Although spending is up from last year’s figure of £727m, the package includes cuts in pay and services to fund growth in some department budgets.
Money from the economic stimulus plan agreed earlier this year could take next year’s spending right up to the £800m mark. And the States look to be on the verge of entering a period of structural deficits – accounts are expected to be over £50m in the red until 2012.
The 2010 Business Plan, published today by the Council of Ministers, outlines next year’s spending plans as well as proposals for new legislation and sell-offs from the States’ vast £1.4bn property portfolio. Proposed sell-offs include the offices currently occupied by the Planning and Transport departments at South Hill as the States try to hit a £4m per year target for property sell-offs.
The plan proposes £17m worth of cuts – the first Business Plan to do so – that will pay for a similar amount of growth in budgets for new services. Those cuts are based on pay and benefit savings from this year (£6.7m), savings by departments (£6m), pro-rata savings across departments (£4m), corporate savings (£0.5m) and implementation of Comptroller and Auditor General saving proposals (£0.1m).
Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur said that the process of arriving at the Business Plan – which has been lodged with the States today ahead of the September debate – had been a tough one for his new Council of Ministers.
• Full details in today’s Jersey Evening Post