Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Deputies approve spending review

A five-year strategy to save the States of Guernsey up to £70m was approved by deputies on Wednesday.

The Fundamental Spending Review proposed closer co-operation between government departments and cutting back on support for some services.

The report highlighted that difficult decisions will have to be made by politicians in the next few years.

Treasury Minister Charles Parkinson said the savings are achievable but the whole process will require teamwork.

A fundamental change

Deputy Parkinson, whose department was behind the proposals, said: "At least 50 million of it comes from better corporate working and I hope we can make all of those savings, because that really to me is the golden goose here.

"Where you get into the grants and subsidies area there are political sensitivities and choices to be made.

"The States may choose not to end some of these grants and subsidies but at least that should be a rational decision based on information."

The Policy Council will be responsible for bringing forward reports on savings and regular progress reports will be discussed by the States.

Deputy Matt Fallaize raised concerns that this could leave departments powerless to control how their services are affected by the drive for efficiency.

He described the move as "a fundamental change to the way in which we arrange our policy making and governance".

He said individual departments should retain responsibility for policy and any proposed changes.

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