Guernsey public finances return to surplus for first time since 2008

Posted: 16/02/2017

Gavin St PierGuernsey’s public finances returned to surplus in 2016 – for the first time since 2008.

Deputy Gavin St Pier (pictured), President of Guernsey's Policy & Resources Committee, updated the States Assembly this week on the year-end financial position, stating that public finances ended 2016 with a £15m surplus. 

In June last year, a budget deficit of £10m to £15m was estimated for 2016. At the time, Deputy St Pier outlined a series of measures put in place to seek to balance the position by the end of the year. 

The measures included expenditure controls put in place by States of Guernsey Chief Executive Paul Whitfield, including control of all vacancies; a review of overtime usage; closer control of the use of consultants; cancellation or deferral of non-pay expenditure; and the re-prioritisation of routine capital expenditure.  

The Policy & Resources Committee also announced its intention to limit any further use of the Budget Reserve in year, and said it had approached the States Trading Supervisory Board to request it consider making a return of surplus capital to General Revenue in 2016.

The measures had a material impact on the year-end position. In addition, an improvement in economic conditions has also contributed to a better outturn.

The net result, reported Deputy St Pier, is that, subject to final year-end adjustments and audit, the outturn for 2016 is a surplus in the region of £15m, representing a £30m improvement on the worst case set out in June.  

• For the full statement by Deputy Gavin St Pier, click here

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