Click on video - Bob is there but is hiding....
M*T*F*P* Scrutiny Review Hearing No1
Today – 23 July – it was Deputy Bob Duhamel who opened the batting for the good guys v the Council of Ministers and Senator Ozouf’s latest brainwave, namely the “Mid-Term Financial Plan.”
OZO has cunningly arranged for this to be sprung upon the “nation” during the summer hols so that even the Environment Scrutiny Panel had only had a few hours to study the vast document.
Rest assured that the paying Jersey public will have virtually zero chance to discuss it or learn to love it or hate it before the States Assembly endorse it in October or November.
With all the current and recent “public consultations” going on with electoral, social security, housing, health, Taser issues etc – nobody but a glutton could possibly have any appetite to swallow this latest offering. And, of course OZO and his team know that very well.
As always, yours truly was the only member of the public to sit through today’s 90 minutes of concealed despair from Bob Duhamel – hung out to dry for following the CSP aims and achieving the demanded savings of 19% so it seems. Now his Planning Department just does not have the funds or resources to carry out even the minimal tasks set down in the recently agreed Island Plan!
Well and truly shafted – all in the name of USER PAYS – because as Bob explained Jersey Planning and Building Control fees are probably already the highest on the planet and they are about to be increased considerably yet again.
Never mind that Building Control fees are already down 50% on last year's and if they do not pick up there will have to be further savings or yet more price hikes.
Other Departments and their Ministers will now trudge through the same Scrutiny rooms to appear before other Panels. Tomorrow it will be Sen Le Marquand explaining why the Fire and Ambulance service will want proof of an Insurance Policy before turning out for an emergency and why the Prison is being emptied through “repatriation” to save costs.
Later in the day it will be TTS – and they are sure to be asked about their composting and scrap yard costs because Bob flagged those up today as examples of funding that will be agreed and then diverted to other uses (just a matter of £3 millions so nothing serious!).
On Thursday the Minister for Education will be looked at and perhaps he will have a cunning plan to make all schooling USER PAYS too and maybe nobody will even notice?