Thursday 29 June 2023
231 members of the community have submitted suggestions for how they believe the cost of public services should be reduced, less than a week since the public survey opened. Respondents can provide up to three suggestions each, and those who have already responded have provided 506 suggestions in total.
The public survey is one part of the research being carried out by the Reducing the Cost of Public Services Sub-Committee, which is also engaging with States Committees, individual Deputies and public sector employees. The Sub-Committee is working to deliver recurring cost reductions of at least £10m - £16m per annum, within five years.
The shortfall is driven by changes in the make-up of Guernsey's population. More people are living longer, and people are having fewer children, which means demand for services, particularly health services and pensions, is rapidly rising but the number of people in work - who are currently the main contributors to the funding for public finances - is getting smaller. Other jurisdictions are also having to take extraordinary steps to counter similar trends. Guernsey will need to address its deficit through a combination of measures, but a clear message in the Tax Review debate is that as much as possible must be done to reduce costs as part of the response.
Deputy Dave Mahoney, Chair of the Sub-Committee said
"As promised, we've given the community an early and open opportunity here to put forward their views so we can see what people are thinking, and where they believe the opportunities lie. The number of responses so far is very good, and each and every one will be considered by the Sub-Committee. With two still weeks still to go, there's plenty of time for more people to contribute."
Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller, member of the Sub-Committee said
"We never doubted that the community would rally behind this exercise, yet the engagement we've seen in just a few days has already exceeded our expectations. Clearly, there's a real desire from Islanders to be part of this process and share their ideas. We all have an interest in identifying the best ways of reducing costs and seeing efficiencies because we are all users of public services and pay towards funding them. We are keen to see not only new and fresh ideas but also the public sentiment for revisiting some of the older suggestions that might have been discussed previously. The wide public engagement process is just the first step in identifying a diversity of options and further detailed work will need to be completed."
The public survey will remain open until 14 July and is available at www.gov.gg/costreductionpublicsurvey.
People can also submit their suggestions by post by writing to:
Reducing the Cost of Public Services Sub-Committee
Sir Charles Frossard House
St Peter Port