing world.”
Ministers will focus on finding savings in the public sector to help safeguard investment in health services. Funding proposals will be published as part of the draft Strategic Plan in March, in a resource plan for business as usual and the four priorities highlighted below.
Health and wellbeing
An ageing population is a positive achievement. However, longer lives and today's unhealthy lifestyles bring chronic, complex health conditions which increase costs. As medical science enables health professionals to treat more illnesses, health services become more specialised and more expensive, so ministers are working to change the way health services are delivered.
Islanders want to be treated in their own homes, and that is what the government is aiming to provide. There is an agreed restructuring plan for Health and Social Services, but fully implementing it will cost a significant amount.
Ministers intend to maximise the potential of Jersey’s young people by supporting families so every child can get the most from their education. They want to ensure that all our young people have the best start in life and the opportunity to create a bright future for themselves and their Island.
A successful community requires people with the right skills to sustain it, so schools need to prepare young people for the jobs that a modern, island economy can deliver. Jersey’s economy is globally competitive and needs a highly skilled workforce so ministers will be focusing on standards and skills.
Stronger links between schools and businesses are being established so head teachers have the autonomy to lead creatively and inspire their students, and so young people leave school with an understanding of the world of employment, a good grasp of technology and a ‘ready for work’ approach.
The government is aiming to help meet the rising costs of health care through economic growth. Ministers will create the right conditions to foster economic growth, to support increased productivity in all parts of the economy and to encourage new business start-ups across different sectors.
It’s about people working smarter, not working longer, finding new and innovative ways to do things better by embracing technology, diversifying the local economy and creating rewarding job opportunities that build a good standard of living for islanders.
Ministers will stimulate inward investment and enterprise, putting a greater emphasis on innovation and technology. Fintech - the use of technology in financial organisations - is one area with significant growth opportunities.
In financial services, ministers will build on the partnership between government, industry and regulator to protect existing markets and products, develop new ones, and promote our services to new markets overseas.
St Helier is the engine of the economy, where most islanders work, live or socialise. Ministers want to rejuvenate St Helier so it becomes a modern, vibrant town that preserves the best of its history, accommodates high quality homes, shops and offices and provides great public amenities.
A properly planned town can provide good quality homes and open spaces while protecting the coast and countryside from development.
Ministers will work closely with the parish and residents to develop a new plan for St Helier, to incorporate the new finance centre, decent homes, parks, a distinctive retail centre and a clear transport plan.
The Council of Ministers is asking Islanders what they think of the proposed priorities, and what they think government needs to do to tackle them.