Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf has confirmed he will stand in the Senatorial election.
The Senator – who has been in the States since 1999 – told a packed Chamber of Commerce lunch yesterday that he would be a candidate in the next elections, adding that there was more work still to be done.
His speech at the Pomme d’Or Hotel largely focused on the Budget that will be debated just a week before Islanders go to the polls. The Budget revealed an unexpected shortfall of £95 million over the next three years, because tax income has not kept pace with forecasts from the Treasury.
The shortfall will be handled by a package of emergency measures, including taking money from States-owned utilities, raiding funds, and 2% spending cuts across departments next year.
After finishing his speech, the Senator drew applause when he said that he would be a candidate for election on 15th October.
“I want to be clear with the electorate about where the challenges are – how is the increase in health spending going to be set out?” he said.
“In a year’s time we will be making difficult decisions about changes.”
And he added that the next four-year States spending plan should bring in more revenue than spending, so that the States’ stabilisation fund could be recharged to cushion any future economic downturn.
In response to follow-up questions, he agreed with one audience member that pay for ministers and Scrutiny panel chairmen was too low – although he said he did not personally want more money to do his job – and that the States needed to stop delaying, introduce time-limited debates, raise the level of debate, and have a sensible debate about immigration policy.
The Senatorial platform at the parish hustings events is likely to be a little crowded - Senators Lyndon Farnham, Paul Routier and Alan Maclean have confirmed that they will stand again, and similar announcements are expected from Senators Ian Gorst, Philip Bailhache, Alan Breckon and Sarah Ferguson. Deputy Andrew Green has announced that he will also be a candidate, as has Citizens’ Advice Bureau head Malcolm Ferey, and former teacher’s union head Anne Southern.
More candidates are expected to come forward to stake a claim on one of the eight seats in the next few weeks.
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