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Government Work Plan: annual update to be debated in June

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Friday 13 May 2022

The States of Guernsey will revisit the Government Work Plan next month, with proposed updates to the Plan published today.

The Government Work Plan is the framework that sets out the prioritised work for the political term, linking it to the resources available both in terms of funding and people.  It is a living document and refreshed every year in June so the States can respond to changing circumstances and external pressures.

The four priority areas for the States are:

The States will be invited to consider their category 1 recovery actions to be allocated priority resourcing, updated from the previous year's top ten to reflect what are now the most urgent priorities. 

The June debate affords States Members an opportunity to discuss all aspects of the Plan, and ultimately agree their latest priorities and understand the impact they have on States' resources. 

The Government Work Plan includes a Funding & Investment Plan which links financial resources to the States' priorities. 

Ahead of this debate, the Policy & Resources Committee, which coordinates the Government Work Plan as part of its mandate, is highlighting in particular the long-term concerns for funding public services.  There is projected to be a shortfall of £85m in funding those services, even after allowing for efficiencies and economic growth.  This is a result of the changing make-up of the local population, putting increased pressure on existing services, particularly health care and pensions.

Deputy Peter Ferbrache, President of the Policy & Resources Committee said:

"Looking at the first 12 months of this Government Work Plan, I'm encouraged that in fact we have achieved a lot of what we set out as our collective priorities last year, including an end to the use of emergency powers for managing COVID-19, securing access for the Bailiwick in trade in goods as part of the UK's new trade agreements,  and supporting our local economy through things like an improved digital infrastructure, and investment in promotion for key business sectors. 

For this coming year, the pressure on our housing market is one area that we must address urgently, as it creates challenges in many other areas, socially and economically.  We have taken some important steps, but we must do more, quickly. We must also ensure we have resilience in areas such as energy security and climate change mitigations.  We need to make sure we're able to raise enough revenue to fund essential services.  And we must continue to demonstrate our compliance with international standards recognising the importance of our reputation to our economic wellbeing."

Deputy Heidi Soulsby, Vice-President of the Policy & Resources Committee said:

"The actions of government need to be focused and prioritised.  We have limited resources and we have to be realistic about that if we're going to deliver outcomes that make any sort of difference in Islanders' lives.  We cannot just add more to the pile because we know we can't afford it, we can't staff it, and we end up with a long list of work that never happens. 

The first debate on this Plan did a lot to cut out what was unrealisable and no longer prioritised from previous terms.  We must now keep up that discipline and not clog up the wheels of government again.  Openly debating the priorities, and making changes is good, after all that's what the Plan is here for.  But for every new priority and action added to the list, we must deprioritise something else because we cannot resource everything."

Today, a monitoring report is also published looking at the progress and developments in each of these areas over the past 12 months.  This can be found at Government Work Plan | States Of Guernsey (ourfuture.gg)

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