Government Work Plan is published, as Policy & Resources grapples with limited resources

A LACK of resources could result in aspects of the Government Work Plan going undelivered if Policy & Resources does not prioritise work efficiently.

Policy & Resources president Peter Ferbrache. (30814652)
Policy & Resources president Peter Ferbrache. (30814652)

The GWP policy letter was published today, outlining what work must be completed throughout the next political term considering the people and funding available.

The four key priority areas are the island's Covid response, managing the effects of Brexit, delivering recovery actions and re-shaping government.

Before it is debated, P&R is required to highlight any long-term concerns around funding public services, for which there is a projected shortfall of £85m due to pressures on health care and pensions as well as the changing make up of the local population.

P&R president Peter Ferbrache said he was encouraged by what has been achieved so far, including an end to emergency powers for managing Covid, but that the housing crisis must be prioritised.

'For this coming year, the pressure on our housing market is one area that we must address urgently, as it creates challenges in many other areas, socially and economically. We have taken some important steps, but we must do more, quickly,' he said.

'We must also ensure we have resilience in areas such as energy security and climate change mitigations. We need to make sure we’re able to raise enough revenue to fund essential services. And we must continue to demonstrate our compliance with international standards recognising the importance of our reputation to our economic wellbeing.'

Over the last year, some workstreams have costed more than anticipated and there is a high possibility that the cost of certain actions could exceed what is outlined in the plan.

'The actions of government need to be focused and prioritised,' said P&R vice-president Heidi Soulsby.

'We have limited resources and we have to be realistic about that if we’re going to deliver outcomes that make any sort of difference in islanders’ lives. We cannot just add more to the pile because we know we can’t afford it, we can’t staff it, and we end up with a long list of work that never happens.'

She said the first debate of the plan did a lot to cut out what could not realistically be achieved.

'We must now keep up that discipline and not clog up the wheels of government again. Openly debating the priorities, and making changes is good, after all that’s what the plan is here for. But for every new priority and action added to the list, we must deprioritise something else because we cannot resource everything,' said Deputy Soulsby.

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