Priorities are looking expensive

A NEW version of the Government Work Plan encourages readers to check out what the States is now being asked to define as its key priorities.

Housing is the number one priority – no surprise and rightly so. Islanders may be surprised to see action outlined in terms of ‘evaluate and implement actions’ but the States would ask – what can we do without evaluation?

Also a priority is population and immigration policy – in reality, States members should be asking why this review, announced with fanfare and urgency more than six months ago now, has gone rather quiet.

Work on an electricity strategy has been well trailed, as has the work to get the island signed up to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

There may be more surprise at the decision to prioritise skills – what magic wand will be waved to finally realise this after some 20 years of work?

The biggest surprise, however, may be prioritising plans to introduce more targeted support for islanders in need – reviewing minimum income standards, with a focus on income support and winter fuel allowance, and then targeting support for GP visits and a look at a compulsory insurance scheme for primary healthcare.

The intent is now that the GWP is costed, affordable, and coordinated. Fair play to that, but it must be said, these priorities for the next few years are also looking expensive to islanders.

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