The handling of the new incinerator has been a disaster

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From Bruce Norrington.

PETER Body is an uncritical defender of rampant States spending and the antics of civil servants. Surely, however, he goes too far in seeking to exonerate the Treasury from its disastrous handling of the incinerator contract.

Mr Body describes the process of buying foreign currency as ‘an arcane subject’ and the failure to lock in the rate ruling at the time as ‘a pretty complicated’ mistake.

This is nonsense. Anyone who has ordered foreign-sourced goods or services knows that because exchange rates fluctuate constantly, until the necessary currency purchase has been effected, the cost in sterling terms will rise or fall.

To eliminate this risk, a simple instruction to the bank to exchange at the current rate, for either immediate or forward settlement, is all that is required.

In the event that our highly-paid Treasury team were too dim-witted to understand this, the States bankers (through whose hot hands some £2 million of our hard-earned money passes every single day of the year) would doubtless have been happy to explain.

Mr Body then adds insult to injury by claiming that we must all share in the blame because we deprived Treasury and Resources of the funding it needed to do its job properly.

A glance at the States accounts shows that the annual cost of this department is an eye-watering £60 million a year – around ten per cent of the whole budget! Just how much more would they need to get it right?

I am no expert in the technology of incineration, but I understand that the new plant is designed to burn a range of combustibles. What a shame that a very large bundle of £50 notes (supplied by those same taxpayers that Mr Body treats with such disdain) will be going up in flames along with everything else.

La Rochelle,

Rue de Samarès,

St Clement.

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