Reducing the Cost of Public Services: Surveys see more than 1800 suggestions submitted

Monday, 17 July 2023

More than 1800 suggestions have been made by members of the community and public sector employees on how the cost of public services should be reduced.

Over the past three weeks, all Guernsey and Alderney residents have had the opportunity to put forward their suggestions to the Reducing the Cost of Public Services Sub-Committee, through a public survey which closed on Friday.  It saw 637 respondents in total, and between them they put forward 1416 suggestions.

A sister survey was also carried out over the same time period for people working in the public sector, and this survey saw 196 respondents submit a total of 394 suggestions.

The feedback received will now be reviewed as part of the research carried out by the Sub-Committee which is also engaging with States Committees and individual Deputies.  The Sub-Committee is working to identify and recommend steps which could deliver recurring cost reductions of at least £10m - £16m per annum, within five years.

The need to identify ways of reducing costs is one piece of a wider effort to ensure public finances are sustainable for future decades.  Currently it is forecast that there will be a shortfall in funding public services of around £100m a year by 2040.

The shortfall is driven by changes in the make-up of Guernsey’s population.  More people are living longer, and people are having fewer children, which means demand for services, particularly health services and pensions, is rapidly rising but the number of people in work - who are currently the main contributors to the funding for public finances – is getting smaller.  Like many other jurisdictions Guernsey needs to take extraordinary action to counter the impact of these changes on the cost and funding for essential services.

Deputy Dave Mahoney, Chair of the Sub-Committee said

“I’d like to thank everyone who took time to put forward suggestions, the amount of responses we’ve had is great and shows how engaged people are in wanting to find solutions to the very serious challenges we face as a community, as the make-up of our population goes through big changes.  The suggestions we’ve received will now be reviewed.  It will take some time, but we’ll provide an update on the themes and trends that come from the surveys once we’ve done some of the initial analysis.”

Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller, member of the Sub-Committee said

“The number of responses has been fantastic, and we’re very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to share their suggestions.  We all have an interest in the provision of public services and how they are funded, because we all use them and all contribute towards them.  That’s why we wanted to provide this opportunity early on in the process and it’s really positive to see so many people take it up.”