Senator Ozouf claimed in March 2010 that States spending had increased in the previous 5 years by 30%, as mentioned in the page on “MYTH NUMBER 1 – States spending is out-of-control”. I thought that this figure was quite literally in-credible, so I asked Senator Ozouf to explain in detail what exactly the 30% increase in spending over 5 years was made up of.
Doing the sums from his answer gives the following:
- of the increase of £146.9 million, £125.9 million, or 85.7% of the increase was non-discretionary.
- Of the £146.9 million nearly half was due to inflation.
- Roughly £11 million was for the transfer of welfare from the parishes to the centre; again, this is not new expenditure but transferred expenditure.
- £13 million was transfers from capital to revenue for accounting purposes. This too was counted in as an “increase in spending”
- £8.5 million was for unavoidable one-off costs such as pandemic flu and the ending of the Reciprocal Health Agreement.
The question has to be asked: is this sloppy thinking from our Treasury Minister, in which case heaven help us! Or is it clutching at “facts” which suit his inclinations, and so do not get checked? In which case, heaven help us! Or was it deliberately misleading?
It certainly WAS misleading. What is the lesson for the voter? Choose people who can see through this deception or incompetence, whichever it is, and who can see that it matters whether information provided to the Assembly can be trusted or not, and will follow up on my proposition P169 – Proposition to tackle the misleading of the States for tackling this issue. For an example of the cost of misleading information (or withholding information) see here.
NOTE For the full Written Question and Answer see here. and go to Written Question 3.37