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New Fiscal Policy Panel to provide independent assessment of Funding & Investment Plan

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Monday 14 August 2023

A new Fiscal Policy Panel has been appointed to provide an independent assessment of the States of Guernsey's fiscal policy and the risks and opportunities it may face in that area. The Panel's initial work will focus on the Funding & Investment Plan, which is due to be published by the Policy & Resources Committee next month and debated by the States Assembly in October.

The Funding & Investment Plan (F&IP) will be debated alongside options for a revised Capital Portfolio, which will set out the States' priorities for the major, essential infrastructure projects it believes need to be progressed this term.  The F&IP will address how it intends to finance those projects alongside the States' other essential strategic and policy work and the funding of day-to-day public services.  To do that, the F&IP will look at the stability and resilience of public finances over the next 10 years.

The Policy & Resources Committee recognises the importance of giving States Members and the community as much confidence as possible in its forecasting, and that the right fiscal challenges have been identified.  It also wants to ensure its proposed solutions are viable and sustainable.

For that reason, it has decided to appoint the independent panel of qualified experts.  The panel members are:

Dr Matthew Agarwala (Chair)
Prof. Francis Breedon
Dr Andy Sloan

Dr Agarwala, Chair of the Panel, is a leading economist with the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at Cambridge and the Tobin Center for Economic Policy at Yale. He has extensive experience working with governments and scientific organisations around the world.

Prof. Breedon is Professor of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary University of London, with previous experience at the Bank of England and in senior economic roles in the private sector.  He is also a member of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and of Jersey's Fiscal Policy Panel.

Dr Andy Sloan is the founder of the International Sustainability Institute.  He has a PhD in Macroeconomics.  He has worked previously as the Director of Financial Stability and as International Policy Advisor for the GFSC, States Economist for the States of Guernsey, and Deputy Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance.
The panel will produce an independent report, which will be published ahead of the debate on the F&IP.
Dr Agarwala, Chair of the Panel said

"It is a pleasure to serve on such a distinguished panel. We will provide an independent assessment of the States' projections of its financial position going forward, focusing on the economic and fiscal realities, and commenting on the reasonableness of the proposed solutions.  

The fiscal policies and investment decisions taken today will shape Guernsey's future. It is imperative that decision-makers and the public are confident that those choices are informed using the best available information."

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