13 October 2017
The Treasury Minister has welcomed the Fiscal Policy Panel's (FPP) Annual Report 2017 and its assessment that Jersey’s economy has performed strongly in the last 12 months and growth of around 1% is expected for 2017. However the Panel expects slower growth of around 0.5% in 2018 and considerable uncertainty remains for these forecasts.
Fiscal Policy Panel Annual Report October 2017
Senator Alan Maclean said “I am pleased the FPP believes that the profile and scale of the measures proposed in the MTFP Addition and Draft Budget 2018 are broadly appropriate. However, as we approach the Budget 2018 debate we must recognise that the Panel has repeated its warning that the remaining revenue raising measures - or measures of equal value and economic impact - need to be implemented on time.
“In line with FPP advice, government remains committed to achieving balanced budgets by 2019. We will ensure that we continue to support the economy in 2017 and 2018 and that our key capital projects get underway as planned.”
All the 11 recommendations from this 2017 Annual Report are accepted, in particular
- a programme for securing more efficiencies in the public sector will be established to help us develop the next MTFP
- the Panel’s advice regarding contingencies will be heeded and further clarification set out before the next MTFP
- capital projects will be managed so they support Jersey’s economy in 2017 and 2018 but do not put too much pressure on local resources and add to cost pressures in the construction sector
- the risks associated with the large scale of future capital expenditure, like the new hospital, will be managed as the FPP advise
- the improved position on the Consolidated Fund will give greater flexibility in the face of the economic uncertainty highlighted by the FPP. It is not intended to use it to change proposals to balance the budget. If the Panel advise in future reports to transfer funds to the Stabilisation Fund or Strategic Reserve then this will be taken on board and proposals put before the States
- trends in States assets and liabilities will continue to be monitored as set out in Council of Ministers' Fiscal Framework and this will include assessment of trends as a share of GVA
- the Future Jersey initiative and the development of the next Strategic Plan by the new Council of Ministers will be important steps in taking a whole-of-government view for a strategy to deal with the ageing society
- consideration will be given as to how the Economic and Productivity Growth Drawdown Provision (EPGDP) could facilitate the adoption of new technology across all sectors in Jersey and drive significant productivity growth.