Guernsey States record £63 million net surplus but health spending increases

Guernsey States' financial accounts show a positive performance in 2023 but concerns over underlying pressures remain. Credit: ITV Channel

Guernsey States made a net surplus of more than £63 million in 2023, compared to a net deficit of nearly £140 million the previous year.

Latest accounts show the overall positive impact of cost controls on finances with Health and Social Care a clear outlier as its total spend increased by £14.7 million.

This was driven by rising staffing costs in areas such as agency workers and overtime to keep up with the growing demand for services.

Deputy Heidi Soulsby, Treasury lead for Guernsey's Policy & Resources Committee, says: "It demonstrates why there is a need to take a strategic approach to the delivery of health and care, as well as the need to generate more housing, both of which are top priorities of the States.

"The improved performance is encouraging, especially compared with 2022, although we know that the underlying pressures, as a result of our changing demographics have not gone away and will need to be addressed."

Inflation was a key factor in both income and expenditure - overall public sector costs went up by around 6.5%, partly due to higher wages and more staff on the payroll, but these factors also helped bring in £10 million of extra tax due to higher banking profits.

The total net assets of the States are worth £3.8 billion.

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