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.
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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