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Saturday, 12 November 2011

"Ozo The Bozo Just Can't Help Himself" PART 2

Jersey's public finances are a horror story.

The 18+ rating comes from the Public Accounts Committee who say spending last year exceeded income by a massive £229 million.

And, cue thunder claps and lightning, the public sector pension scheme is in deficit to the tune of a numbing three-quarters of a billion pounds - £241,744,000 in respect of the Teachers' Pension and £526,245,000 in respect of the other public employees scheme.

Committee chairman, Senator Ben Shenton, warns that pensions must be cut. Balancing the books would wipe out the island's entire Rainy Day Fund.

He says islanders are perhaps under the false impression that Jersey's finances are balanced and in good order. Not true, he says, pointing out that in 2010, operating expenditure was £935.9 million which exceeded exceeded total revenue - £745.7 million - by about £190 million.

Add to that, says Shenton, other costs such as depreciation and the deficit increases to £229 million.

In what is a farewell report from the Senator - he has quit the States - he says the PAC believes that unless there is a swift realisation and acceptance of the severity of the problems facing the Island, then the long-term financial consequences may be dire. He believes the island is likely to have to start borrowing cash to pay the bills.

Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf strongly disputes the PAC figures. He says the pension shortfall is less than £70 million and that it is not a taxpayer liability. The shortfall will be covered by members of the pension schemes.

On spending, Senator Ozouf admits there will have to be another round of spending cuts extending to 2015.

Senator Shenton is predicting that the level of necessary belt-tightening by all, and particularly the public sector, will be painful and unpopular.

1 comment:

  1. The whole public sector should be fired and made to re apply for their jobs on new pay and conditions terms...anything less will break us all it was unsustainable from the beginning the gravy train was allowed to roll on ...well we've hit the buffers..who will have the balls to take this on, it won't be the flower wanting Baillache types so who really has the backbone.and who should you have voted for recently who did...? short memories ..