The Government Plan 2020-23 has been approved by the States Assembly with seven amendments, by 43 votes to two, and two abstentions.
The five-day debate saw 23 amendments lodged for consideration by the States Assembly, three of which were withdrawn by their proposers. Ministers tabled five modifications to amendments they wanted to support, going as far as possible to meet Members’ objectives while maintaining their core principle of balancing income and spending.
Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “I would like to thank Members for a robust and stimulating debate about fundamental matters that are critical for our Island. We are all united in wanting the best for islanders, even if we sometimes disagree on how to achieve that.
“In the run-up to the debate Ministers considered all the amendments carefully. We accepted and adjusted where we could, trying to meet Members’ objectives in a way that is sustainable and affordable. There were some, however, that we couldn’t accept as they took funding away from priority areas or established unsustainable spending commitments. We have several reviews underway and once we have received their recommendations, we can make well-evidenced decisions, rather than piecemeal changes that may create more problems than they solve.
“We are already supporting vulnerable Islanders by investing in Children’s Services and health reform, by taking action on climate change, and by modernising government to make our services more efficient. We are doing this while keeping the overall tax burden low, and while balancing impôt increases with corresponding increases in tax-free allowances.
“I appreciate the careful consideration Members have given to this Plan, which combines a four-year package of spending, investment, efficiencies and modernisation proposals. Increasing the price of parking in town was always going to be controversial and we will now need to consider our spending plans in the light of the amendment to this proposal. I note the request for Ministers to establish a new way for backbenchers to feed into the Plan, and we will discuss with Members how they might want to be involved earlier on in the process, before we develop next year’s Plan.
“Now work starts on implementing the Plan’s 89 separate initiatives so we can deliver the priorities that this Assembly agreed in 2018 and secure the sustainable wellbeing of Jersey’s future generations.”
Government Plan debate
Amendment 4 – (Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel) proposed to increase road fuel duty by 4p per litre rather than by 6p. This would reduce the transfer to the Climate Emergency Fund by £1 million.
Amendment 10 – (Deputy Rob Ward) proposed (paragraph a) to increase GST on luxury cars and transfer the resulting income into the Climate Emergency Fund. He also asked (paragraph b) for an estimate of the impact of reducing GST on solar panels, electric vehicles and heating, insulation and double glazing.
(para a lost 33-14, para b adopted 38-8)
Amendment to amendment 10 – (Deputy Morel) proposed to increase GST on heavy domestic cars
(para a lost 38-9, para b lost 33-12, para c adopted 39-8)
Amendment 13 – (Deputy of St Peter) proposes to restrict impot duties on alcohol to RPI (2.7%)
Amendment 17 – (Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel) proposes to increase Child Allowances and Child Care Tax Relief.
Amendment 20 – (Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel) proposes to increase stamp duty on properties that sell for more than £1 million, raising an extra £1.06 million
Amendment 22 – (Council of Ministers) to reduce transfer from Consolidated Fund to Stabilisation Fund
(adopted as amended)
Amendment 5 – (Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel) to increase capital investment in Sport Division, GHE
(adopted as amended)
Amendment 6 – (Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel) proposes not to establish the Financial Stability Board, saving £150,000.
Amendment 7 – (Government Plan Review Panel) proposes to remove the Efficiencies Plan from the Government Plan and debate it separately.
(lost 31-13 with 3 abstentions)
Amendment 11 – (Deputy Inna Gardiner) to increase funding for the Youth Service.
(part 1 lost 17-30, Part 2 adopted 47-0 with 2 amendments)
Amendment 15 – (Connétable of St Helier) proposes to allocate £15,000 to set up a Policy Development Board to consider which activities, responsibilities and services could be delivered by a Conseil Municipal of St Helier.
(amendment withdrawn. Proposer bringing proposition next year)
Amendment 18 – (Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel) to increase Food Costs Bonus.
(adopted 40-0, amendment withdrawn)
Amendment 23 – (Deputy Louise Doublet) proposes to allocate an extra £91,000 to employ an Infant Feeding Lead and two part-time peer supporters to help mothers to breastfeed.
Amendment 14 – (Connétable of St Helier) proposes that decisions on spending from the Climate Emergency Fund should be decided by a Committee of States Members elected by the States Assembly.
Amendment 12 – (Senator Kristina Moore) proposes to give £350,000 in sponsorship to OceansLab – Race to Zero Emissions
Amendment 3 – (Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel) proposes to use money from the Strategic Reserve, rather than from the Consolidated Fund, to establish the Climate Emergency Fund
Amendment 19 – (Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel) proposes to move £5 million into an Assisted Home Ownership Scheme
Amendment 1 – (Deputy Geoff Southern) asks for an extra £0.9 million to subsidise the cost of GP appointments for certain groups.
Amendment 16 – (Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel) proposes to reduce the increase in contributions to the Long Term Care (LTC) charge to 0.5%
(adopted unamended 24-21)
Amendment 9 – (Deputy Carina Alves) proposes to increase the contributions paid on earnings and self-employed income above £53,000 a year and to increase the duration and value of parental benefits, over and above the proposals put forward in the Government Plan.
(lost: part 1 and 3(3) 35-9, part 2 35-9, part 3(1) and (2) 34-10
Amendment 21 – (Senator Sam Mézec) proposes to remove the income ceiling on long-term care (LTC) contributions instead of increasing the LTC contribution rate by 1% in 2020.
Amendment 8 – (Deputy Higgins) to increase annual funding for the four cadet forces.
(adopted – 38-11)
Amendment 2 – (Deputy R Labey) to remove extension of paid car-parking hours from the Efficiency Programme.
Amendment to amendment 2 – (Council of Ministers) to reduce proposed increase in paid car-parking hours by one hour and to increase parking charges by 5p per hour
Government of Jersey Press Release.