19 April 2016
Departments across the States underspent their 2015 budgets by £25 million, in addition to meeting the 2% saving on budgets that had also been set for that year. Much of this saving is part of an existing plan to fund projects that span more than one year.
This will allow for further investment in agreed priority areas, such as long term care, health services and education, sport and fitness, digital and financial services, and the regeneration of St Helier.
Of the £25 million underspend, £19 million is being allocated to departments to fund these ongoing projects, and the remaining £6 million will be returned to the States’ current account.
Among the priority projects and services that will benefit from the funds staying with the departments are
- £6m towards building a larger reserve for the long term care fund, which will help to delay increases in the contribution rate
- £650,000 to act on the Government decision to continue funding the five-year ‘Fit for the Future’ sports strategy, which is aimed at encouraging Islanders to lead an active, healthy lifestyle
- investing £500,000 in the sustainable primary health care strategy, which has been identified as a key part of delivering changes to our health system that will help to provide safe, sustainable and affordable care for patients
- investing £1m in NICE-approved curative treatment for clinically appropriate existing Hepatitis C patients, and not just to those at highest risk
- investing £200,000 in digital and £225,000 in financial services, to help grow and protect our core industries
The Minister for Treasury and Resources, Senator Alan Maclean, said “I am very pleased that, while States Departments were faced with the challenge of delivering a 2% saving across their budgets last year, they have also managed to deliver a significant underspend. However, it is important to realise that we are still in the early stages of tackling the long term financial challenges that face the States.
“Tough decisions and ongoing service redesign will continue to drive the reform of the public sector. There are many dedicated teams across the States, such as those at Back to Work, who have shown that a great deal can be achieved. The investment in this particular programme has had a significant impact on getting people into work, which in turn has had a direct effect on the income support bill.”