A Deputy has branded the Jersey Aircraft Registry a "huge waste of time and money" after new figures confirmed that nearly £1.2m was sunk into launching the ill-fated venture, while it generated less than £30,000 for the public purse.
Founded in 2015, the JAR attracted just four aircraft over the course of its lifetime, with the final one pulling out last week, leading to a decision to axe it by Economic Development Minister Deputy Kirsten Morel last week.
A written question to the Minister from Deputy Sam Mézec has now revealed the full cost of the fiasco to taxpayers as £1,167,971.42 – with a return to the public purse of just £27,406, which is little more than 2%, in 2016 and 2017 alone.
Since 2017, the aircraft registry has not generated any income whatsoever, despite successive rebrands – including an attempt to brand itself as the “world’s first” to use blockchain technology.
Initial set-up cost £860,801, with the biggest costs incurred related to IT development (£372,000), and ‘Specialist Advice and Consultancy’ (£177,000).
Since the set-up, most of the expenditure was in officer time and insurance costs, which were approximately £9,000 a year.
However, money was also spent on ‘development of documentation’ (£25,000) and an ‘internal audit’ (£5,300).
Ports of Jersey have also incurred £165,355 of costs since assuming responsibility for the registry in 2019, the Minister’s response showed.
Since it was established, the Jersey Aircraft Registry has cost taxpayers £1,167,971.42.— Deputy Sam Mézec (@SamMezecJsy) November 7, 2022
It has made just £27,406.
What a huge waste of time and money. It should have been shut down years ago.
Pictured: Deputy Sam Mézec submitted a request for the breakdown of costs on 31 October and recieved the results yesterday.
After each of the four aircraft pulled out one by one, with the final going on 27 October, Deputy Morel officially axed the Registry last Monday, blaming it on its “commercial underperformance”, which he said “does not represent value for Jersey’s taxpayers”.
Responding to the stats uncovered by his question, Deputy Mézec said: “What a huge waste of time and money.
“[The JAR] should have been shut down years ago.”
Pictured: A breakdown of the JAR's income.
This reveal comes following news that Guernsey's aircraft registry, which has a total of 831 aircraft registered, is running at zero cost to the island’s States and has even started to generate profit.
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