Thursday, 23 April 2015

Past and Present: A Review of Senator Ozouf's Statements

“"We are keeping our spending targets, we can trim some budgets because of lower inflation and we are delivering on our strategic plan priorities." (Senator Philip Ozouf, July 2014)

My thanks to former Deputy Sean Power for pointing this out on Facebook. Below is an extract from the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel, dated 18th July 2014. It shows Senator Ozouf saying that Deputy Le Fondre was wrong to suggest a projected £100 million deficit, and the position was not nearly as bad. In fact, it was very much worse.

A sign of the times, however, was the proposed cut in the marginal rate which was shelved from the 2015 budget presented just before the election 2014. This should have been a warning sign that the States finances were deteriorating.

Read the Scrutiny Panel dialogue carefully in full and ask this: how can Senator Ozouf have been so positive about the budget in July 2014 and now we are facing a projected £130 million deficit? I think he certainly has a lot of explaining to do because this £130 black hole did not appear overnight, and it certainly did not suddenly appear after the election last year.

Did you vote for him? Would you have voted for him if you had known the scale of the problem? Why didn’t he mention it in any election speeches?

Is it amazing that we didn’t get told this before? Did he mislead the electorate? And did he mislead the Scrutiny panel? These are questions which need answers.

According to the JEP, “Former Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf remains adamant that his record at the Treasury is unimpeachable, and that Jersey is still in a very strong economic position that few jurisdictions could dream of.”

It is rather a pity that States members cannot be impeached!

Read this, and ask yourself - where is any sight at all of the looming black hole in Philip Ozouf's replies?

"Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel

Draft 2015 Budget Statement -

FRIDAY, 18th JULY 2014

The Minister for Treasury and Resources:

....Yes, income forecasts are slightly down. They are slightly down from where we thought they were in terms of that dotted line. We are always prudent, that is the right thing to be...

Senator S.C. Ferguson:

...Yes, there are what? Let us not go into details, it is only £100 million here or there, is it not?

The Minister for Treasury and Resources:

Sarah, please, do not add up figures and cast aspersions like that. You have added up, as Deputy Le Fondré did, 3 numbers, this is a number that was an extrapolation that is wrong. Deputy Le Fondré was wrong to add those figures up and somehow come up with another £100 million problem. Because of planning, because of these measures we are taking we are not going to have a £34 million deficit. We are going to be running a surplus this year and we are planning to have a balanced Budget next year .....

Senator S.C. Ferguson:

I do not think we are ever going to agree on this one, Minister, but thank you for your time...."


Nick Palmer said...

"and that Jersey is still in a very strong economic position that few jurisdictions could dream of"

It's worse than that, he's dead Jim.

Jersey's economy may temporarily be stonger than that of many but what's the benchmark? The expansion of the global economy since the 80s by the reckless printing of money and the humongous amounts of uber leveraged debt that have built up due to "the banksters" have all but rendered the global economy a sweating stick of dynamite just waiting for a small vibration, such as Greece defaulting befeir th whoel sheban shakes itself to pieces.

Jersey's current economy looks forward to, and is increasingly dependent on, the expansion of funds and hedge fund type activity, which is responsible for the uber-leveraging. I can't see the world looking to kindly on that sort of thing after TSHTF.

Ex-Senator Stuart Syvret said...

Well Tony, let's be honest - if we're serious about responsible democracy - just how much excuse can the public have for voting for the manifest clown that is Philip Ozouf - when it was made plain ten years ago that the fiscal "strategy" he & allies supported was utter cobblers?

Stuart Syvret

Nick Palmer said...


= stronger

"such as Greece defaulting befeir th whoel sheban shakes itself to pieces."

=such as Greece defaulting before the whole shebang shakes itself to pieces.

"the world looking to kindly on that sort"

= the world looking too kindly on that sort

I really should proof read before posting.

TonyTheProf said...

And there I was thinking you had gone to skool with Nigel Molesworth, s any fule kno!