HSSD overspends budget by £1.5m.

HEALTH and Social Services has failed to meet its 2012 budget, overspending by £1.5m.

HEALTH and Social Services has failed to meet its 2012 budget, overspending by £1.5m.

An external consultant has now been brought in to help review its finances.

The department, supported by Treasury and Resources, has launched the ‘Budget Challenge’, which will involve an overview of spending in each directorate and interviews with all budget holders within HSSD.

It said the challenge, funded through the Financial Transformation Programme, would also see ‘quick action to turn saving opportunities into reality’.

HSSD minister Hunter Adam, pictured, said the overspend was due to ‘unavoidable financial pressures’, which included the costs of additional agency staff and a large increase in the number of children who are required under the Children’s Law to be looked after by the department.

Comments for: "HSSD overspends budget by £1.5m. "

a voter

Every year HSSD overspends and every year it is allowed to carry on. If other departments can live within their means then it`s time they were made to comply or put someone in charge that can reach these targets.

Perhaps lowering their budget by the amount they fail by will give them a hint.

With HSSD there is always an excuse for an overspend and it has to stop.

Guernseyman

At what cost a voter? Shall it say stop MRI'S for 3 months or close a ward? Look at the uproar when additional cancer screening was not put in place when it cost "only" £100k.

Healthcare by its nature has unexpected peaks and troughs and the cost of it increases year on year through more expensive machinery and drugs.

Also peaople are living longer and older people are more likely to use Health related services so in the future it is likely that costs will increase significantly as this happens over the next 20 years and onwards. How then will they afford this expense with ever dwindling budgets?

It's very easy to sit back and call for the main man's head and next year's budget to be slashed, the reality is far far different ...

Yawn

Guernseyman,

I worked at the hospital, if you actually knew how many managers/directors/consultants (and they have added another consultant to sort out this overspends) there were you would change your stance, it’s about how the money is spent. It’s not efficient and the HSSD always hides behind the health excuse and people like you buy into it.

John

Well said Yawn,

1) Is it true the Duchess of Kent House is now an office block?

2) Is it true that humungous building lefthand side up the drive from Vauquiedor is also an office block?

I think we should ask Neil Forman how many Doctors, Nurses, Cleaners we have per Officeworker. He will know god bless him!

Neil Forman

John

Sorry just seen this.

I don't know the exact figures but looking at the report for 2011 this is what I could find.

STAFF

Established staff - 549.10

Public service employees - 372.62

Nurses - 928.60

State employed consultants - 12.98

Total - 1863.30

PAY

Established staff - £22,799,000

Public service employees - £9,926,000

Nurses & Medical consultants - £35,589,000

Other pay groups - £4,928,000

Total - £732,420,000

Dave Jones

Voter

HSSD is not like every other department and has increased costs foisted upon it completely outside its control. Things like off island surgery and placements and about 8% medical inflation every year in the cost of expensive cancer treatments, drugs and a whole list of other things we cannot provide or supply ourselves on Island.

They have done a lot over the years to cut back on administration and in other areas of general waste but as the public makes more demands on the health service in terms of health care (Bowel cancer screening is one recent case in point) all these demands have to be met either here in Guernsey or paid for elsewhere. In Guernsey every extra service needs staff and administration to bring it about if it is off island then we have to pay the going rate for it.

In the past I have been one of H&SSD’s biggest critics but I can tell you it is far from an easy department to run, with thousands of employees and huge properties to maintain and administer, it is a 24 hour around the clock living machine, it never stops consuming money or staff resources.

Yes they have employed a consultant to look at their spending and it would not surprise me in the slightest if he came back and said that HSSD is actually under resourced.

They have a good bunch of people on the HSSD board and if there was any way to reduce their spending without effecting front line services that are vital to our population, I am convinced they would find them. Let’s see what this review throws up before we start beating up on the HSSD Minister and his board.

I would not swop my responsibilities for his.

Ray

Forget high cost consultants.Get the staff at the coalface ( you know.. the people who actually KNOW what's going on) to put in their own ideas of where waste can be prevented

Give them a reward of 10% of the savings made in a year as a result of their suggestion

Rustylink

Outrageous overspend. Heads should roll.

Of course the financial pressures could have been avoided by increasing contributions or reducing level and extent of benefits. But that is too self evident for bureaucrats and responsible politicians.

Such overspending is now being given the magic asterix treatment. 'Future' unspecified savings -- if they exist they should have already been implemented.

And now we are supposed to believe in their contrition(crocodile tears fall from their eyes). And of course they say they will behave better nest year! Do you believe that?

Rufus

"Heads should roll."

I agree, but can you imagine the off-island costs of cleaning up the mess? Stitches, UK Forensics, UK locums, 10 new licences, 30 new Phlipinos, a report and a load of court cases.

Promote every one, that's how we role!

paul

Perhaps if we had a few hundred less administrators ( computers were supposed to reduce the need for paper shuffling )and make someone responsible for spending, instead of each little empire within the health service controlling their own spend it or lose it next year budgets, then we may be able to save money !

I guarantee that each department is working out how to spend the remainder of their budgets ( i.e. what they haven't been able to spend )before the end of the year, because if they don't their budgets will go down next year, because they don't need so much cash, but they are all so scared of this that they will be out there wasting money on things they don't need like office refurbishments,new computers and the like.

Start looking at the admin side for savings........not front line medical services, hell this is the health service after all isn't it ?

Charlie

"An external consultant has now been brought in to help review its finances."

.... charging 1.6 million.

QueenBee

Introduce tax relief for people who take out private medical insurance and encourage more people to be responsible for paying for their own health.

Also STOP using the most expensive hire car company when sending people to England for treatment or when Doctors/Consultants/Politicians go to the UK. Do they really need to travel in a Mercedes S class?

Gsyman

Oh no, ANOTHER consultant brought in a huge expense to tell these dimwits how to actually stick to a budget.

Bramble

Find out how many locally qualified nurses have left the BOH never to return due to preferential treatment given to non-locals. Then try and justify using Agency staff.

pb falla

Another guernsey shambles

Ted

Any overspend is deplorable and there were many opertunities for savings deliberatly rejected for questionable reasons. However, we need to keep things in proportion; in percentage terms the failure is quite small.

Employed

Maybe we should start a Facebook page to see how many local EMPLOYED people feel it is about time that those feeding off the welfare system were finally made to wake up to the fact that they should GET A JOB

QueenBee

Start one then!

Employed

Sorry, not sure how to

Geoff

So another consultant to pay for which adds to the 1.5 million? What is also forgotten is that quite often there is added cost to this. From experience in many cases you can add to this fights every week to and from the UK plus accomodation while here. This can add thousands to the actual cost.

Sandyl

Also forgotten is the huge inflated bonus these so called consultants get should they actually manage to save any money.

Way too many chiefs & pen pushers.

Geoff

Gsyman – “ ANOTHER consultant brought in a huge expense to tell these dimwits how to actually stick to a budget.” Totally agree you would think that a government the size of ours would have someone capable of sorting it out themselves without keep bringing in outside consultants at great expense? I am no expert but sure even I could find areas where they could make savings. This island is really becoming a bit of a joke.

AM

Ahh of course - when trying to defend the indefensible it's always worth trotting out the line about all the children that need looking after - tugs on the heart strings and deflects from the real problem.

Zab

Minister Hunter Adam how much is being spent fighting off grand parents and great grand parents attempting to prevent family members being in care rather than rehomed within the extented family?

A scandal yet to break.

Scarlett

Is it me, or is it that the people we deem fit to run our island spend a lot of their time and our money bringing in consultants to tell them the bloney obvious that Mrs Le Page from Torteval could it work out?

If they really need all these experts brought in to advise States depts how to do their job, I.e., managing their own budget, not losing 2.6 mill to fraudsters etc etc, then what the hell are these incompetents doing in these roles...?

Johno

Scarlett

I think your post says what the vast majority of us are thinking!

Consultants are used more and more because the buck is then passed on from the highly paid civil servants.

We keep getting told that we are a leading financial institution, empoying highly qualified individuals, yet we have to bring in outside consultants!!

Will the message EVER get home, that the tax payer doesn't want them.......I doubt it :-(

Ray

Johno

The message might get home if a motion of no confidence was brought every time a Department head / Minister / Committee exceeds their budget

It might not lead to a sacking but it would at least entail a lot of embarrassing explanations in the public domain.It might also reduce what so many islanders clearly see as the biggest waste of all ... bloody consultants !!!

We have a couple of good Deputies prepared quite rightly ( and with much approval to boot)to ask awkward questions in the Assembly

Perhaps the Chief Minister could be asked how much taxpayers money was spent by the various committees on consultants in 2010,2011 and so far this year

Neil Forman

Ray

Don't know this year yet, 2010 / 11 is as follows.

2010

Policy council - £433,000

T & R - £181,000

Courts - £61,000

States of Alderney - £58,000

C & E - £457,000

C&L - £8,000

Education - £50,000

Environment - £89,000

HSSD - £2,045,000

Home Dept - £45,000

Housing - £0

PSD - £73,000

Guernsey Registry - £33,000

Waste Strategy - £69,000

Waste Water Investigation Fund - £33,000

Total - £3,635,000

2011

Policy Council - £305,000

T & R - £45,000

Courts - £23,000

States of Alderney - £107,000

C & E - £179,000

C & L - £4,000

Education - £67,000

Environment - £137,000

HSSD - £2,467,000

Home Dept - £113,000

Housing - £0

PSD - £111,000

Guernsey Registry - £10,000

Waste Strategy - £130,000

Total - £3,698,000

Ray

Thanks Neil.Should have looked it up for myself

Can you remind us all of the site that this info is on ... and can you remind us all who the Minister for Housing is as they have spent £0

Scarlett

so..........the consultants that HSSD bring in, which cost far more than the other departments, constitute part of the overspend....

and yet we're bringing in another consultant to sort the overspend....?

Still, the £8 mill p.a. that GSP is going to save shafting us all for our mortgage relief can go towards funding gratuitous overspends and expensive consultants, ay, no need to cut back as long as the long suffering locals are paying for it.

Neil Forman

Ray

Info can be found here.

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=75207&p=0

Well done Dave Jones!

John

Neil

Well done for doing your homework!

It certainly tells me that Hssd Minister needs £2m+ help p.a. to do his job.

sandyl

The report in Friday's Press, Richard Evans (aparently) saying we're looking into privatising catering & domestic services, well would've been considerate to let the staff involved know first before having to read it in the press. Apparently even the managers of said departments knew nothing of it.

Stinks.

sarnia expat

If you are speaking to RE, ask him why all the footage taken of the domestics for the Island Hospital programme was dropped, apprently on his say so, because it was deemed not appropriate to show to the rest of the world......

Johno

Ray

Good point. I can't see why we have so many highly paid civil servants but can't seem to be able to trust them to balance the books!

I too would like to know how much is spent on bloody consultants who receive a fortune without ANY risk.

If I don't balance my books I go out of business, it's not brain surgery, you just learn to cut your cloth accordingly.

On another point whilst discussing money wasted, I would like to know if the States have any figures on Sickness pay for their employees and compare that to the private sector, my bet is it would be substantially higher.

Johno

Neil

Thanks for the figures, absolutely staggering. Begs the question if they had NOT used these consultants would we be any worse off?

Neil Forman

Johno

You hit the nail on the head about why they bring in these consultants above.

Would we be better off? Doubt it they would have used the money somewhere else, filling the pension deficit probably.

Gsyman

Well done Neil for flagging this up. Over £7,000,000 of John Q. Taxpayer's money spent on Consultants employed to tell people how to do their highly-remunerated jobs, the lion's share to sort HSSD. What are all these top-notch highly paid civil servants actually doing for their salaries and diamond encrusted pensions? Contracting out all responsibility to Consultants, that's what, so they can keep the Teflon intact.

Spartacus

Gsyman

Do you know how much it would cost in comparison if each and everyone of these specialist consultants was directly employed on a permanent basis for SOG instead of the civil servants we have who are more akin to jack of all trades/managers?

Substantially more than £7M I imagine.

John

Johno

No proof we would be better off paying these consultants either. Does say tho that nobody at Hssd seems to know what they are doing.

John

Ray,

Your not Mrs. Jones are you?

Dave has destroyed a lot of property that could have been otherwise recycled. Sold off cheap to first time buyers.

Never before have there been so many social houses taken out of use at one time for redevelopment without anyone being homeless. Begs the question Is building social housing breeding social housers? £0?

Dave Jones

John.

I have very happily brought about the destruction of lots of tired old housing thrown up in the sixties that should have been demolished and replaced at least two decades ago. Also if we had sold these homes off to first time buyers, where would we have built new homes? The lack of suitable sites is Housings biggest enemy at present.

I also doubt very much that banks or mortgage brokers would have lent anybody any money on those properties, once they had received the surveyor’s reports. The money that the new owners would have to have spent on them, together with a mortgage, would have outstripped the value of the house.

Most of the solid built homes have been refurbished and are still there, some have gone over to partial ownership tenants and in addition we have freed up 140 homes by asking high earning tenants to move on.

This has allowed us to still help some of those on the waiting lists, while re-housing those who were moved out of properties earmarked for demolition and of course there are 80 odd properties at the old bus garage site that were not there before which has helped.

By putting in underground parking at Delancy court and Roseville, allowed us to increase numbers on those sites and we have made other gains as the new construction on smaller sites has progressed.

We have started two large extra care housing projects to replace our residential homes, this too has been a massive task and I have not slept well on occasions wondering how and my board and I can keep all these balls in the air.

It has been a massive task juggling all these separate interests, we have also built lots of smaller properties for older people who were under occupying family homes, which in turn has helped us house more families. We now have the go ahead for Cour du Parc which will provide more homes for couples and single people.

On you point about the creation of social housing tenants. The gap on this island between rich and poor is widening, I see my job as Housing minister to try and create as much affordable rental housing as I can for those on fixed and low incomes.

Not everybody can earn top wages and many of our tenants work hard doing jobs that don’t pay very much. Private rental rents are at an all time high as demand for rental outstrips supply.

The credit should go to the GHA as our partners in this venture and they have not overspent on a single development, finishing all the new projects on time or ahead of time and within budget, it is a remarkable achievement and one we as an island should be proud of.

Sugared Brazil Nut

And therein lies the difference between these two departments.

Zero spend on consultants and instant well reasoned engagement from the Housing Minister when a question or comment is raised.

Almost £4.5M spent on consultants by HSSD, a fully warranted barrage of questions / comments and absolute silence from H Adam Esq.

Couldn't be more striking could it?

Johno

Dave Jones

Personally I think the Housing Dept is one of the better States Departments.

You also prove you can manage WITHOUT consultants

A.J.

Housing Department spending on consultants =£0

HSSD spending on consutants (over last two years)= £4,500,000 One Minister is doing the job well, and the other ? Well done Dave

Ray

Perhaps HSSD should consult Housing on how to succeed without employing consultants?

Dave Jones

AJ

I do have a real personal dislike of the use of consultants, mostly because much of the advice we need is often on Island and a lot of it quite frankly is common sense.

There is one notable exception for Housing and that is in using a UK university to carry our a Housing Needs Survey every five years, this is done by random canvassing of households in order to collect data needed on future housing trends, the latest one will be released within the next few days.

At Housing I have encouraged our boards and the staff to evaluate any policy or problems ourselves. There is a huge amount of expertise already employed by the States and while I accept that on the odd occasion and in specialist areas you might need to consult an expert in that area, it should only be if there is simply no alternative.

One argument for using consultants is that it can save you money in the long run; I have not seen many examples where that have turned out to be true. I also accept that I have a very small department compared to some of the others but the principle should not change.

I will give you one glaring example of local common sense. One of the RO RO ramps was in need of repair and there was talk of shipping it away for a major refit. A local welder and steel fabricator named Martel with a fairly large welding company suggested that as most of the repairs needed were underneath the ramp, the bit below the water line, if they put a steel frame underneath the structure on the high tide, when the tide went out it would leave the ramp high and dry and accessible and he would put as many men as it needed to effect the upgrade.

This worked outstandingly well, it saved many tens of thousands of pounds and it was achieved by consulting a local company who came up with the solution. The ramp was back in service much sooner and it was done for a fraction of the cost.

If you compare that to the idea that on the airport contract, we apparently needed a PR company from the UK to deal with issues that might arise from neighbours around the airport at some considerable cost, there is simply no sense in it in my view.

Housing managed to demolish several estates, with a lot more dust and noise in close proximity to neighbours in the areas targeted, by using the GHA, our own staff and the contractor to liaise with neighbours and to do their own PR without too many problems. In fact the number of complaints was very low indeed. The point I am trying to make, is that it did not cost the taxpayer anything to do it ourselves.

Spartacus

Dave Jones

As a member of the policy council did you support the decision to engage Mulkerrin to do a review of Guernsey education?

Why not someone local?

Dave Jones

Spartacus

Yes I did back a local man for the job

see belowe.

Biography of Denis Mulkerrin CBE MA

Denis Mulkerrin was born in Guernsey in 1946 and was educated at Amherst Primary School and the Grammar School. He left school at 14 to start an apprenticeship at the Guernsey Telephone Department.

Mr Mulkerrin later qualified as a school teacher and has taught in six secondary schools mainly in London and the South East of England. He was Headteacher of three different comprehensive schools from 1988 to 2010. He gained a reputation for improving failing schools which went on to achieve outstanding Ofsted Reports. For this he was appointed CBE for Services to Education in January 2005. In 2008 he gave presentations on leadership in schools to Prince Charles, the Secretary of State for Education and HM Chief Inspector of Ofsted. In 2010 he was on the Head Teacher Advisory Group to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education.

In August 2010 Mr Mulkerrin and his wife Ann retired back to Guernsey.

-ENDS-

Spartacus

Dave Jones

Come on, you call that local? Mulkerrin spent his entire life and career in UK. Do you think the knowledge of a UK expert was important in this instance? Or do you think someone with local knowledge and experience could/should have done the job?

Pillsbury

Spartacus is even more small-minded than usual: what a silly, nasty little answer to DJ`s definitive response!

Ray

Spartacus

If your very best friend Carol Steere had done her job there would have been no need for flipping consultants

Spartacus

Ray

Are you suggesting Carol Steere should have had the expertise of Mulkerrin?

Neil Forman

Spartacus, Spartacus, Spartacus.

Why when it comes to Education are you so shortsighted?

Would you have preferred that nothing was done and Education continued to pull the wool over everybody's eyes.

Mulkerrin was extremely qualified to carry out this review, being a local living on our Island was a bonus for the reasons Dave Jones has outlined.

He highlighted your pet Departments failings.

I don't agree with using consultants but this was money well spent. I would like him to go through staffing levels, that would be interesting and probably money well spent.

Spartacus

Neil Forman

This is not about education its about consultants.

Plenty criticise using UK experts but everyone seems to approve of engaging Mulkerrin.

Mulkerrin was a case in point because he had UK expertise but no local knowledge.

What expertise does Mulkerrin have about government staffing levels? He's on the board so he now knows what really goes on and is in a position to raise any concerns. But we haven't heard a peep.

Ray

Spartacus @9.56pm

No but it may have been better if she had not chosen to follow the teachings in the Joseph Goebbels book of propaganda

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm

A PR Company from the UK....some departments are a joke, there is probably someone employed just to liaise with them and giving the self a pat on the back

Maz

Though I agree that HSSD needs to look at where it wastes its money, i.e. it probably has more managers than it needs, and could do with more front-line staff, I think the figures on consultants could be misleading.

It is highly probably that the medical consultants that come over see a lot of patients in a short period of time, which saves us spending money sending individuals to the UK to see a specialist.

Dave Jones

Mr Mulkerrin lives here, he is a man with huge experience in Education matters and he was willing to take on the task.

That was my consideration, if we had brought in someone else we would have been paying a lot of money in air fares and hotel accommodation.

I am not sure we had anybody else on the island that ticked all the boxes and would have had the kind of impartiality needed in this review.

I would also ask you if you have ever been of island at anytime during your career whatever you do, if so does that mean that your opinions are worthless?

Spartacus

Dave Jones

I think I have been slightly misunderstood.

My question was in relation to my general view that UK experts bring added value, fresh eyes and specialist knowledge to Guernsey which is not always available here, as you say In Mulkerrin's example, no one "locally" ticked the boxes. That answered my initial question better than the CV!

I'm glad Mulkerrin is here and brings his wealth of knowledge to the education board. Nevertheless, his review recommendations indicated that he did not fully understand some of the political problems of running a country the size of an island.

So I would say that a balance is required, some use of external consultants like Mulkerrin is justifiable together with local expert knowledge and we rely on our deputies to put in the magic ingredient of common sense.

Dave Jones

Spartacus

I can only say it as I see it.

I have met Denis Mulkerrin on several occasions and I never found when he was interviewing me on the issue of teacher’s licences for instance, that he did not understand the political complexity of running a small island like Guernsey. In fact I found the opposite was true.

His grasp of the workings of the States and many of its failings was astonishing, he may have worked away for a number of years but he certainly gave me the impression that he knew what was going on in his Island home.

The fact that you don’t happen to agree with some of his recommendations does not make him wrong. It was his view and at the end of the day and any major changes to our Education system will be a matter for the States as a whole to decide not one individual.

On one other point you made earlier about his silence since being elected to the Education board, that is as it should be he has become part of a team and the spokesman for that team ought to be the Minister of the department.

Finally you have done it again, you have managed to turn the discussion around to your favourite subject and that is Education.

Spartacus

Dave Jones

No my point here was about consultants! You don't use them for your own department where you know best but you are happy to use them when it suits your politics. Mulkerrin is a case in point.

You have raised issues about education and made comments not me, but I will respond in defence of the point I made about Mulkerrin's lack of local understanding.

I agree his knowledge of Guernsey current affairs was good he had clearly been reading the GP since his return to the island, but the "failings" he identified were merely problems we have due to being on an island, for example

1. His flawed excellent teacher scheme undermines your housing policy and you know it is impossible for education to fulfill that. Education have responded to that effect.

2. Everyone knows it is best to have local management of schools but it's unrealistic to suggest we can work the same way as the UK and unreasonable to blame our education department for not doing so. Education responded to that effect.

3. Most of his green recommendations have not happened and won't. That says it all.

These are reasoned criticisms based on his misunderstanding of the complexities of local politics. On other issues he was spot on.

Maybe it is not his place to speak out now but do you really think he is quietly protesting behind closed doors about the excess staff in the education department he is now a part of? I cannot imagine that is the case because he is not an expert in that area. That was my point.

Neil Forman

Spartacus

It is not just UK experts that bring fresh eyes and knowledge.

Most businesses benefit with staff turn over, as you say fresh eyes, ideas are good for business. Shame that does not happen with the Civil Service.

I wonder how many sit at their desks bored out of their minds, stuck in repetitive jobs which they hate but cannot leave because of the pension.

Spartacus

Neil Forman

I agree that staff turnover can be beneficial and who says that doesn't happen with the civil service? I see adverts in the press ALL THE TIME!

In any case, experienced staff who have proved themselves and who are experienced and competent are worth more. Perhaps the DB pension helps the civil service retain valued staff who would otherwise be lured into the finance industry.

I strongly believe in robust performance management for underperforming staff and anyone who is bored out of their minds has the choice to leave and can negotiate a commensurate salary with a new employer. Few will sacrifice the satisfaction of their entire working life for the sake of a DB pension and I'm sure there are opportunities within the civil service to move departments, avenues for self development etc to help avoid stagnation of valued individuals.

Ray

Spartacus at 10.41am

I too see those civil service adverts.They tend to appear regularly in Saturday's Press

I don't know what happened to the stated intent of cutting the numbers by fifty.Mind you in this morning's Assembly two different Deputies explained delays in bringing reports on lack of resources

Perhaps the overloaded departments should volunteer / or be made to share out their staff members more equitably

Ray

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2235470/Hospitals-pay-500m-year-basic-supplies-charging-twice-items.html

Perhaps the lady who is fully employed in filing the HSSD phone bills could spend half an hour a week phoning around for prices from different suppliers?

Dave Jones

Spartacus

I will leave it there I think.

A.J.

Thank you Dave,for the explanation. As I thought, someone at last using COMMON SENSE. simple!!If only the other department leaders could follow suit.

Johno

@Dave Jones

Dave who actually authorises the use of consultants, is it the politicians or the Civil Servants?

Dave Jones

Johno

The Civil Servants advise and the politicians sanction or otherwise that advice

At least that is how it works in my department.

Neil Forman

Dave Jones

Sadly this is not true in all departments.

I know of one who is about to be bitten on the proverbial

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm

For though of us who've had family members or children that have been medivaked to the UK for life saving surgery etc I am glad with live in a society where when it comes to life saving care money is no object.

Granted there is most likely too many pen pushers

Balance

In 2011 the states accounts said this

"The Health and Social Services Department’s net revenue expenditure for the year was £107,213,000 (2010: £107,685,000), which was £472,000 (0.4%) lower than in 2010. The Department under spent its total authorised budget for the year by 1.5%. This is the third year in succession where the Department’s expenditure has been between £107million and £108million."

Given medical inflation etc, this doesn't sound too bad...

The overspend this year is less than 1.5% of budget. Seems to even out over the 2 years.

Caz

That's why they want to scrap mortgage relief so the departments can keep overspending, once again not their money so it does not really matter!

Neil Forman

I have done a bit more homework and I am shocked.

I have totalled what was spent on consultants from 2007 - 2011.

2007 - £1,703,000

2008 - £2,772,000

2009 - £3,569,000

2010 - £3,635,000

2011 - £3,698,000

Total - £15,377,000

What the taxpayer has put into the Civil Service pension pot since 2007

( I suggest you sit down )

2007 - £16,027,000

2008 - £16,641,000

2009 -£17,821,000

2010 - £25,910,000

2011 - £27,450,000

Total - £103,849,000

That is over £100 million in 5 years.

This is how the deficit grew over these five years

2007 - £128,702,000

2008 - £141,872,000

2009 - £301,897,000

2010 - £286,494,000

2011 - £381,526,000

That is over a hundred million in five years and the deficit is still growing.

How to balance the books?

Make the ( not so hard ) decision, stop this wilful waste of taxpayers money.

Don't expect the ordinary working person to suffer any more.

blab

So true....I still can't undertsand why this is being ignored. It infuriate sme just thinking about it!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dot Comma

Nice bit of cherry-picking there Neil.

No source.

No context.

No wonder you weren't elected.

Just plain rabble-rousing.

Ray

Dot Comma

I should think Neil used that excellent book of numbers at

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=75207&p=0

Have a read.You'll probably find your own Civil Service department stats quite shocking

Dot Comma

The stats for my department show a 3% overspend on our 2011 budget. This is where the likes of you and Neil Forman stop reading and decry ALL civil servants as spendthrift layabouts.

Now some context: That budget itself was a 5% reduction from 2010. Total work units increased by 26%. We returned to treasury a 42% increase in private sector receipts. Work undertaken for other states departments rose by 17%. New workstreams, developed on our own initiative, meant a substantial amount of states work could remain on Island instead of being outsourced (further savings). Staffing leves remained constant. No overtime payments were claimed (although the amount of overtime increased), it being taken as flexitime instead (much of which remained unused).

You are right though Ray, I was quite shocked to discover how much money our hard work has saved the taxpayer.

Neil Forman

Ray

More reading material for you.

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=75792&p=0

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=4479&p=0

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=4388&p=0

Dot Comma

These are my sources, what context would you like me to put this in?

I think Ray has hit it on the head here, you must be a Civil Servant.

Unlike you I worry for our children and grandchildren's future.

Ray

Dot Comma

Thanks for the good news reply.Perhaps your department ought to be used as a template for other areas of the States monolith because one or two bad apples certainly taints the whole organisation

Is it true that some departments still have a huge spend up near year end in order to demonstrate that the budget they were allocated should not be reduced for the following year?

Gsy Gooner

As you clearly have the answers to all of the island's problems it really is amazing that you didn't get elected.....or is that actually because you have no solutions to the problems whatsoever but you do seem to be good at posting lists of money spent, so well done for that. Basically a Mary Lowe without the mandate, lots of whining about populist subjects but no depth and very little in the way of constructive argument.

But could I just clarify that there is no such thing as the Civil Service Pension scheme,there is the Public Servants' Pension Scheme of which the Civil Servants are members but that probably doesn't suit your viewpoint because the majority of the members of that scheme are not in fact Civil Servants but are what you would no doubt describe as an "ordinary working person" whatever that is, but I guess you mean people who don't get paid a fortune? Well, plenty of people, maybe the majority, in that pension scheme would fit that description.

Trouble is it is much easier to blame all of the island's ills (such as they are) on the "Civil Service" pension, especially if you swallow the Gsy Press, well Digard's, anti Civil Service mantra that gets banged out so often.

Neil Forman

Gsy Gooner

This was my first election, I was aiming for 500-600 votes and received this. Another 120 and I would have been elected.

I stood in St Peter Port south where I was an unknown.

The PUBLIC SECTOR PENSION SCHEME will bankrupt this island if left as it is.

In the last five years the taxpayer has put £103 million into this scheme and I is still £380+ million in deficit.

We need to plug the hole not keep adding taxes to top up.

This pension scheme is unsustainable.

As Gavin has stated, there needs to be some tough decisions, this one is quite easy and will solve a very big problem.

The current deficit is £31m, the taxpayer paid nearly £27.5m into this scheme last year. You do the math.

Spartacus

Neil "rabble rouser" Forman

You're at it again with your hyperbole and ill informed opinions presented as facts.

iron maiden

Spartacus you talk such rubish,neil is right to sho this.the more people now about this the bettre.thees figres have made facebook so alot now whats going on.hes getting a lot of support and i think hes gonna do well in next election.you slat him alot but hes always sivil.you must be on of the pention holders

Spartacus

Iron Maiden

You are the "rabble" in "rabble rouser" ;-)

I'm not in the public sector pension I just understand it's purpose and would be concerned about compensation payouts which would be needed for drastic change.

I'm not sure whether you are aware that an independent board is reviewing pensions and in talks with unions, the outcome is due in January and it will then go to the States.

So what's the point in Neil continually stirring things up for no good reason and with no knowledge of the facts?

Gsy gooner is right, Neil just copies the numbers with no idea what it all means. Pure arrogance. He wasn't elected but he thinks he knows better than the 45 deputies who will now make the appropriate decisions.

If he does get into the States next time I think it would open his eyes to reality and he would be the biggest backtracker ever.

Tom

You know if the best someone can do is resort to name calling to prove you wrong your probably right.

iron maiden

Spartacus

you dont kno neil,i have met him a few tims wen he has joined my group for a talk and he is not a backtraker.he.is not arragant at all.you are the one caling names.you cal a lot of pepole a trol i think you ar one

Spartacus

Iron maiden

Rabble rouser is not name calling it's an accurate description of his actions.

He regularly demonstrates arrogance, saying the pension fund will bankrupt the island is a prime example. The deficit was due to a number of reasons which he ignores as he thinks he knows better. He doesn't understand the reason why it cannot simply be shut down therefore he criticises the States for not doing so.

He will have no choice but to backtrack if he gets elected and finds out just how wrong he is about so many things.

He is starting to research things better as a result of these debates and that is a step in the right direction.

Anyone who holds strong views should not be afraid to debate with someone who holds an opposing view, this is healthy. I have no desire to insult anyone personally and would immediately apologise if anyone was offended personally.

If anyone behaves like a troll I will be the first to point it out. This is usually because they have made personal remarks about me or others in order to try to undermine a political viewpoint.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

GM

Spartacus

Oh, the irony of you calling Neil arrogant...my how you seem to alienate everybody eventually on this blog with your posts.

And yes, the current DB scheme WILL bankrupt the island if not addressed. Strong investment performance is very unlikely for the next 5-10 years but with sustained low interest rates inevitable for years to come and equity growth likely to be very modest as the global economy slowly recovers, we are not going to see the year on year double-digit growth in the fund value which we have seen in the past. The scheme will simply run out of money to pay current members when they reach retirement age, and the only way to plug the deficit is from taxpayer funding, As you well know, the States of Guernsey cannot afford it, and there is zero appetite from islanders to see taxpayers' funds used in this way,

That is not arrogance, it is the plain truth whether you like it or not.

Spartacus

GM

The irony of you calling me arrogant whilst telling us your opinion and claiming it is plain truth. Getting personal again you have illustrated perfectly my point about trolls. In any case the ones I alienate, like you, are far right extremists. When you lot get annoyed with me I know I must be saying something right.

Spartacus

The actuaries latest report of the public sector pension scheme fund is on page 2489 of the attached and it says the fund is meeting its funding target. I couldn't see the bit where they advised the States that the fund is forecast to "simply run out of money" that must have been a load of rubbish someone made up.

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=3953&p=0

GM

Spartacus

You are clearly deluded. The only reason I get annoyed with you is when you have no idea what you are talking about and, like a dog with a bone, deride absolutely everybody who doesn't agree with you. By your reckoning, everybody who disagrees with you must be a "troll".

Stick to education topics. At least you sound as though you might know what you are talking about there.

GM

Spartacus

The 2010 actuarial report is based on taxpayer-funded contribution levels which are clearly not going to be allowed to continue. Taxpayers are simply not going to accept being hit harder in the pocket with extra taxes so that States workers can continue to enjoy gold-plated final salary schemes.

Try researching the island's demographic timebomb problem. It's frightening. There soon won't be anywhere near enough people of working age to make new contributions to fund the imminent shortfall. It is irresponsible for the scheme to be continued in its present form.,

Neil Forman

Spartacus

Nice to see you resort to name calling again. How many times do I have to tell you to be nice?

You keep telling me to back up my argument with facts and when I do you call me arrogant!

This pension scheme is out of control, I await this years figures which will probably tell us that the deficit is near half a trillion. It rose almost £100,000,000 between 2010 & 2011. I suspect it will rise by almost the same amount again.

The States are telling us to cut costs, are closing public conveniences & trying to scrap MITR, etc. and are still pumping taxpayers money into this scheme, this is wrong.

Yes there is a review into this scheme and it is due to go before the States early next year but this is years too late.

For someone who harps about equality, you are selective.

You support the scrapping of MITR because the taxpayer is " subsidising " the low and middle class.

The taxpayer also subsidises Doctor and Dentist visits for people on benefits, the low & middle class workers have to pay this themselves. The taxpayer subsidises people in States accommodation, people on minimum wage,etc.

You say the lower & middle class should not rely on MITR to purchase their own home, most did not. Most took out a mortgage and then the recession hit, costs still rose but wages did not so some were happy to have the buffer of MITR to offset this. If you take this away some will lose their homes, which many have worked two jobs and extra hours to pay for.

The biggest inequality in this island is the public sector pension scheme, we are funding this and the deficit is getting bigger. Yet you support it?

Everybody has to live to their means, we cannot sustain this scheme so we have to change it.

This scheme should have been closed to new entrants years ago. It is an employer's market so people would be happy for a job. There is no reason I can think of to tell these people that the pension scheme is under review and that they would be invited to join whatever scheme is available when the decision is made.

iron maiden

Thanks for you support, I will be able to attend this weeks meeting but will not be able to get there until about eight. Give me a call before then;-)

Neil Forman

GM

Thanks

I had no idea about the kind of shock my posting these figures would produce. I received an e-mail yesterday which I have tried to copy and paste but cannot.

If you or anyone else would like a copy please e-mail me at neil.forman@aol.com and I will forward it to you.

Spartacus

GM

You are a troll because you persistently make this personal. You don't know me. I welcome opposing views as this is how I broaden my perspective or reaffirm my views. You simply try to bully people to try to shut them up. You should get back to your knitting madam.

Spartacus

GM

re your 25/11 10.20pm post

All the contribution rates were DECREASED last year.

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=5583&p=0

Re your comment

"There soon won’t be anywhere near enough people of working age to make new contributions to fund the imminent shortfall"

What on earth are you talking about? States Employees make contributions to the scheme and SOG make contributions to the scheme which is a contractual obligation of the employer.

Spartacus

Neil Forman

Neil you get people all fired up over nothing. Rabble rouser was not intended to be an insult it is an invitation for you to wake up to your behaviour.

I am nice but you don't like my good advice.

Yes you really should back up your arguments

"This pension scheme is out of control" back up this comment! The actuarial report and the Sates resolution to DECREASE contribution rates tells a completely different story. What makes you think the pension is out of control?

The states have 5,500 employees and they need to be remunerated in accordance with their contracts, if they want to offer less they will need to pay compensation. Any government policy which encourages a shift of responsibility for pensions to the individual will add to the risks of the demographic time bomb. The pension scheme is nothing to do with inequality it is about public sector remuneration.

I'm not selective about equality at all. I particularly agree with heath equity and everything Dr Bridgman said in his report. Home owners have choices which those on benefits don't have. I completely disagree that MIR subsidises lower class. Anyone who owns property is middle class by my reckonings.

No one should lose their homes, the relief would be phased out over 7 years so there is plenty of time for people to adjust and make decisions. The result of the recession means that homeowners have benefited from low interest rates. In any case they haven't had the review yet and homeowners might be helped in other, more equitable ways which might offset the loss of MIR.

No one has been able to answer this question: Why should taxpayers who do not own their own home subsidise those who own their own home?

What meetings do you attend with iron Maiden? Who was the email from about pensions? Are you intending to be open about your affairs or are you just rabble rousing?

GM

Spartacus

Firstly, I am not a "madam" at all, I'm as male as it gets!

Secondly, Neil is spelling out the facts which you choose to ignore.

Thirdly, I don't try to "bully" anyone. If you can't handle people countering your inaccuracies, then best that you "stay out of the kitchen". You cannot have it both ways. It's no coincidence that you appear to have confrontational relationships on here with about 5 or 6 regular posters who fund your posts as ridiculous as I do. That speaks volumes.

Fourthly, you clearly don't understand how the States' pension scheme works. When its in deficit, contributions from and re. . current employees are being used to pay the current pensions of former employees. That's no different from a Ponzi scheme because no extra fund is being built to meet the scheme's obligations towards present employees, and so the shortfall simply gets bigger, along with the taxpayer's liability.

Fifthly, the working population of Guernsey will fall hugely over the next 20 years without significant immigration. If you don't think that the workforce of the States will reduce as well (jobs for life?), then you have no grasp whatsoever of reality. There will therefore be even fewer employees paying into the Ponzi scheme, so the States' shortfall can never be met. So how will pensions of current 50 year old civil servants be met in 20 years time? There would only be one way - by the States out of government reserves, but we will have run out of reserves in around 4 years time from now. So - extra tax needs to be raised from all islanders in order to enable the Staes to keep paying final salary defined benefits in 15, 20 and 25 years, or the States cannot meet its obligations, and so would be bankrupt. We are therefore passing on a huge future obligation to our children and grandchildren which is nothing other than gross negligence because it is obvious, today, that this is the case and we have a chance to do something about it right now.

Clear enough for you?

Spartacus

GM

FFS!

neil has pointed out the facts of the numbers but the rest is his interpretation based on pure dogma peddled by right wing idiots like you who would rather there was no civil service at all because then the poor would then have to eat cake!

I have backed up my comments with the link to the actuaries report and States resolutions. These are not inaccuracies they speak for themselves.

I don't have a relationship with any regular posters! Ha ha what are you saying? This isn't exactly match.com is it. Confrontations are what this forum is built on. You really are being dim.

Of course I understand how the States Pension scheme works, you are saying it's a ponzi scheme but it's not because it has £936,493,000 assets. Maybe you were unaware of this value because it wasn't one of the numbers Rabble rouser forman chose to put in his post.

Extra funding comes from changes to the rate of employer contribution. If more is needed to meet the funding target then the rate is increased, if less is needed, it is decreased which is what happened last year. In the 1990s the rate was much higher but they slashed it drastically to reduce the surplus and only increased it back to a sensible level a few years ago when the fund slipped into deficit.

I very much doubt the working population of Guernsey will fall as I expect the immigration policy will be agreed well before then.

Neil Forman

Spartacus

I don' know if my post went through, if not I ill repost tomorrow. Problem with internet tonight.

Neil Forman

Spartacus

Sticks and stones etc, you can hurl insults as much as you like, I am big and ugly enough to take it.

Your post at 1.57PM yesterday needs a few corrections.

Only the contributions to the States trading entities i.e. Post, Electric, GFSC & the States Members were decreased, the combined pool stayed the same.

The Actuaries report is based on assumptions, I prefer to look at the final accounts, this gives the true figures, I quote from the 2011 final accounts ( these being the latest available ).

The fund opening balance was £930,000,000.

Contributions paid were £45,200,000

Depreciation of investments were £36,000,000

Pensions and lump sums paid were £42,700,000

The closing balance was £896,500,000

Present value of scheme liabilities £1,278,063,000 ( no typo ).

If you take liabilities from the closing balance you are left with a deficit of £381,563,000. ( fact ).

I know what the numbers mean, do you?

I think anybody who knows me will agree that I do not backtrack unless I am proved wrong. If I am proved wrong I will hold my hands up and admit it.

I will let Iron Maiden tell you about her group if she wants to. I am not a member but have attended a number of times since the election.

The e-mail is not just about the pensions.it was from a group called S.T.E.W.

Spartacus

Neil Forman

You are quite right the combined pool contribution rate did not increase or decrease - why is that do you think? Because the target level is on track of course!

The actuarial valuation is based on real market values not assumptions. This represents real assets - investments which can be cashed. It is the liabilities which are based on actuarial assumptions. The deficit is not real. If a high earner died shortly after retirement it could wipe out the deficit immediately. The public sector comprises 5,500 employees. Of course the numbers will be big what do you expect?

Why have you attended meetings since the election are you targeting groups to gain political support?

I googled S.T.E.W. and got recipes.

GM

Spartacus

It is crystal clear that you have zero understanding of assets and liabilities. If you think that the scheme is fine because its got £900m-odd of assets, but have not taken into accounts its liabilities, which are some £300m higher, then you really are out of your depth.

You also clearly have no idea how actuaries work. Life expectancies are calculated on cross-mortality figures across large numbers of people. Deaths prior to expected life expectancy averages are already fully factored in, as are those who outlive the average life expectancy. That's how averages are reached!

In your own words, if the scheme needs to be topped up by extra contributions then that's what happens, That's precisely the point! The contributor would be the States of Guernsey, which means each and every one of us as taxpayers, p,us our children and grandchildren. That means extra taxes to pay for it! That's why everyone is so concerned about it. And so would you be if you had even the faintest comprehension of it, which you clearly don't.

Again, your sheer ignorance of how present contributions fund future benefits is exposed, So our working population in 20 years time will be large enough to be making enough contributions to pay for future pensioners' defined benefits will it? Not a chance. The cumulative contributions need to be built up over many years in order to fund the pension entitlements of existing and new members of the scheme.

You are so lacking in knowledge that you are exposing yourself as a complete idiot. Yet you accuse everyone else who understands the position extremely well as the idiots!

Neil Forman is absolutely spot in with his analysis. You just don't want to admit either that he is right or, more specifically, that you don't know what you are talking about. After all, Spartacus is never wrong about anything.....

Spartacus

GM

I'm not out of my depth at all. In this case assets are real, liabilities are future contingencies, you know that.

You misunderstood what I was saying. Taking into account the average, which after all is just a very rough guess, if one EXTRA high earner died and was taken out of the actuarial equation it would clear the deficit. After all the deficit is just a formulaic guess based on odds isn't it. Yes GM it is.

I agree that if the target funding is below expectations it needs to be topped up by adjusting the contribution rate but of course this will not automatically result in higher taxes. Besides the current funding IS on target which contradicts what you have been claiming.

I KNOW present contributions HELP to fund future benefits bit notwithstanding this there is a very large fund of assets which you are conveniently ignoring! If employer and employee contributions ceased, it would take many years to deplete this fund, the cumulative contributions HAVE already been built up over many years, not so long ago there was a large surplus and the contribution rate was slashed dramatically. Doesn't suit your dogma though does it.

Insulting me will not change these facts. You are just rabble rousing like Mr Forman.

Neil Forman

Spartacus

If all was rosy with the pension scheme, why like Ray says are they carrying out a review?

Why do most Deputies say it is unsustainable?

Why is the deficit growing?

The only reason this pension scheme has not been forced to close is because it can rely on Joe 'Muggins' Public to bail it out.

The problem is that our reserves are dropping and in a few years there will not be enough money to balance this.

Why should the taxpayer, of which many are finding it hard to balance their own books, be expected to struggle even more to fund this scheme for the select few. Who realistically have a much better job security than most.

This scheme as is will bankrupt this Island.

Your arguments are laughable, as GM says you do not understand this subject.

As for the right wing label you give us, why do you think they call it ' RIGHT ' wing;-))

I have attended meetings since the election when asked for a number of reasons, mainly because I like to hear people's views on current issues. Some of the sitting deputies should also attend, it might open their eyes a bit.

I don't need to target groups to gain support, you are doing it for me;-))

You won't find S.T.E.W. on Google yet, it's a new group.

GM

Spartacus

Having re-read your latest post, I stand by absolutely everything I stated earlier. You are even further out of your depth than I thought.

Actuaries just make a rough guess do they? Well - they have Guernsey average life expectancy rates over many decades to work from. Across a statistical spectrum of 5,000 people, a minuscule variance from the statistical average might be experienced. Lets say they turn out to be wrong by maybe or 3 months. That's not materially going to affect a £391m actuarial shortfall is it?!

What a ridiculous comment that one early death could wipe out the entire shortfall. What - £391m worth? Are you for real? On that basis if two members more lived until 100 then our current £391m shortfall would increase to nearly £1.2billion! Are you sure you have understood what £391m actually means? Are you sure you know what an actuary is?

Way, way, out of your depth.

Spartacus

Neil Forman

Yawn, more stupid questions.

I can't even be bothered to answer GM as he clearly believes that statistics and actuaries rather than nature dictate when a person will die and I have no answer to that stupidity.

Why are they carrying out a review? I have answered - the UK had one that's why. However the UK did not have hundreds of millions of assets in their pension fund like we do. Many private sector pension schemes were reformed the same way to shift the risks to the employee. I'll say that again TO SHIFT THE RISKS TO THE EMPLOYEE.

Why do most Deputies say it is unsustainable?

I'm not convinced that is a true comment. Care to list names?

Why is the deficit growing?

I have explained to you before that the States decreased the contribution rate by half when there was a huge surplus in the 90s and they did not react when investment values started to fall only raising the contribution rate again with effect from around 2010. Investment values have fallen and they have made changes to the investment strategy. The above explains why a deficit arose and grew but I'm not convinced the deficit is still growing now.

What makes you think our reserves are dropping?

Why should the taxpayer have to fund this scheme? Because the alternative is that the taxpayer will have to fund compensation payouts and higher salaries to ensure the public sector remains competitive. Also I have explained to you before that I think there is a risk in SHIFTING PENSION RISKS TO THE EMPLOYEE. any individuals who fall victim to those risks will end up with inadequate funding in old age and then who picks up the tab? SSD of course, just a different form of publicly funded DB pension scheme.

You are saying again that the scheme will bankrupt the island but that simply is not provable. That is scaremongering.

I will speculate that the outcome of the review will be a compromise which will involve concessions by the employees which will be compensated and some changes to the scheme will be made in view of the changing demographics however it cannot be scrapped as you would like.

You think my arguments are laughable but that is because you don't understand them. I read your tribunal report and I thought your arguments about alcohol mouthwash were laughable as was the whole affair.

Funny how all you right wing twits suddenly claimed to be left wing when I provided the evidence that left wingers are more intelligent.

Neil Forman

Spartacus

Ahh, so when all else fails resort to personal attacks about something you don't know about.

I cannot comment about the tribunal at this present time but will be happy to do so in the future.

I have checked with my lawyer and I can put you right on one aspect.

You should back up your statements with facts, ( now where have I heard that before )?

Look at section 9 of the following link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathalyzer#Products_that_interfere_with_testing

Spartacus

Neil Forman

It's still amusing, sorry and my comment was tit for tat for your jibe at me, no personal attack intended.

Maybe you need to imagine yourself in the shoes of a public sector worker as it is pretty clear that if anyone tries to change your employment contract you would stand up and fight for your rights. Knowing this I find your stance in this debate is a bit strange.

Amused Observer

Ha ha ha The constant personal attacks are not intended. Well there fine then.

If you ignore it - it might go away!

GM

Spartacus

You are wrong - I do understand your arguments.

You are right - I find them laughable.

I suggest you do a crash course on "An Introduction to the world of an actuary". You might then understand what they do, and why they are universally used to evaluate pension schemes and life assurance premiums. It's actually very simple. They deal with historical facts, current trends and predictions based on those facts and trends. They deal with large statistical samples to smooth out variances which would result from smaller samples. The main variances which affects pension schemes are life expectancy, quantum of contributions, investment returns and quantum of benefits. The equations need to balance. The States of Guernsey cannot control life expectancy. They cannot control investment returns. They CAN control quantum of benefits, and they can only control quantum of contributions if the taxpayer, as the employer, can afford the contributions. Is it all starting to make sense yet?

Have you had a chance yet to dream up a response to my question about how you think the early death of one member might wipe out a £390m deficit? I'm eagerly awaiting that response as I need a good laugh.

What I find remarkable about your rabid defence of the pension scheme is that you claim not to be a member of it or have any interest in it. It doesn't stack up.

Spartacus

GM

They can't control quantum of benefits which they have already committed to make.

They can control quantum of contributions but then they run the risk that the fund will be depleted and they will still have the liability but no provision to pay for it.

The early death of one member would not wipe out the cumulative deficit but could make the difference between a surplus and deficit in that particular year.

I'm not a member of the public sector pension scheme however I understand and support the provision of public services, unlike you.

GM

Spartacus

How do you think the original benefits level was set? It was by States decision. Any decision to change that benefits level can be made in exactly the same way - by States decision. That applies equally to contribution levels. Like everything else, the States have to cut their cloth accordingly. Which bit if that do you not understand?

A surplus or deficit in any particular year is not the issue at all, and you well know it. How do you propose the existing £390m deficit is covered? You don't seem to be able to grasp firstly that such a deficit exists, or how it can be covered.

Spartacus

GM

Clearly the bit you don't understand is that cutting the contribution rate will only INCREASE the deficit and solve nothing in the long term. The liability will not decrease by cutting the contributions.

Another bit you don't understand is that the current deficit does not need to be covered it is fine and the important thing is that funding target levels are on track which they are which is why the SOG have resolved NOT to change the contribution rate at the present time.

You can argue back and forth all you like but these simple facts will remain.

GM

Spartacus

You really are being thick.

Contribution levels will fall (a) because the much higher cost of defined benefits will be replaced by a defined benefit scheme, and (b) the size of the public sector will be cut.

The risk exposure of excessive longevity to taxpayers will pass back from the taxpayer to the scheme member, JUST LIKE ALL OTHER PENSION SCHEMES IN THE REAL WORLD TODAY! (Sorry that I felt the need to shout, but you made it necessary).

Please don't try to insist that your comments are "facts". You are once again using that defective useless dictionary which you kept using re the term "subsidy" when we "debated" fee-paying schools,

How many are supporting you on these threads? What does that tell you? Nobody is agreeing with you.

Neil Forman

Spartacus

The fund is 93% funded, that may seem o.k. But it is not.

When you are talking in millions / billions it gets scary.

The only way this can be sorted is either increasing employee contributions or amending the benefits. The taxpayer cannot afford to keep throwing money into this bottomless pit.

Personally I would stop new entrants now ( should have happened a long time ago ) and tell new staff they will be invited to join whatever pension scheme that is available after the review.

What is apparent is that this scheme will be changed next year. It has too.

How many overspends could be funded from the amount of money we pump into this.

If we actually gt rid of poor performing staff instead of shifting them sideways and hiring more, we would not be in this mess.

Read a book titled Rat Kig by Michael Dibdin, and read the description of the Rat King, sounds familiar to me.

Spartacus

GM

a) I think you mean defined contribution?

We will see what if anything will be changed in relation to the current scheme. You seem to forget that employees pay into this scheme too. We will know soon enough what the proposals are. The existing defined benefits which have accrued will not change.

b) If the size of the public sector is cut (as if) then the number of contributions would decrease but the liabilities would decrease slowly over decades. You can't now reduce the benefits of people who have retired and are drawing on the fund. Therefore the contribution rate would need to increase to maintain the funding target if there were fewer contributions going in.

There are still DB pension schemes around - what are you talking about?

Facts are facts GM, just because you find them unpalatable does not make them fictitious. Do you really think the deficit needs to be cleared? It is there by design not by accident. You seem to be struggling to understand the concepts.

I won't feed the troll by responding to your childish insults.

Spartacus

Neil Forman

I get the impression the penny is beginning to drop but P2490 onwards will help you.

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=3953&p=0

The funding is fine it is only scary if you don't understand. The scheme doesn't have to change but I accept there is a popular notion that defined benefits are undesirable. There are pros and cons as I have explained.

We will all have to wait and see what has been reviewed and negotiated. I suspect there will be a concession regarding retirement age but clearly, all benefits that have accrued or which are already in people's contracts must be honoured. New entrants and existing members are partially funding the scheme so the contribution rate would surely need to increase if the existing scheme is closed to new entrants. Would you be happy with that?

I agree with Dave Jones that you cannot tell new staff that there is no pension arrangement. You have to offer them what we have now or they will not know what they are signing up to which would be ridiculous.

You seem to think we can stop or reduce the funding of the pension scheme for new entrants but you fail to acknowledge that the pension is a significant part of the remuneration package and if this was reduced the salaries would be higher to keep the package competitive. It is a red herring that net savings can be found in this area.

Regarding poorly performing staff, well how on earth would you have a clue whether staff are meeting their objectives? You need to find evidence not rely on hearsay and tittle tattle. How do you ever expect to be taken seriously when you confuse gossip with fact?

I will try to get hold of your book recommendation - I suppose you model yourself on the Ratking?

GM

Spartacus

Yes, I meant defined contribution. Well spotted.

Nobody is suggesting for one moment that existing accrued benefits will be affected in any way. It is possible by applying tried and tested actuarial principles to put a current monetary value on the accrued benefits, and all future pension benefits can be based on defined contributions thereafter.

There are very few defined benefits schemes remaining. Companies are all closing their defined benefits schemes, if they have not already done so, because the contingent liabiility causes them to be insolvent. It is a breach of company law to trade whilst insolvent.

Facts are indeed facts Spartacus. You just use a different definition.

To suggest that the pension deficit was intentional is a ridiculous statement. Please expand on the thought process behind that pearl of wisdom. It's like saying that you remortgaged your house to pay off your credit card bills. All intentional of course, conveniently ignoring the follow of creating the problem in the first place.

Spartacus

GM

You need to read page 2504 re funding target. It is not necessary to cover 100% of the contingent liabilities unless you are winding up the fund. The deficit has therefore been AGREED.

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=3953&p=0

GM

Spartacus

Utter nonsense - it still needs to be paid for eventually out of assets which don't exist, and with the taxpayer unable to afford to cover the shortfall and being unwilling to pay more taxes to fund it.

As the scheme will inevitably close and be run down, this cannot be dismissed as nonchalently as you suggest.

Your approach is no different from continually taking out new credit cards to borrow more money to pay off the old ones. Eventually you reach a tipping point. It seems pretty clear to me that many taxpayers on this thread, with you being the sole exveption, have reached that tipping point.

Meanwhile, in Spartacusland, the pile being swept under the carpet gets ever higher, and Queen Spartacus merely crosses her fingers and hopes that the problem will go away.

Spartacus

GM

It's not like using credit cards at all, the fund has assets and they make a return, this is the opposite of credit cards which are negative balances on which you have to pay interest.

I'm done with your bs. No interest in continuing to debate.

GM

Spartacus

So its "bs" is it? What you completely fail to grasp is that continuing just means robbing Peter to pay Paul. And for "Peter", read every Guernsey taxpayer for this and the next two generations.

And the "spend" side of my credit card analogy is that by allowing the scheme to continue amended, we incur new and growing long-tailed pension liabilities ad infinitum, liabilities which Guernsey simply cannot fund.

Very good of you to throw in the towel once you've realised and accepted that you were always out of your depth on this topic and simply hadn't grasped the issues at all.

Spartacus

GM

No one is being robbed to pay Paul SOG are simply paying a package of salary and benefits to employees. It really is that simple.

SOG don't incur "new and growing" liabilities ad infinitum due to the pension set up. That's bs. The public sector is not growing, contrary to the popular misunderstanding which Yvonne Burford neatly cleared up the other day.

When a civil servant leaves the service their pension entitlement does not continue to grow it is curtailed and replaced by a new pension liability for the new employee, starting from zero. That's if the position is even filled by recruitment rather than absorbed by moving someone sideways in which case the overall liability will be reduced.

No one is spending on credit as you are trying to imply. The analogy makes no sense at all. It is just more bs.

The reason I'm throwing in the towel is purely because I'm fed up of your insults and bs. You are the one who is refusing to acknowledge the reality of the situation but you don't care because you know it is a popular dogma you are peddling.

I have shown you the evidence which everyone can see, you are disputing the facts themselves, not my opinion and so it is a waste of time trying to debate.

GM

Spartacus

The sole reason why you think it's "so simple" is because you clearly haven't understood it, as is clearly evidenced by other posters on the thread who have very clearly grasped the situation.

As for alleged "bs and insults", I think the words "pot", "kettle" and "black" jump out. If you can't take it, then don't dish it out.

Neil Forman

GM

Give up mate, she will never see what we can.

Ray

GM @ 11.46am

Thank you for putting it in simple terms for Mrs Spartacus Mr GM

If you're still having trouble grasping it Sparts ask child A to spell it out for you in black or white,your choice

GM

Ray

Unfortunately, Spartacus even struggles with "simple" but even that doesn't usually work.

Johno

Neil

As you rightly say those figures are absolutely staggering.

I thought the figures for the consultants were bad enough, but the figures for the Civil Service pensions have left me dumbfounded.

All this talk of saving money here and there by for example mortgage relief adjustments, pales into insignificance along side the pensions. Has anybody noticed how this subject (pensions) seems to have conveniently been taken off the radar!

Spartacus

I gather an independent panel is reviewing the CS pension arrangements and negotiating with the unions. Due to report back in Jan 2013.

Ray

Spartacus @ 11.01am 22 November

Have a read of your own post again and ask yourself WHY an independent panel has been set up to review the CS pension scheme if as you claim everything is honky dory

I say this in a caring way but isn't it time to swallow hard and quietly withdraw from this thread?

Spartacus

Ray

Public demand. UK had a review so we have to have one too.

I'll be happy to withdraw from this thread when people stop asking me stupid questions.

Ray

Spartacus @ 4.37pm

... and WHY do you think there is public demand Spartacus?

blab

Absolute joke. Why do we need a review! Just stop the scheme.

As with everything else we'll just get a threatened strike at the end of it and nothing will change. This islands politicians need to grow a pair and do this. Anyone quits because of it then fair enough they can try living in the real world

We need action now!

Spartacus

Because states employees have employment contracts. They won't quit they will stay in their jobs and sue if their contracts are breached. They need to agree to any changes. Fact of life.

sijsiujs

really? I think you will find you are incorrect!

guern abroad

It is not as black and white as that, in that employers have a process that is followed when changes need to be made. Still could go the UK root, lets layoff half the civil service so we can afford the pension scheme or would you rather keep the jobs and reach an affordable arrangement?

However the sooner the scheme is stopped for new employees the better and the sooner the public will have any faith in the States being restored that they can manage the piggy bank. I expect that it is not rocket science to put in place contributer pension schemes that both the employee and employer add to.

Spartacus

I think laying off half the civil service would be financial suicide due to compensation and chaos.

Closing the scheme to new entrants while it is in deficit is also open to question.

I believe employees currently do contribute to the existing DB pension fund.

It will be interesting to see what agreement is reached between the unions and review panel and whether the proposals will be agreed by the States.

Me

The figures speak for them selves,Niel has just made us aware of them so very timely. The more people make thier feelings known the more the more pressure there will be on changing the system. You can not rely on the states making the right discision for themselves as learnt from years gone by. There seems to be a inherant problem of "lets not rock the boat", so what is wrong with us being passionate about our island and its future? You can be ashured this system would carry on for many years to come if we could cover the extra taxes and not complain about it. We need at the very least stop the scheme to new commers ASAP. I would ask every one to not be detured by comments that they have it in hand, they dont! Its a mess! and yes may be a hole big mess to sort but it will be even bigger if we sit back and do nothing. Neil keep up the good work!

Neil Forman

Me

Thanks fr your support.

I gree with you.

Ray

Zab appears to be living in a parallel universe where every Tom,Dick or Mohammed can turn up at Heathrow or Dover Town Hall and demand to be housed immediately,with an almost 100% success rate whether it be in a spare house,flat or expensive hotel room

Just a cotton pickin' minute,that's not a parallel universe that's the UK under Labour's disastrous left wing social policies which led to Treasury Secretary Liam Byrne leaving a note for his incoming Conservative successor which read 'Dear Chief Secretary I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left"

Well Zab,you are no doubt well aware of it but there is always a boat in the morning if you want to take your chances in a country which is decades away from repairing the damage caused by your favoured unsustainable something for nothing policies

Neil Forman

Johno

I agree, they have to get their wn house in order before hitting the taxpayer.

This is what most promised.

blab

The pension issue keeps coming up on these forumjs and despite deputies responding to issues when it suits them this particular issue is ignored. I'd rather spend £1.5m on HSSD than support an unrealistic pension scheme. JOKE!!

Dave Jones

Blab

This issue has not been ignored by Deputies, there is currently a review taking place on ending the present pension scheme and replacing it with one which is fairer and more sustainable.

Deputies have commented on this issue several times and I have posted my views on here before.

We cannot end the present scheme to new entrants until there is something available to replace it. We still need to recruit and new recruits will want to know what the pension scheme is.

We can't just say Err"..... we don't have one at present, we have just scrapped it.

why not

Err sorry why can't you say that? Lot's of companies have no pension scheme

GM

Dave Jones

There is an easy answer. New recruits have contractual defined contributions put aside and ring fenced with (say) a 5% per annum return accruing on it and when the replacement scheme is ready, the funds are transferred to that. The new recruits have their pensions totally protected.

With all these expensive consultants being paid, are none of them capable of finding simple solutions like that?

My consultancy fee invoice is in the post.

angek

Wow I reckon you could get £100k for that advice!

Zab

Dave Jones,

come on "Err we don't have one at present, we have just scrapped em.".

Standard reply to House requests EVERYDAY at Housuing for decades!

Dave Jones

Sorry Zab you will have to elaborate.

You clearly have a downer on the Housing department as many of your posts illustrate but I do need a little more in order to decipher your comment.

Zab

Dave Jones,

You are indeed correct that I have a very low opinion of the Housing dept and the States as a whole with regard to their social policies and treatment of a large portion of our population.

However please do not think I am singleing you out, I actually believe you are more caring than most of your co members, however I do think you wear the rose tinted spectacles, also having a habit of over egging the bread in things you have a hand in, which can wind people up.

The comment in question is satire, you appear to believe it is inappropriate to inform job seekers that we have scrapped the pension scheme, whilst being totally unaware of the reply from housing to requests for a home.

"Err we dont have one at present...."

Most of the housing service users did not need the explanation.

Your over egged view is housing is "doing a good job" many from the perspective of your waiting list or their overpriced hovels take a different assesment of the quality of delivery achieved. I was merely trying to encourage you to end the denial that is endemic in our goveernment, that all is rosy in the garden. So that we might move the debate from denial to resoloution and actually tackle and end the problem rather than this continuous "we are on top of it tripe".

Spartacus

Zab

Very fair comments.

Perhaps we need an independent review of the housing department's failings.

Dave Jones

Zab

Neither I nor the Housing department as a whole are looking at Guernsey’s housing problems through “rose tinted spectacles” and we most certainly do not deny there is an affordable housing problem.

Every media interview I give states clearly that we need to do much more to address the issue of the shortage of social housing. I have done nothing else recently other than bang on about the need for more land. My view is that we have made a good start after 3 decades or more of inertia by past States Housing authorities and the States as a whole to address the problem.

We have been on a massive rebuild and refurbishment programme over the last 10 years and it will continue as long as we can find sites to build social housing. We have removed 140 high earners from States properties, freeing up 140 homes for those on the waiting list and we are spending millions on the provision of extra care housing for older people as the demographic problem descends upon us.

In addition we have made significant provision for those with disabilities and on the new Longue Rue site there will be several units of housing for those with special needs. So we are trying to address the needs of the various groups that need housing in Guernsey.

On the issue of people living in the private rental sector, myself and my department backed the SSD report directing financial help to those struggling to live in this sector, so I don’t accept your criticism that we are not looking at these problems from the wrong end of the telescope. I will continue to defend Housing's efforts and I will continue to press for more land on which to build lots of Social housing for those who wish to take it up.

On the issue of pensions we need to recruit to all our public services and whatever you think of the present scheme those people recruited will want too know what the pension provisions are and just to sat,well we have scrapped the old scheme and we are at present putting together a new pension scheme will not give any confidence to those people we need to help staff our services.

Spartacus

Dave Jones

"I have done nothing else recently other than bang on about the need for more land."

What is the process? Is anything proactive being done about acquiring land? What kind of sites are you looking for?

Spartacus

Dave Jones

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2012/11/23/the-days-of-the-uks-tax-havens-are-numbered-the-treasury-is-taking-steps-to-shatter-their-secrecy-forever/

I read your interesting comments at the bottom of this article.

Whilst it sounds like your department is bending over backwards to help the wealthy to come here in the hope that Guernsey will become like Monaco, I would be interested to hear the answer to my question - what is being done to proactively find land for social housing?

bcb

I read it too Spartacus.

I wouldn`t mind betting the Monaco ref as a bit tongue in cheek? even if not i didn`t read anywhere where he said he (or his department) "hoped" Guernsey will become like Monaco?

Also didn`t read where or even implied anybody was bending over backwards to help the wealthy to come here?.

Spartacus

bcb

I said "sounds like" and it certainly sounds like that to me.

" We could become another Monaco the options for a small beautiful island are endless."

" since the screening of island hospital my department at Housing is being inundated with requests on information from wealthy people who want to come and settle here."

Still waiting to hear what is being done about finding suitable sites.

I note that Matt Fallaize has said it was a mistake for Housing to put all its eggs in one social housing basket ie. GHA. I agree.

Me

Sparticus

Refering to your question about finding more land for social housing, If you read the latest housing document it seems they have made there point very clear. They are asking land owners (HTA's) to bribe them into getting planning permision. "You scratch my back.." it certainly reads that way to me. This seems to be the new way of thinking.

Spartacus

Me

Thank you - do you have a link for that document? As usual the gov.gg search engine fails to deliver results for HTA or housing target areas.

Me

I couldn't find it on gov.gg but this is the link to Neil Formans post with the link to the document, thats how i found it!

http://www.thisisguernsey.com/news/2012/10/08/five-sites-identified-as-possibles-to-fulfill-growing-need-for-social-housing/

Spartacus

Me

Thanks for the link. I agree with you completely.

islander

Transfer The States Superannual Pension Scheme into an independent private company.this taking out the taxpayers from contributing.

A.J.

As I see it, a simple rule of life that we can all understand is, If you cannot 'afford it' then, you cannot have it ! simple . Stop making promises that are, or will be, impossible to keep. There will always be differing opinions when it comes to money.On one side you have those that give, and on the other you have those that receive. In the case of the Civil Service Pension plan,part of the imbalance (unlike most private and Company plans) is caused by the inclusion of money supplied by the taxpayer. A 'double whammy' for the rest of us.

why not

yes as per the mortgage relief debate being argued on the grounds of fairness how the blinking eck can this pension scheme be fair to taxpayers

Why we have to have a review is beyond me. Custard castle is full of people paying consultants to do their jobs. Just stop the scheme and put in place a defined contribution plan.....can i have a consultancy fee now please?

Dave Jones

Spartacus

Bring it on, we will be here.

Dave Jones

Spratacus

My comment on Monaco was to illustrate what might be possible if we loose large chunks of our finance sector and have to remodel our economy.

We are working with Enviroment and the Land use Planning group to identify suitable sites for social housing. I would like to see all the upper parishes find sites for 20 homes on brown field sites. We are looking at what redundant sites in States ownership might becoma available The old Cstel Hospital site as one example. so there is a lot going on behinde the scenes.

Spartacus

Dave Jones

Thanks for the clarification which adds weight to my concerns.

Will 20 homes in the upper parishes bring you to the target of 300 per year which I gather always falls short?

Castel Hospital would be a major long term development but people need homes immediately.

I agree many of the properties which are acquired need major upgrade as you mentioned on the radio but they should not be lying empty for 4 years when families are sofa surfing.

Dave Jones

Spartacus

Because you hear something has been empty for along time does not mean hat housing are not trying to resolve the issue.

The property mentioned this morning needs many tens of thousand spent on it to bring it up to modern standards which in part is what the problem has been in trying to sell it.

We have had so many false dawns with people showing interest in the property and then changing their mind for whatever reason at the last miniute or because the banks surveyors give a report that make the bank nervous and they won't sanction the loan or whatever. Housing have therefor decidided to offer it to Sarnia Housing who may wish to have it at a knock down lease but that has to be sanctions by T&R but I am confident it will be resolved shortly.

On your other point, 20 homes in each parish would be in addition to other sites we would want to secure for more housing but I will keep my foot on the pedal until the problems are resolved or I leave the States or die which ever comes first.

Spartacus

Dave Jones

Thanks for the explanation. The first I heard was this morning on the radio and I was gobsmacked that a family house and flats had been lying empty for 4 years. Many homes, private and rented are not up to modern standards but are occupied none the less.

Dave Jones

Spartacus

Ref Matt's comments this morning

I have since sent him the following.

Currently the GHA have some 80 million of borrowing on their books to cover the social housing and Partial ownership schemes that have recently been constructed or in the case of some of PO been refurbished.

That amount of money does not include what the Corporate Housing Fund puts in as grant funding at the beginning of the projects as agreed under the framework agreement.

The grants given vary, depending on the size of the development but the average is about 35% which includes land values of land handed over for re builds and in the case of Cour du Parc complete refurbishment.

Had the States Housing Dept done all these new builds themselves, the CHP would by now have been wiped out, possibly even a couple of years ago and then some.

In addition the Housing Dept would be looking at expensive bills for years to come maintaining all these properties and worse we would be no further forward in terms of addressing the social need in housing simply because we would still not have the land to push further programmes forward for housing provision.

So we would now be broke, we would have had no funds to do the two Extra Care housing projects,which includes a number of units for those in special needs.

We would have to have ended our annual funding for Action for Children which helps youngsters learn about independent living and there would be no more Partial ownership homes as the money to fund them would be gone.

In addition had we done all this ourselves, we would have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on architects ,engineers and planning applications, not to mention many more thousands on project managers and other supervision of these proposed States projects (just like the schools) and we would not have a single unit of social housing above what we have now for a fraction of the work or the cost.

As it is we still have money left in the CHP (about 50 million) to continue to provide lots more social housing once the land issues have been resolved.

In addition as the GHA grows and it gets the critical mass it needs to completely wash its own face financially, the grant funding will become less, until it ceases all together.

The States will continue to get the vast majority of allocations for these social rental homes through our joint waiting lists, with none of the on going costs. Because the CHP fund was not wiped out, That leaves money in the General revenue fund for all the other departments and the social housing issues continue to be addressed. Any other model doesn't, work and believe me we have looked at several ideas of what we might do to help speed things along, it always comes back to land and money.

So it is a win win situation for the taxpayer and those looking for social housing.

Dave Jones

Me

It is nothing of the kind,

If you want developers to keep building homes on land that are out of reach of people on low incomes, then we can carry on as before.

What Housing is saying, is that developers should be required by way of a planning covenant to make provision for some social rental on these sites, it is no more complicated than that.

Land is a scarce resource and we simply have to look at how it is used in a much more intelligent way.

getting angry

All we are doing is talking and as long as we do this they will do as they are, sit happily looking forward to a nice comfortable nest egg. we have to start thinking like the French and form a protest to stop this c s pension scheme. It seems to be the only option as nobody in the custard castle wants to rock the boat, in house that is! I am beginning to brand this lot with the same crowd who turn up at the social every week. You could also argue that the one defending the scheme is probably set to benefit from it, that's if the boat don't sink first. Remember you will be protesting for your kids future in Guernsey.

angek

A protest would be pointless....the masses from custard catsle will poor out onto the streets and deputies will get cold feet for any change.

Wouldn't suprise me if us taxpayers are paying for a lobbyist to protect this thieving scheme

Indignados

"to protect this thieving scheme"

Are we back to talking about tax avoidance again?