Guernsey Press

More heat than light in travel costs

WHEN, or if, the answers to the latest set of written questions from Deputy Chris Le Tissier are published, the response will be apocalyptic.


Few things get people going more than deputies on ‘jollies’, wasting taxpayer pounds on grandiose, meaningless trips to press the flesh and enjoy a few days sightseeing on the taxpayer. Or so the script runs.

Deputy Le Tissier says he has concerns about speculation and a lack of transparency. But his hopes for a ‘reasoned debate’ between deputies and the public once ‘the facts are known’ seem, given the track record, to be highly optimistic.

Of course travel costs are important. Careless use of travel budgets has brought people down before and will do so again. But in the overall scheme of things, we’re talking pennies, compared to the pounds of big government, the areas where one would hope to make serious savings.

In Lyndon Trott’s previous term as chief minister, when he picked up the ‘Globe-Trotter’ nickname in response to making the role largely external-facing, his travel cost £66,000 over four years. Compared to adding £30m. to the cost of a hospital transformation project, it’s almost irrelevant.

Many voters automatically consider almost every travel penny in government to be ‘wasted’.

If this leads to any kind of debate, it will whip up more heat than light.