Alternative funding might be needed for capital projects

THE States has been warned it may need to find other ways to fund capital projects after consistently not hitting its annual target of spending 3% of GDP.

Professor Geoffrey Wood

THE States has been warned it may need to find other ways to fund capital projects after consistently not hitting its annual target of spending 3% of GDP.

According to the latest independent review of the States’ fiscal policy, the government is spending only 2% of gross domestic product on its capital programme and may need to look at alternative funding streams.

In his annual review, Professor Geoffrey Wood, pictured, said: ‘Current reserves are sufficient to pay for the current programme, although in 2012 and 2013 expenditure from the capital reserve is expected to surpass funds allocated to it from General Reserve.

‘However, if the capital programme were to continue on a similar scale to that currently under way, it raises the question of whether it will be possible to replenish reserves to the level needed for contingencies such as breakwater repairs and other emergencies.’

Comments for: "Alternative funding might be needed for capital projects "

Rustylink

It is high time the States of Guernsey and each of the individual Deputies and Ministers understand the implications of continuing to fund expenditures (even for capital investments) from reserves.

Questor

I think it's partly because they think they are supporting local industry by spending on infrastructure projects. However, much of the labour and many of the suppliers are non-local, so I'm not sure the end result is as positive as expected/hoped.

Dave Jones

What we need to do is to go back to what we used to do and do things as we could afford them.

The problem is people want to pay 20p in the pound taxes but they demand 50p in the pound services.

We have spent millions over the last 20 years on infrastructure projects from schools, hospital buildings the airport and the harbours and we may have to take a breather until we have built up sufficient funds to continue with other projects.

We keep being told that we should borrow the money, I could not disagree more, the UK is in the mess it is in because it borrowed for years and now it can't pay it's debts.

Guernsey has no debts at all and the small structural deficit is manageable. We need to see where the economy is going in the next year or so and continue making savings in government expenditure and islanders will have to

understand that we can't have what we can't afford. It may come as a shock to many as we have been used to having 40 or 50 million pound surpluses every year, those days are gone.

We will come into surplus again but our main priorities at the moment must be to look after the bussines we have get the open for bussiness sign out and reduce all unnecessary government spending.

Grow the economy which will create jobs and the rest will come slowly.

We as a States have to get our act together quickly into this new term, get our heads down and start making the changes that we will need to do if we are to survive opin an ever increasing hostile world.

Forest

Dave I agree with much of what you have said, but to say islanders need to understand that they can't have what they can't afford is rather insulting. I think you need to redirect this message towards the civil service and certain deputies that as far as I can see are carrying on like we're still in the halcyon days of past. Meanwhile, the rest of us are fully aware of how tight things are and are doing everything we can to make ends meet while government carries on spending (sorry wasting) our hard earned cash.

Scarlett

I'm with Forest, Dave, it's not the public who are demanding these things, it's politicians and the civil servants who run our island making these choices whilst the rest of us try as best we can to tighten our belts and spend less.

The airport project is a classic example, cheaper perfectly acceptable options available, but most expensive option chosen, then, to add insult to injury, foreign labor brought in to do the job, not even housed in existing local accommodation (that would put at least some monies back into the economy), whilst the local building industry is dying on it's feet.

Seems to be do as I tell you not as I do with our establishment, and I for one am entirely sick of my money being spent like there's no tomorrow.

Scarlett

And whilst on the subject of the airport, finance was starting to contract before the choice was made to spend ridiculous amounts of money on it. Was it a case of, 'if we build it, they will come'...or in our case, 'won't go'...?

Finance shrinking, tourism dire, no viable alternative industries properly explored, the locals increasingly skint (not helped by increasing taxes to fill the black hole created by, among other things, stupid decisions like choosing the most expensive option for the airport project), so can't afford to holiday abroad as much as they once did, and a nice shiny, expensive state of the art airport and runway with no bugger to use it, great stuff.

Dave Jones

Scarlett

Not from where I am sitting, we are busy trying to find more ways of cutting government expenditure and that includes our staff whose job it is to come up with the solutions.

As for the airport, there were cheaper options but some of them were unacceptable to the CAA who oversea improvements at regional airports.

Using local companies was an issue I raised at the time the contract was awarded, however it was considered to be a decision of the main contractor on how much would be given to local companies.

There is no doubt that there was not any company on the island that could have done the airport contract on its own and you cannot argue that Lagan do not have huge experience of building and refurbishing airports. They are also, by all accounts doing a very good job.

Indignados

It wasn't the deputies or civil servants who wanted an an all-singing, all-dancing airport/runway, it was business leaders; who as usual won the day. Just as they did for zero-10 which has led to the current deficit (badly timed to coincide with the global financial crisis which began in 2008, and once again caused by...business leaders!).

I suggest therefore that it is business leaders who are here to pay low tax who want gold-level services, but aren't willing to pay for it, so the rest of us Guerns are expected to!

As to Dave Jones comment that we will be able to balance the books again in the future, can you not see that the permanent contraction of offshore finance began in 2008? Nothing lasts forever and we can no longer rely on the finance sector for our future. Sure it has a future here (I hope), but not in its current form, it is my firm belief that it will shrink by a third or even a half in the next 10 years. So, any sort of growth is going to be small and slow, and only then if we are lucky. 'Balancing the books' is years down the line and only after the introduction of GST like Jersey. Having said all that we are still in a better position than the Isle of Man, Jersey or the UK. But it is going to be painful for many folks with many departers.

Scarlett

Dave, I'm sorry, but....

the States have been ruminating for years and years about diversification and to date, done nothing of any proper value about the problem. Even in the face of the inevitable shrinkage of the finance industry, Kevin and co continues to 'think' about the oncoming problem, without doing anything really constructive, presenting any well thought out alternatives, and is still 'reassuring' finance that in his - the States - minds, finance is still no 1...

like they didn't already know.

'Some' of the alternatives for the airport project, that is the key word, 'some',were unacceptable.

We, that is, the States, in the face of a black hole and seven shades of hell descending upon us with 0-10, worldwide recession backlash inevitably hitting us, and god knows what else, decided on the most expensive option when we didn't have to, and employed a whole bunch of imported labor to do the job (who send most their money off island) to boot.

Apply that to personal finance, and it makes about as much sense as a soon to be redundant finance worker still insisting on a 4 x 4 when an economy car would do just as well.

Fact is the States have always spent our money like water because it's not theirs, and because they can, and as I've said previously, keep squeezing the middle man for more and more, and eventually, despite tax breaks, companies won't be able to do business here, as the wage their staff will demand just to survive will drive them out, then quite simply, there won't be any more monies for the States to squander.

I think it's called shooting oneself in the foot.

Dave Jones

Forest

I don’t think that it is insulting to tell islanders that demands to have everything they desire now, is simply not possible. We have a structural deficit that needs to be addressed and once our books balance and we are back in the black then we can look at up grading more of the infrastructure. We just have to be honest with the people.

markB

Maybe you’ve been hanging around social security too long Mr Jones ...we don’t “all” demand everything.

guern abroad

I agree with your comments Dave but I want to add that it is not only certain elements of the public who want what we can not afford but also some deputies who sit in a position, or have been in a position, to spend on large projects, elements of which were beyond what was needed.

So the attitude of if we can not afford it we can't have it needs to be both embraced by the States and the public fully.

Borrowing would be a slippy slope to ruin which with being an Island can ill be afforded.

We need to tackle the big nettles and stop targeting the in comparrisson little spends, and we all know what they are.

guern abroad

Coupled with a failure to manage and run decent repair programmes for infrastructure already in place.

Only have to take the recent fiasco at Perelle, if the defences had been repaired when first reported we would not have an inflated bill looming now, if our schools had been repaired and well maintained there would have been little arguement supporting building new ones...

Maybe we should include credit checks on any proposing Deputies and only vote those in with very low credit scores and not the spendaholics that have been taking seat over the last couple decades.

Peter

Dave, I believe most of the public just want there money spent more wisely, there is a constant stream of consultants burning 100's of thousands to make the obvious report. For example the 200 year weather forecast, given the USA’s recent experience proved that if a real disaster hits nothing will prepare you for it.

The constant lack of direction, waste has cost the public 12millon with no outcome, SAP for the accounting dept around 8millon which was supposed to be in by November, the third solution in 15 years, 2.6 million lost in a scam, the round about discussions like parking which costs us 100’s thousands in man hours investigating for no recover. When coupled with a finance industry that will not ever go back the way it was, and believe we have only started to see the decline, the reserves are only going one way.

The big issue is that now the government has this trend of using the “piggy bank” how are you going to stop this. Only a few months ago there was the deep harbour berth to bring in tourism (what is actually over year for the tourist?) and of course we will still need a waste solution ASAP?

peter

Sorry, never type a message and read it afterwards!!,

Dave, I believe that most of the public just want their money spent more wisely, there is a constant stream of consultants burning 100′s of thousands to make the obvious report. For example the 200 year weather forecast, given the USA’s recent experience proved that if a real disaster hits nothing will prepare you for it.

The constant lack of direction, waste solution has cost the public 12millon with no outcome, SAP for the accounting dept around 8millon which was supposed to be in by November, the third solution in 15 years. 2.6 million lost in a scam, the round about discussions like parking which costs us (the Tax Payer) 100’s thousands in man hours investigating for no recover. When coupled with a finance industry that will never go back the way it was, and believe me have only started to see the decline, the reserves are only going one way.

The big issue is that now the government has this trend of using the “piggy bank” how are you going to stop this. Only a few months ago there was the plan for a deep harbour berth to bring in tourism (what is actually over here for the tourist?) and of course we will STILL need a waste solution ASAP?

a voter

Dave,

I`ve said this before on this forum and it seems that you are the first to agree.

When I first left home to join the forces at 14 years old my dad gave me two bits of advice, one I can`t repeat but the other was:-

"Don`t buy anything if you can`t afford to buy it cash.In other words don`t buy it on tick(credit).If you borrow money to buy something you then have to start worrying about where the money is going to come from to pay the loan back."

Throughout my life, I`m now 66, I have followed that advice and have had everything I need and I am now in comfortable retirement with cash in the bank.

My point is that you have to go without some things until you CAN afford them, and when you can it makes you appreciate them more.

There are things this island can do without until we can afford them and smaller projects that can be given a push to stir the economy.

I`m not naive enough to think that there aren`t, or won`t be, some projects that don`t need borrowed money because of their urgency for the sake of the islands population, Coastal Defenses and Airport Runway being two such projects but other silly projects, like a Liner berth, should be ignored until this island gets back into easily affording them.

My dad was right and I only wish he could have told some of our politicians the same thing when they were youngsters, they may have thought about it when WASTING our money on unaffordable projects.

Royston Gauno

The great sell off, Public Taxes paid for utilities then sold off less than valued, States Members appear on the Board payroll, increasing cost see prices to comsumer rise. Dave Jones demands companies bought back, increased Tax for Capital Expenditure, prices rise, capital needed for reinvestment and the Home Guard Jolly to India to see how curry works over there.

AD Locke

The simple answer is to only to do what they can afford which is exactly what people in the real world have to do.

The other thing that should be done is to use more local firms so that local industry is supported it is no good spending on capital projects if the money ends up outside the island.

Also chose to prioritise those capital projects that can bring in a source of income for the island, maybe more public/private joint ventures to bring investment in.

One of the elephants in the room is land reclamation, with rising tides and the cost of land it really is a no brainer in the long run. Some people are going to hate losing their lovely views but it's that or end up under water at some point .

soph

Airport!

What a stupid project that is

If Companies want to fly here (and profit) they would have found craft to fit the old runway.

Questor

Soph

The point is the Pavement Classification Number was being reduced due to the lower loads the runway was able to tolerate.

kevin

Soph,

What a stupid comment - we need an airport, if the work was not carried out then the CAA would have revoked our licence.

guern abroad

We do need an Airport, but we did not need the scale of project that has ended up being implemented. Yes a lot of the work was required but not the amount commited too. I would need a lot of convincing to believe otherwise.

Yvonne Burford

Treasury and Resources commissioned a report just before the contract was signed which said that adopting the virtually maximum length RESAs (and with them the knock on effect of road closure, compulsory purchase, extra cost, etc.,) may not be necessary and that a risk assessment to establish the length required should be done. It was not.

I believe it is highly likely that we could have been compliant with a smaller, cheaper rehabilitation.

http://www.guernsey-airport.gov.gg/Mott_MacDonald_RESA_Report_Final_Issue.pdf

guern abroad

I had read the Mott McDonald report with great interest at the time. I took a huge interest in that project and that it appeared a risk assessment had not been done.

soph

Kevin, that is no explanation for runway improvements (they were needed desperately) But the extension bit?? costing £60 million extra?. Pathetic!!

kevin

soph,

The 'extension bit' is in fact a CAA requirement as the existing runway end safety areas are too short and do not meet current regulations, the usable length of the runway remains the same.

As for it costing £60 million I think you need to go back and do a bit more research - a much larger part of the overall expenditure is in landing,lighting,drainage,apron, taxiway and runway remedial work.

Scarlett

Kevin, you need to do your research and read the report Yvonne posted, and quite possibly stop taking everything PSD tell you as writ.

There was more flannel, hogwash and fogging of the issue with a LOT of unanswered questions from people who most definitely did know what they were talking about remaining firmly unanswered by the all singing, all dancing UK PR company that was employed to stop the peasants from revolting too much...

not against the airport project itself, as was constantly inferred when anyone dared speak up and object, but against the sheer scale and expense of the way the project was implemented, which was not absolutely necessary, and entirely inappropriate at such a financially sensitive time.

This is the hugest project in island has seen in decades, possibly ever, and launched on the verge of zero ten and the worldwide financial recession...

that'll be the same industry that, among other things, allegedly expects a state of the art airport and runway to guarantee their supposed continuing loyalty, and the same one that is currently shrinking (ref the state of Jersey for an idea of what it'll be like here in a few years or less) with no sign of a reasonable alternative to justify such ridiculous expenditure.

Certainly it's possible that we could breathe some life back into tourism and get all those big planes landing here, but unfortunately, like the band that played as the Titanic sank, St Kev and our States members are determined to hang onto cash cow finance, and are terrified of the consequences of admitting that there aren't any any equivalent alternatives and the status quo cannot be maintained forever.

Can't say I blame 'em, when someone finally does admit that, there'll be a lot of very unhappy people.

Scarlett

oh, and Kev, as a pilot, I think Yvonne's opinion might be rather more informed than yours...

unless you can tell us different...?

Billythefish

Scarlett

Quick question - what's the name of this all singing all dancing UK based PR firm PSD used?

Also, I drove past the Airport during the closures...why were all the lights on in the Terminal?? What a waste of money!

Scarlett

Sure, Billy, the PR company was Liquid:

http://www.weareliquid.com/

PSD paid them a lot of money, like, with a considerable amount of zeros behind it, and so far they appear to have done very little to earn that other than attend a couple of pre project meetings (and contribute f all - I was there), and knock together a few Press releases with info provided by PSD itself.

Add this to the fact PSD chose to use a UK based PR co rather than a local one (of which we have several), this is yet another classic example, as if we needed any more, of our own govt choosing UK 'experts' over our own local ones (who at least know where Guernsey is on the map) and that's more money gone straight off island on this bloney project.

As for lights.....could the last one out, please, switch them off....?

robert

Scarlett

You tell em Scarlett. Pilots are bound to know more about it.

And next time I get on a bus I mustn't forget to ask the drive which part of the internal combustion engine he would most like to see redesigned.

Rob

GAC

Scarlett

Sadly, it might appear that the appointment of a PR firm, from a PSD perspective, will be seen as money well spent. They got their project approved largely unscathed. It is disappointing that they felt it necessary to spend so much money on "Selling the idea" to the local population.

Scarlett

I didn't say Yvonne knew everything about the subject, Robert, I said, very clearly, that 'I think Yvonne’s opinion might be rather more informed than yours', as she is more closely associated with the airport due to her job, and previous reads of Kev's post suggest he does not have such an association.

What I failed to mention is that Yvonne is also better placed to comment because as a politician, she has access more first hand, detailed and far less 'filtered' information available to her than the likes of we mere mortals (including Kev), who generally depend on the politically acceptable flim-flam that a very expensive UK PR co that the PSD employed as their mouthpiece, does.

Scarlett.

kevin

Scarlett,

I have never claimed to know any more or any less than anyone else (including Yvonne)about airport rules and regulations but I do know that the 'extension' part of the project does not account for anywhere near £60 million!

I would also not argue that a saving on the overall project would have most likely been possible had it been researched further.

I won't spoil your fun by telling you what I do and where I work.

Robert

@Scarlett, and I inferred, very clearly, that having a driving license does not necessarily make one a leading authority on all the mechanics of a motor vehicle. I can drive a car, but I couldn't build one. The difference perhaps is that I recognise that. You seemed to be confused by it.

I don't know how many other ways you need me to put it before it becomes clear to you.

Scarlett

...and I will reiterate, in an equally crystal manner, that Yvonne is more qualified for the reasons I've already stated, Robert...

the second of which being her more recent appointment, which you have failed to note.

Do you have any actual opinions on the matter we're discussing, Robert, or are you just on here to argue semantics with me?

Yvonne Burford

Thanks for the support Scarlett. My knowledge of the issue comes from being a commercial pilot (and the need to have thorough knowledge of Aircraft Performance and to be able to calculate take off and landing distances etc) and from following the pavements project at the time it was being proposed.

Regrettably I was too busy fighting the incinerator and did not have the time to do any more than read the documents on the airport extension and email deputies ahead of the debate.

There was the fear amongst some deputies that having just booted out the incinerator they dare not be seen to u-turn on the Airport and Deputy Shane Langlois was left to fight it largely on his own.

Shane Langlois

Projects and policies often get driven through the States if the sponsoring Department finds an simple irrefutable premise and then couples it with a threat, however dubious (who can forget a former Home Minister invoking the image of firefights as drug overlords were forcibly freed from custody unless the new, more secure Courts were built). The Department can then keep repeating a couple of sentences in response to any argument, however detailed, that its proposal is disproportionate (‘gold-plated’), unnecessary or will prove ineffective.

The airport expansion project was, as Scarlett says, a classic example. In 2008 one did not need to know anything about airport design to query the necessity for RESAs sized to accommodate jumbo jets at Guernsey Airport. Three years later the report Yvonne refers to confirmed that an absolute rather than a relative risk assessment would probably have shown shorter RESAs could meet the CAA’s safety criteria. All the PSD had to do to counteract this was repeat endlessly the irrefutable truth that the runway needed urgent repairs and add the threat of the CAA revoking the airport’s licence if the project, in its entirety, was not given the green light.

As for the criticism in Professor Wood’s Review that we are not meeting our target of spending 3% of GDP on capital projects (3% of GDP being what the UK spends, funded by borrowing). If this was debated there are two factors to take into account. Firstly our GDP per capita is up to 40% more than in the UK and secondly a percentage of our GDP cannot be taxed or is taxed at 10%. Given those factors, it might well be that the 3% target should be adjusted downwards

robert

@Scarlet,

So, the pilot was too busy fighting the incinerator to save us from this one. Well that's clearer then - being a pilot makes you expert at everything! Stupid me.

Irony is, the common accusation here appears to be that purveyors of gold-plated vanity projects convince themselves of a requirement (or wrap it up in such a way as to disguise their true intentions) and then simply repeat some mantra ad infinitum to convince us mere mortals.

The opponents on the other hand, whatever their motivation (and I am sure there are many), convince themselves of some 'fact' and then simply repeat the mantra ad infinitum until quite frankly everyone gets fed up and stops listening and/or voting for them.

I prefer the scenario that doesn't rely on all of us mere mortals being entirely gullible numpties.

Scarlet, I think you might find an opinion there.

Scarlett

I didn't say Yvonne is an expert at everything, Robert. Your tendency to put words in my mouth is an unfortunate one and does nothing to strengthen your argument, so give it up.

I can and do stand by my response to Kev, and notice you carefully missed the bit in Yvonne's response where she states all the reasons I think she is better qualified to comment than many of us who lack her experience, there being a slight difference between the qualifications and experience required for flying a plane versus driving a bus.

So, to be 'clear' (such a subjective word, isn't it?), you don't like being taken for a fool by our States,(I agree), but you don't think a pilot is better placed to comment on airport matters (I don't agree) and just because someone doesn't agree a point, doesn't mean you agree with them as they may wrong too (I agree)...

is that it? Right, well, that's as clear as day, I think.

....anyway, back to discussing the actual topic, Shane, are you able to confirm why you think they insisted on making the airport project so much more extensive than we actually required? What are the real reasons? Do you know (does anyone?!)

Pipe down!

Hey Scarlett

Based on the number of contributions you seem to make to this forum you can't have a job or at any rate not one that takes up much time, so why not stand for election next time? You seem to be a critic of all things States related so why not put your constant whinging into practice? If not, take a step back and relax for a while, all this anger can't be good for your health - and you probably won't get treated very quickly at the PEH if HSSD's woes continue!

benedict

Robert

In several posts you argue by analogy that the busdriver should be asked how to improve the internal combustion engine. Your analogy is faulty. The proper parallel would be to ask the busdriver about road improvements. He might well have relevant observations about that. No one was asking the pilot to redesign the jet engine.

I know nothing about this subject. All that I would say is that your posts do not inspire confidence because of their faulty logic.

Robert

@Benedict

Thanks for that. I had realised I was exaggerating to make a point. However I'm happy to spell it out.

People with a particular axe to grind (for whatever reason) frequently hold up and exaggerate the expertise of anyone's opinion if it agrees with theirs. At the same time they will happily rubbish the views of anyone of similar status and/or expertise (and often people with greater, more relevant experience and expertise) if it doesn't agree with their narrow view. It's the way of the world, but it is not particularly clever or consistent and it doesn't hurt to challenge it.

If someone doesn't challenge what appears a dubious argument, specious claims and accusations that follow from that argument can have a habit of becoming fact. I fear there are plenty of dubious statements masquerading as fact in a lot of threads.

I apologise if the point of my analogy was not more obvious. As for faulty logic though, I didn't start it!

Scarlett

Hey, Pipedown.

you have no idea how much I cram into my busy 7 days a week thanks to multi tasking and the joy of being self employed.

As for my criticism of the States, you show me a group of more than 3 people who thinks our current States is doing a good job, and I'll show you a States Committee...and as for being a politician, sadly I don't possess the entire lack of common sense that seems quintessential for the role.

GAC

kevin

The CAA no longer have responsibility for CI airports. That is the job of the Director of Civil Aviation, Fergus Woods. This is a CI post, not just a Guernsey appointment.

As Yvonne has pointed out, no risk assessment was ever undertaken before opting for the same RESA length as is imposed at Heathrow! PSD were determined to force through the 240m option (at the western end at least) but found some argument to go for a shorter (198m) version at the eastern end.

When completed, the Landing Distance Available to pilots will remain at 1,463m, however, the Take Off Distance Available on 27 will be 1,583m. Sounds like an extension to me!

And finally, St Maarten, a Caribbean vacation spot that you may have seen on TV due to the B747's passing overhead one of their beaches at low level, is also undertaking work on their airport. Remarkably similar to the work we are having done here. Big difference though is the cost. Under $17 million.

http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish/caribbean-news/PJIAE_signs_contract_for_airport_runway_rehabilitation_project25360.shtml

The charge is; No effort was made by PSD to properly risk assess airfield operations with a view to establishing an appropriate length of RESA commensurate with the type of aircraft using, or likely to use Guernsey airport. This has resulted in unnecessary additional expense to the Guernsey taxpayer.

kevin

GAC,

Surely as part of his role as Director of Civil Aviation Fergus Woods will be making sure the airport complies with CAA regulations?

Yes the St Maarten project sounds vaguely similar - however we are raising the runway surface by 1.5m to eliminate the dip, reworking the drainage, laying two new parking aprons and ripping up, levelling and re-laying the entire main apron area,putting in a new taxiway and landing/navigation system all of which adds many millions to the cost of our project.

Having said all that I agree some savings could have probably been made had a risk assessment been carried out.

Ray

GAC @ 2.08pm

Not sure if it was part of the PR stunt but when the decision was finally taken weren't we VERY close to the take it or leave it price deadline from Lagan ?

A.J.

The demand for these projects, as most of us know, has been made by our States representatives and Civil servants and not the general public.Some that spring to mind were- St Peter Port School,Beaucamps School,St Sampson's High.etc. The addition of Traffic lights at Admiral Park, and those at Route militaire. The Airport,Bulwer Avenue,and many more and when you add the not inconsiderable additional costs of importing 'Experts.'thus creating an ever deapening hole in our funds

Common sense has been lacking,by that,I don't mean in isolation these projects were not desirable but, perhaps not all at this time, when we have had to accept this massive loss of income caused by the stupidity of ZERO 10

bewildered

Although much of the spending is on larger projects, perhaps we should look at expenditure elsewhere as all the smaller amounts soon add up to large ones.

e.g two vehicles, one cherry picker and three men to change light bulbs in the grounds of the hospital ! ( seen with my own eyes ).

Every department has virtually new vehicles.....why ? mileages on the island are much smaller than the mainland, hese vehicles should last a lot longer than they do.......and why so many ? the fleet must be huge now !

We aren't stupid, we can see money being spent everywhere.......stop it now!!!!!

guern

Anybody who has worked in a States department could soon tell the public why there are so many overspends, it's simple to solve .... there are too many chiefs compared to how many indians they employ, in other words, just too many supervisors, line managers, middle management & too many chief officers ......... so get trimming all that deadwood then get rid of some of the deputies as well, we'd save millions of pounds............

Backchat

The old secondary schools suffered with very little maintenance over a long term resulting in them getting so bad the only course of action was to knock them to the ground, will the same continue with these new buildings?

Scarlett

We can only hope that the millions we've pumped into the schools pays the island back threefold and produces students with better exam results who are more prepared for life and a career here than we have had in recent history....

after all, the schools now look a lot better, but the point is to help the students, isn't it, otherwise, it would be just another badly timed, pointless overly expensive States vanity project, wouldn't it, really, and god knows, we've got enough of those to tip us into that black hole on a permanent basis.

guern abroad

Sadly this is the States all over, plenty examples of poor maintenance schedules all over the place, sea defences being a prime example. Maybe HSSD are the only area spending what they actually need to. I am sick of vanity projects. Reuse and repair with the recycle element being use local labour should be fore front in any States member (as well as the public).

Anton

To judge from the standards of spelling and grammar in these responses, perhaps less needs spending on buildings and more on the 3 Rs

markB

Don’t you just love the 3 “R’s” especially the one beginning with an A.

Ray

The one beginning with 'W' is a real belter too

Herbert Roth

As much as I have found myself agreeing with Dave J on many different subjects in these forums, I cannot agree with assertion that we the public want 50p services on a 20p tax. And I think the comments over the last couple of days show that people are of the same mind as myself.

At the end of the day, no matter what happens, we MUST NOT borrow to fund capital projects, just look at the whole of Europe to see where that leads.

Dave Jones

Herbert

The point I was trying to make was that many of the demands for new services come from the public and that is to be expected.

However when any suggestion is made that taxes will have to increase to pay for them, that is greeted with anger and dismay that this should even be suggested.

markB

I don’t recall ever hearing or seeing public protests demanding a new airport or larger runway, deep birth harbours, building of schools and hospital wings etc etc .

Usually the first the public know about any new project is when its announced by the States.

Watcher

And the first the Deputies hear about it is when their senior staff throw the idea onto the table. Very few of these glamour projects come up as a result of a politician's wish list or public demand, they are put forward by civil servants who want to turn their pet projects into reality. Nothing changes, the politicians all sit around making plans - and the civil servants smile. For a politician of Dave Jones' experience to suggest some of these things are what the public want is almost laughable.

bob

Are people actually suggesting that a lot of the capital expenditure is just 'vanity projects' for those in the States?

Because they clearly have nothing better to do than waste the island's money so they can be remembered for building a school/runway extension etc?

The majority of those things are contentious projects that could easily be looked back upon as carbuncles/follies yet people seem to think they are happy to put their names to them for no other reason than vanity?!

Granted, the States haven't exactly set the world alight with some of their decisions but it's wrong to accuse them of pushing projects through for no good reason. They are clearly trying to act in the best interests of the island and if they've been voted in by the public then there's not much else they can do really.

Yvonne Burford

I think the term 'vanity project' possibly has a broader meaning than you infer.I would have put the terminal building in that category for example.

I still think it looks out of place in Guernsey, architecturally, and it is certainly out of place physically.

The best place for the terminal was where it was before it was demolished as this was more in the middle of the available apron space. Now we have a terminal stuck at one end of the apron space, hence the long glass walkway to the east end.

There are people (in the States and out) who believed we needed a glitzy building to enhance Guernsey's 'image'. I am not one of them.

Herbert Roth

Dave

Point taken, there are people out there who seem to think that the States is a bottomless pit of money. I myself am all for providing the best services possible with the money that is available, but I do not believe in cutting services to 'save money' and I certainly do not believe in borrowing to fund capital projects. If asked, I would gladly pay a few pence more in tax for quality services, but at the same time I would also ask that States departments make greater efforts to cut unnecessary expenditure.

Scarlett

I think if you turn that statement round and say 'the States seems to think that the people are a bottomless pit of money 'you've got it about right there, Herbert.

islander

Concerned Islander

1.States of Guernsey overstaffing levels

2. cut out tax payers surpported civil sevice pension scheme.

3. bring back private inssurance allowance taken away from income tax allowance.

4.Rent control and health and safety measures of all rented property, certificated.

5. devalue property to realistic price for more locals to compete.

6.cease imported unskilled labour.use local labour where possible.

Invest in Guernsey.[Bank of Guernsey]

cease issueing housing licences until The States of Guernsey have put their own house in order

islander

2013 Budget.

Same issues every year,tobacco,fuel and drink.

Time for changes.

Lower fuel duties.

Introduce tax on open market property

Second homes

4x4 vehicles

Armoured vehicles

mobile phones

4x4 vehicles

islander

Can anyone tell me if frossard house is still using Windows computer opperating system with the card game patients on it?

Toolbag

Perhaps one way to save money long term would be to have a policy of migrating to Linux software from Windows and stop paying licence fees to Bill Gates.

Linux is free, and I would suggest that if it is good enought for the White House, US Department of Defense, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, French Gendarmerie and Federal Aviation Administration etc. etc. then it will be fine for the SOG.

It would be interesting to know the licencing fees the SOG pay, with a view to seeing how the short-term costs of retraining the staff would be covered.