Author Topic: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm  (Read 9325 times)

Offline stoneface

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2009, 02:41:06 AM »
off subject here , but out off curiosity is your atvar of easter ilsand how you see jersey in the future?

I don't think this particular picture is of an Easter Island stone head. The full picture is of a museum piece (hence the lighting), so it's probably much too small. Are you asking if I see a future for Jersey similar to Easter Island's past? If so, then no. I am actually reasonably optimistic for Jersey - I think we will, to a greater or lesser extent, succeed and do well in future, although I think it will mostly be despite and not because of our political "leadership."
"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it." - John Stuart Mill

Offline stoofa

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2009, 03:05:22 AM »
Quote
The problem here is that social security is a hypothecated collectivised tax. If we had individual social security accounts for contributory benefits, then hypothecating the tax would make sense. Since it is collectivised, then it shouldn't be hypothecated, because there is absolutely no connection between the amount of contributions to pay for the required benefits - in other words, social security contributions should be abolished, and it should be funded out of general taxation. We're having this argument because we have a defined tax going towards paying for defined benefits and some people would like to have their benefits paid for by everyone else.

I'll second that.


Offline moot

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2009, 03:06:10 AM »
Nothing but nothing is more important and valuable than your health
And that is for rich and poor

Offline man in the street

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2009, 03:52:02 AM »
i am inclined to agree with you stone face, jersey historicaly re invents its self one way or another and wish everyone goodhealth

Offline boatyboy

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2009, 04:01:48 AM »

To give credit  ( excuse the pun ) to Economic Minister Philip Ozouf he is on record as saying that taxes will not go up, we are paying enough ! and savings will have to be made within the States administration and services.

Devastating economic meltdown, we know the sober details how, who , why.

Jersey is well placed to ride the storm said CM Terry Le Suer. Consultants brought in to advice, not looking good the ill wind is here and getting nastier by the week.

Cutbacks are needed, after Jersey having had one of the strongest economies on this earth and still has some money in the bank. Sadly. Politicians and Executive civil servants have learned how to spend millions of pounds like there is no tomorrow, which as we know has just arrived with a bang.

OK we have a situation Jersey did not create, how are we going to deal with less money coming in.

I would suggest the States as a whole support Phillip Ozouf and Terry Le Suer statement, by accepting that cuts are necessary.

How to apply these cutbacks is the big question. I suggest all departments in the States need to have an independent expert consultants go through the systems and efficiencies within them. The Auditor General Big Chris and scrutiny under Sarah Ferguson have said the accounting is a disgrace, but very slowly with GAAP getting better.

I would prefer not use consultants, however an outside examining body that is not conflicted is the only way. Yeh, I know that was Mike Pollards work.

After discussions with the unions, there will have to be redundancies probably in layers of management. As an example why does the States have a human resources section for every department when we used to have one ? Why do we pay £160,000 (2008 ) on a communications section ?( I believe outside agencies are also retained at further expence ) Why do we have WeB costing millions when we have a department for everything on a very small island ?

Once the duplication of work practices and efficiencies has been instigated, we would have a leaner cheaper and more productive public sector. Money when ever asked for has made some ( not all ) of the rich family almost unaccountable and lazy. 

This would also make sure that workers on the frontline like doctors, policeman, road sweepers,  are funded to maintain what is essential work to keep society running.

In the private sector, for one highly paid manager let go insures, several staff further down the line can be retained. Those several staff, although not paid as well, will still feed their money into the economy.

What's been implemented in our Governments tough new plan apart from the good news of no tax rises.

Scrap a community / youth centre and even more shocking for anyone with half a brain, scrap the transport service that ferries patients to hospital and offers senior citizens by transporting them to community centres for activities food and better life.

Is this really the best our Government can do, pathetic.

Boatyboy.

Offline stoneface

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2009, 04:21:38 AM »
How to apply these cutbacks is the big question.

I have a suggestion.

The things that we need to have done can be split into several categories: those things which can be done voluntarily by individuals (e.g. enjoying yourself), those that must be done compulsorily by individuals (e.g. breathing), those that must be done voluntarily and collectively (e.g. any form of insurance), and those that must be done compulsorily and collectively (e.g. justice system, defence).

We should identify those functions the States are doing that could be done either individually or voluntarily and then stop the States doing it! If it can be done by individuals, then leave it to them, and if it doesn't require the use of the State's monopoly on the use force, then they shouldn't be meddling in it. Anywhere where the States are in competition with the private sector, the States' functions should be shut down.

I appreciate that might have come across as a bit academic, so I have an alternative solution: make Chief Officers personally liable for fraudulent, negligent or wasteful spending in their departments.
"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it." - John Stuart Mill

Offline boatyboy

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2009, 06:01:22 AM »
To respond Stoneface if I may, You would have had to spend a very long time on PJ to find this item which was published in the JEP but not on their WEB site. I Spoke to Roger Bale and asked him if I could put this on PJ and he gave full permission. I do not personally support the whole argument, but much I do agree with. With the public sector costing the man / woman in the street so bloody much, it makes sense.


ACHIEVING A BALANCE

Comment by Roger Bale.

Offered to readers of planetjersey with Roger Bales full permission.

THERE are only three things the States can do which people individually, collectively, corporately or co-operatively cannot do better themselves.
These are defence (ie the protection of our borders, including island sea defences); Law and order (including courts and prisons); and the enactment of legislation to ensure fair play.

The States have the legal right to raise taxation and Jersey residents have a legal obligation to pay these tax demands. But in recent years the States have turned Parkinson's Law (Expenditure rises to meet income available) on it's head, by ever increasing tax demands to cover expenditure commitments which are proposed, but not limited to income. The more money the States sector absorbs the greater the taxation required to fund it.

MORE PUBLIC MONEY
PUT AT RISK

Do we want more public money put at risk and made hostage to projects which should clearly be in the private sector? Why not let the private sector have the risk and the losses, and let the revenue have its 20% of the profits?

Few people entering the States are qualified experts able to take decisions
with other people's money (yours and mine). To contract and engage in activities and capital expenditure is far better left to the private sector.

The Jersey States could pioneer a world first, if they said that the long term objective of States policy was to have a balance sheet with no uncovered liabilities and few or no fixed assets. Tax revenues would be brought into balance, states expenditure and the whole budget would be capped at some where below the latest figure of £480 million for 2007 expenditure, which I read was 88% higher than the £225 million spent ten years ago.
By owning assets, the States need to employ countless civil servants, many of whom are better educated, and with more skills and experience, than the politician to whom they answer. It is widely believed that some civil servants run rings around the elected people's representative, to whom they answer, thereby creating for themselves ever-growing empires. They are not subject to market force disciplines and can call for ever increasing budgets to fund inter alia their departments increased salary requirements.

If I am wrong? Why is it that the remit of the JCRA (the competition watchdog) does not include States monopolies? Whenever we read of the costs, charges or staff ratios of these, in comparison with their equivalent in say the UK, the results are adverse.

With GST we are all taxpayers now. Do we need to have ever increasing sums of money taken from us to pay for salaries, office accommodation and the ever-growing number of civil servants ? The sum of £33 million plus is being paid to just 464 of them!

The States do not need to own offices,car parks etc, The States do not need to own the airport or harbour's which the island needs. The States do not need to own a hospital, but they do need to ensure that every Jersey resident is entitled to access without charge to a hospital and medical care. The States do not need to own schools; they need to ensure that every child resident of the island is properly educated, regardless of the means of the parents.
Start with the simple things: car parks, for instance. These are a natural investment for pension funds and could readily be sold. There could be a condition of sale of any States asset that people employed in that asset are taken on by the new owner on terms equal to their current employment the new owners would factor this cost into the purchase price. Jersey residents will benefit from lower costs from hitherto States owned (and over staffed?) facilities and the end of a de facto parking monopoly.
What, then, to do with the proceeds of sale of assets and revenue above the expenditure cap? Firstly the pension scheme for States employees should be closed to new entrants and subject to an actuarial review with the object that these pensions should be fully funded. New States employees should thereafter be recruited on the pension terms now current in the private sector. Any States employee, whose occupation is transferred by sale or ceases employment, takes with him a fully funded pension entitlement, thus equitably ending the present anomaly that the majority of the population will be taxed to provide a minority with retirement benefits which they, the taxpayer cannot enjoy.

DISTRIBUTED BACK TO THE POPULATION

The proceeds of the sales, after fully funding existing pension obligations, should be distributed back to the population. This is the only way that these proceeds will not find their way into some politician's pipedream, like the recently suggested non-viable tramway. Refunds can be delivered by a mix of rebates, raising tax thresholds, reductions in GST and impot duties etc.

Unless a budget ceiling is set and the objective of returning tax paid to taxpayers is embraced, the continuing growth and encroachment by the States sector is endanger of overwhelming the private sectors ability to generate enough employment and revenue to ensure Jerseys continued prosperity.
---------------------------------

http://planetjersey.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=980.msg12493#msg12493
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 06:04:16 AM by boatyboy »

Offline Calimachon

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2009, 06:19:51 AM »
Quote
It is widely believed that some civil servants run rings around the elected people's representative, to whom they answer, thereby creating for themselves ever-growing empires.

So true and I have mentioned this myself on a thread here a few months ago.

The whole article was refreshing.  Thank you for publishing it here.

Cali :D
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Offline boatyboy

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2009, 06:24:06 AM »

So Sorry to be fair to Mr Bail I left this off the end of the article.

Roger Bale has had a corporate association with Jersey for 40 years and lived in the island for almost 30. A keen supporter of enterprise and entrepreneurial activity, in recognition of which he was awarded an honorary doctorate of business administration in 2003, he cares passionately about Jersey's finite resources and their protection.

BB

Offline stoneface

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2009, 08:11:28 PM »
Boatyboy, in reply to your repost of Roger Bale's article (http://planetjersey.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=2205.msg35707#msg35707). It was very interesting, thank you. I don't think there's a single thing I substantively disagree with. The idea of the States having few fixed assets and no unfunded liabilities is a pretty radical one, but I can't see anything fundamentally wrong with it.

It's worth remembering that the government cannot create wealth, it can only pass around wealth made by other people - so we want as few people working in the public sector as possible.
"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it." - John Stuart Mill

Offline boatyboy

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2009, 11:05:38 PM »
I think overall the plan holds water from Mr Roger Bales blueprint.

However I do have some concerns.

Firstly with the massive flow of money into Jerseys economy over the last few decades spending controls  have become very soft.

This has been brought into the spotlight by Senator Sarah Ferguson, Auditor General Big Chris Swinson and other honourable aware States members and smaller organisations ringing alarm bells.

As two factual recent examples show, the policeman flying back from Australia first class, and £4.5 million being spent on consultants for the incinerator. When States departments are over stocked with highly educated engineers et al.

The truth  is that Chief Executives could if they wished send fifteen managers to look at new lift top bins in Hawai, and write of the trip as a fact finding mission. What we now have is disregard and complacency regarding proper management of money spent within the States of Jersey, simply put, accountabilty has gone out the window. This is just human nature of course, the more you get the more you spend, just put your hand out for more. It cannot last for ever of course.

The problem I have with Roger Bale's plan is the exact same thing could happen with privatisation.

Modern Government seems to have forgotten that it is there to encourage business but also draw a line when big business trys to take advantage. We have seen this in banking.The dramatic change in English banking happend when Englands big banks lent billions to the Euro tunnel which collapsed financially. So to get into the black and appease shareholders and keep big bonuses for the managers, the retail banks decided to hammer to hell the wallets and purses of the people of England, legalised theft. It worked.

Where was the Government regulator? the toothless tigers looking at Utilities and the massive unfounded increases, all for profit, of which the Government gets a chunk.

IMO,  Roger Bale's plan would only work if the top gun was a serious States of Jersey regulator that had power enough stop the owners of all the car parks charging whatever they wished, stopped the JEC from putting up electricity by 24% although their accounts show that they are, (and have been for years) making an absolute fortune, and compete unfairly in the commercial retail arena.

Unless there is proper meaningful regulation we would just swing the pendulum to far the other way.

Boatyboy

Offline Calimachon

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2009, 11:13:06 PM »
Quote
IMO,  Roger Bale's plan would only work if the top gun was a serious States of Jersey regulator that had power enough stop the owners of all the car parks charging whatever they wished, stopped the JEC from putting up electricity by 24% although their accounts show that they are, (and have been for years) making an absolute fortune, and compete unfairly in the commercial retail arena.

Where would we find a serious States of Jersey regulator.  Which lamp do you recommend rubbing like hell! (Ali Ba Ba style)

Cali
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Offline stoneface

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2009, 11:28:40 PM »
Boatyboy, you have nailed the two important issues.

The difficult part when it comes to contracting out services is defining the terms of the contract, i.e. what the private company gets paid for. For example, let's say we want to contract out traffic wardens. What does the company get paid for? A naiive civil servant who thinks the world obeys their edicts would probably base the contract on parking tickets issued - and I think we can all work out what would go wrong there. A measure closer to what we want would be to pay them based on, say, compliance with the parking rules... but how do you measure that, and who does it? These points, of course, do not mean using private companies is, ipso facto, a bad idea because a public outfit would suffer exactly the same problems, it would just be masked by throwing money at the problem.

The second issue is having a regulator, as you say, strong enough to enforce the rules - on everybody, particularly natural monopolies (and the JEC and JNWW may indeed be natural monopolies.) Right there, however, is a temptation for States Members to get their sticky little fingers involved and try to use the regulator to shove their policies down our throats. Regulation should be based on stated principles, not rules that are specifically aimed to benefit certain Member's voters.

As P.J. O'Rourke said: when legislators can decide what can be bought and sold, the first thing to be bought and sold will be legislators.

I think the best thing we could do right now would be to give the Auditor General some real teeth.
"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it." - John Stuart Mill

Offline boatyboy

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2009, 11:34:26 PM »
JEP today

PLANS for spending cuts represent a high point in ‘shroud-waving’ and misinformation, according to the head of the Public Accounts Committee.

Senator Ben Shenton says that ministers have failed to take tough decisions on their budgets and are going for emotive cuts to present the image of an efficient public sector.

The former Health Minister says that the approach taken to cuts in the 2010 Business Plan shows that ministers and senior civil servants are playing a cynical game to protect their budgets and staffing levels.

They are not taking any tough decisions at all,’ he said. ‘They’re doing all of the shroud-waving and saying how great they are but ultimately we are not getting to the root of the problem, which is middle-management levels, and making senior management sweat for their money.

‘It is the most blatant piece of shroud-waving and misinformation that they have given to the public.’

The Business Plan, which was released on Tuesday, proposes £754m worth of revenue and capital spending next year. It also includes £17m in cuts to fund extra funding in priority service areas.

ttp://www.thisisjersey.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/00625263_cropped.jpg

There is hope, if more States members start thinking about the people, rather than States Departments.
Please lets also remember that Senator Le Suer election slogan was " a safe pare of hands " yes CM but who are you looking after ? Time no doubt will tell !!

BB

Stoneface just spotted your post my thoughts would suggest,

Big Chris The AG would love to have more power after his recent angry report on States finances. many States members feel that way I have been told. So where is the proposition ? it can't be that difficult for a politician to to lodge one.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 12:44:46 AM by boatyboy »

rogueelement

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Re: http://www.gov.je/ChiefMinister/News/DraftStatesBusinessPlan2010.htm
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2009, 12:58:21 AM »
Big Chris has been sitting in that hot seat for a bloody long time!!
How come it has taken so long for him to recognise what we , the mere trolls of planet Jersey have known for many years? We have a civil service out of control and any suggestion of repression brings out their spite, less services for the poor etc etc .We are surely not far away from suggesting that an outside body be brought in to justify every single job in the public sector , starting with the bloated States of Jersey and those masters of the Onastic arts, the Council of Ministers!