1. ITV Report

Jersey government savings plan: Parking charges extended, college course price hike and workforce to shrink

The Efficiencies Plan says extending the period drivers can be charged will bring in an extra £700,000 a year. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Drivers in Jersey could soon have to pay for parking between 7am and 6pm, as part of new proposals to save £100 million.

Under the Efficiencies Plan published by the government, drivers would see the period where they are charged for parking extended by one hour either side of the current system.

The government says the policy could raise £700,000 a year and would encourage more islanders to use sustainable forms of transport.

The Efficiencies Plan outlines how the government intends to make £100 million worth of savings between 2020 and 2023 - including £40 million in 2020.

Almost £30 million of savings will be found from reducing government spend, with £7.4 million from better income collection and an additional £2.4 million from recovering costs. £1.1 million will be raised through new forms of income.

The plan is due to be debated in the States Assembly this week.

Prices of courses at Highlands College could also be increased to raise more than half a million pounds. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Also in the Plan are proposals to increase the costs of courses at Highlands College, to generate a further £570,000.

Private planes landing at Jersey airport could face a charge, with a potential return of around £40,000.

A review of the costs of stationery, food and refreshments, travel and other day-to-day government spending, which stood at around £7 million for 2018, could return around £340,000 to the public purse.

The government says it has no plans for job cuts but that it will not replace all the staff who leave their posts.

It is important to state that, unlike with previous cost saving initiatives, we have not set a target to reduce the future size of the workforce through job cuts. That said, we do expect headcount to reduce as a consequence of improvements in services, systems and processes, especially as a result of investment in modern technology, which will automate a range of tasks that are currently done manually.

However, our aim is to minimise redundancies, by enabling employees whose roles might be lost to move into roles where we have vacancies, many of which will be created by investments proposed in the Government Plan, and we will support them to retrain where appropriate. At present, we have a staff turnover rate and a vacancy rate of around ten per cent – representing around 600 jobs – which provides the opportunity to better use effective vacancy management and redeployment to support our workforce through changes.

– Government Efficiencies Plan

The government also hopes that a move towards more automated systems will reduce the workload on staff and help make savings in the future.

There is considerable scope to deliver efficiencies by investing in modern technology, to substantially upgrade our systems and processes, and reduce duplication of work across teams and departments.

As mentioned above, this will lead to further automation of processes, reducing the need for tasks to be carried out manually by employees. It will enable the better use of data, to help improve the targeted use of resources, and will increase and speed up the delivery of digital services to customers – such as online tax returns – enabling customers to serve themselves and carry out more transactions with the Government online, rather than by post, phone or in person.

– Government Efficiencies Plan