Simon Crowcroft says that the package of rate reforms proposed by a States steering group is likely to take a long time to get approval and he believes it is unfair for the parishes to continue to suffer financially while the debate drags on.He was a member of the group that recommended the States taking over the welfare and residential care burden in return for the cost of main roads and other services being transferred to the parishes.But fellow steering group member Senator Philip Ozouf has reacted with dismay to the proposition.’The first I knew of it was when it landed on our desks yesterday.
I was almost speechless.
Simon was on the group, he understands the difficulties and understands that this was a very carefully crafted set of proposals.’This would drive a coach and horses through months and months of work.
The proposition is seductive and is likely to win considerable States support but must be treated realistically.
I am desperately disappointed,’ said the Senator.In his proposition, which was lodged yesterday,the Constable says that he supports the package but realises that it will take a considerable length of time to come to fruition, if ever.’Such mechanisms cannot be introduced in a hurry,’ he says.
‘I share the enthusiasm of my colleagues on the steering group to see a package of proposals implemented but there can be no doubt that such radical changes in our system of local and central government will take a great deal of further work before they can be realised.
‘However, there is a hurry to bring fairness into the arena of funding native welfare,’ he said.Mr Crowcroft’s proposition, if approved, will require Finance and Economics to find the estimated £11 million to fund welfare payments for all claimants.
Currently the States pay £4m for non natives, and the parishes for natives.He says that the consultation period, which included meetings in all 12 parishes, showed clear support for the States taking over the total welfare burden, although other aspects of the proposals were more controversial.’I believe that the proper course of action is for the States to fund native welfare costs in their entirety at least for the next financial year.
What happens in future years will depend on the outcome of the debate about what costs, if any, should be passed back to the parishes, to take place in due course.’Senator Ozouf is meeting the president of Policy and Resources and group chairman Deputy David Crespel this afternoon to consider their response.