Wednesday 20 October 2021
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Survey signals opposition to £800m hospital borrowing plan

Survey signals opposition to £800m hospital borrowing plan

Monday 20 September 2021

Survey signals opposition to £800m hospital borrowing plan

With two weeks to go before the States Assembly makes a decision whether to fund the future hospital by borrowing £800m, the majority of respondents to a poll by Express have expressed disagreement with the plans.

Just over 800 members of the public (80% of respondents) said they did not support the Government’s preferred method of funding, which would see the new hospital financed through two bonds of £400m each.

 Meanwhile, just under 200 indicated their agreement with the proposals in the poll Express launched last week ahead of the debate in the States Assembly which is due to take place on 5 October. Poll_Results_.jpg

Pictured: The results of the poll.

According to the project’s 'Outline Business Case', the bonds would be paid back over 30 and 40-year periods, with each carrying an annual charge of 2.5%, meaning that by the time they have been repaid, they will have cost the island around £1.4bn.

The Future Hospital Review Panel has been reviewing the proposals and their report is currently being prepared.

During a recent hearing with the Panel, the Assistant Minister for Treasury, Deputy Lyndsay Ash, justified borrowing as the best solution due to the currently low costs involved, before stressing again how further delays would affect the project.

The States Treasurer, Richard Bell, warned that if the States Assembly does not approve the Government’s fudning proposals, the project will be put at risk and put on hold “until such a time an alternative funding strategy has been approved."

Deputy Ash suggested this could lead Jersey to face higher building and borrowing costs and potential competition with the NHS in securing contractors, whilst also having to spend millions every year to maintain the current hospital, which Professor Handa previously said will not be usable after December 2026 without any reprovision.


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Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by Jon Jon on
Most people object to the Overdale site, let alone borrow nearly a billion pounds.If the States Assembly were more competent ,things might be different.
Posted by Private Individual on
Well, that is undeniable, the public has clearly said that not only is it in the wrong place the government should not put the public in this astronomical amount of debt to pay for it.

Let this be a clear message to the council of ministers, stop this project now before it is behind the point of no return.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
We were told that we would be earning more on our investments than the cost of the interest payments on these two loans; IF that is true, its good business to use that method of finance.
Still my TWO concerns are :-
1) The cost for a smaller, less efficient hospital and for the areas that now fall under home care, where funding is always cut.
2) How are the Loans going to be repaid ~ What EXTRA TAXATION is required ~ the last answer was that they did not know. Who in their right mind borrows £ 800,000 + Interest and has NO idea of how they are going to repay such vast sums ?
Posted by Private Individual on
Well, that is undeniable, the public has clearly said that not only is it in the wrong place the government should not put the public in this astronomical amount of debt to pay for it.

Let this be a clear message to the council of ministers, stop this project now before it is behind the point of no return.
Posted by John Sheen on
So 80% of those responding dont think raising two bonds is the best way of generating £800m. Irrespective of where it is going, or even if it only cost £400m, how else is this Island going to raise the funds to build a new hospital, so soon after Covid drained ever spare penny.
I look forward to reading the alternative suggestions below...
Posted by Martin on
EXCELLENT DEMOCRACY- the minority taking out a MONSTROUS loan - likely the largest ever in Jersey Gov/Political history - and then those instigating the loan then likely & hopefully leave their Government positions leaving a FORTY year legacy of Debt!

At least if this carries on our reputation as a Tax Haven will be replaced with En Desastre?

That may quieten Biden!
Posted by Aston Francis on
Maybe we need a more reasonable hospital on a flat land for £400-500M all inclusive. There are several benchmarks from the UK and Europe from the recent years. Borrowing £800M will cost us £1.4Bn to pay back - assuming relatively low interest rates. What if they increase? Why we did not have any other option properly worked out in the Business Case? Why we/ our children are to pay £1.4Bn for a hospital with fewer public beds than we have today? The Outline Business Case (OBC) forecasted the demand for beds to double by 2065 mostly due to ageing and increase in chronic conditions. £1.4Bn. is a lot of money, it should not be approved without a referendum.
Posted by IanSmith97 on
If they don’t raise it on the cheap money markets at the moment they will have to raise it from YOU ALL via raised taxes or maybe sell some football cards down the pub. It’s got to be paid for. Funny how everybody is a building expert, a health expert or a traffic and environmental expert nowadays. No matter where they put it or its design there will still be moaners.
Posted by Mike Pitman on
The entire project was tarnished by the epithet "World Class" which turned politicians' heads and they decided that an impressive vanity project was needed, What is actually needed is a competent general hospital appropriate to the size of our island and appropriate to the size of the population along with decent working conditions for the medical and support staff. The £800M bonds will end up costing as much as £1.2 or £1.4 BILLION by the time the last instalment is paid. Imagine the tax bills to service that!
Posted by Scott Mills on
Good luck to all the Gen Z's who'll be paying for this and trying to get on the property ladder., we'll have a tent village by the time they are 40!!!! Biut you can see the way Jersey is going, get rid of the 3 star hotels, close the nightclubs etc.....they only want rich people to visit and live her. So obvious. lovely beaches though.
Posted by Jo Collins on
Last time we let the public decide we got Brexit.
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