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£79M Spend On Cabinet Office Is A 'Farce'

Deputy Max Andrews has called the current way the £79 million Cabinet Office runs a 'farce' for the lack of accountability.

Currently, 642 people are employed by the Cabinet Office, with five vacancies, but Deputy Max Andrews believes an island of Jersey's size would work well with 180 civil servants in the senior department.

The St Helier Deputy believes the government department is expanding too much. He thinks it is more difficult to hold people accountable because there is 'too much going on'.

"I know it was something of a priority for the previous Chief Minister to set up a Cabinet Office, but what I actually see it being is much more of a farce, in fairness.

I would rather streamline services where civil servants are held to account."

Deputy Andrew says saving money by reducing government spending on the Cabinet Office would mean more cash is available for other areas, such as the social sector.

He says there are too many policy leads, and he would like to see a small number of civil servants being responsible for a few different areas.

"It just doesn't make any sense, and it also happens to be more costly when we could be using some of the budget available there for frontline services.

With health and education, we need to be investing more in those two areas, and we're not doing enough."

Previous Government Plans have increased the spending on the Cabinet Office by more than £24.6 million in the last two years.

The size of the department has almost doubled in size since 2019.

Deputy Max Andrews says Deputy Farnham shared the same concerns about the former government's spending plan.

"It would be wise if he took a similar stance here to say: 'Well look, this is something that I've inherited. The Cabinet Office's £79 million budget is not acceptable.'

He will need to discuss this with 12 other ministers, and if they are seen to not be addressing expenditure, then I think the public can see that the new government is not delivering the change they thought would be manifesting."

Deputy Andrew's proposition, asking States Members to request the Chief Minister reviews expenditure and finds savings, will be debated in the Assembly on 27 February.

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