18/01/2017 Channel Islands News


18/01/2017

The latest news, sport and weather for the Channel Islands.


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Minister's exit Strang. Join me now on BBC Two.

:00:00.:00:11.

Plans to borrow hundreds of millions of pounds for Jersey's

:00:12.:00:14.

It is the biggest level of debt that has faced this

:00:15.:00:24.

It is important that scrutiny and due process is followed

:00:25.:00:28.

for governance purposes and we have seen very recently what happens

:00:29.:00:30.

Good evening and welcome to the late news from BBC Channel Islands,

:00:31.:00:34.

Also tonight: A stronger Britain in charge of it's own laws, but how

:00:35.:00:41.

It's emerged the plan to borrow hundreds of millions of pounds

:00:42.:00:56.

to pay for Jersey's new hospital could be illegal.

:00:57.:00:58.

Ministers want to fund the project by borrowing up to four

:00:59.:01:01.

But concerns raised in the States today have

:01:02.:01:06.

It comes after some politicians argue they weren't given enough time

:01:07.:01:12.

The question of where Jersey's new hospital should be has of course

:01:13.:01:21.

But today, the big question and the subject of lengthy debate

:01:22.:01:26.

The budget for the new hospital is ?466 million.

:01:27.:01:33.

Rather than funding it entirely through the Strategic Reserve,

:01:34.:01:37.

the so-called rainy-day fund, which currently stands

:01:38.:01:39.

The plan is to help pay for it by borrowing up to ?400 million.

:01:40.:01:45.

This would be the biggest debt ever taken on by the States.

:01:46.:01:49.

But the plans haven't been reviewed by the scrutiny panel,

:01:50.:01:53.

who say they weren't given enough time.

:01:54.:01:57.

The item that we're debating is so important.

:01:58.:02:04.

It is therefore incredibly important that scrutiny should have gone

:02:05.:02:09.

through the process and looked at issues had a point of governance. We

:02:10.:02:16.

have had a examples very recently of governments failing -- governance

:02:17.:02:20.

failing. So it's important due

:02:21.:02:21.

process is followed And we've seen very

:02:22.:02:23.

recently what happens But the Treasury Minister says

:02:24.:02:25.

time was of the essence. Interest rates are predicted to move

:02:26.:02:29.

and every 0.1% increase could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds

:02:30.:02:32.

over a 40 year period. Equally, I do support the scrutiny

:02:33.:02:34.

process and it's regrettable that scrutiny weren't able to review

:02:35.:02:37.

this before now. The budget has been capped at 406 is

:02:38.:02:45.

its million pounds, but I could not change the future could? It has been

:02:46.:02:50.

capped for a very good reason. There is scope for it to creep in the

:02:51.:02:54.

project. It is possible for a number of reasons that the costs could

:02:55.:02:57.

increase although I would not expected to do so for the simple

:02:58.:03:01.

reason that we have already built in a significant contingency of ?90

:03:02.:03:07.

billion. ?90 million. Never mind it budget or the lack of scrutiny,

:03:08.:03:11.

there is a bigger problem. Under the law it may not be legal. They cannot

:03:12.:03:16.

borrow more than they collect in tax.

:03:17.:03:18.

They've already borrowed millions for social housing,

:03:19.:03:20.

so 400-million more to pay for the hospital could

:03:21.:03:22.

However, there's confusion over whether the Long Term Care Benefit

:03:23.:03:25.

If it does, the the States taxation pot is bigger,

:03:26.:03:29.

so it could borrow enough to fund the new hospital.

:03:30.:03:32.

So the debate's on hold until tomorrow once the States

:03:33.:03:34.

More certainty and confidence, that's how one Jersey

:03:35.:03:40.

business is feeling following the British Prime

:03:41.:03:45.

Theresa May has been answering questions today

:03:46.:03:49.

following her announcement that the UK will leave

:03:50.:03:51.

But there's still lots of negotiations on where

:03:52.:03:56.

the Channel Islands sit within these plans, as Emma Chambers has

:03:57.:03:58.

What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market.

:03:59.:04:05.

But it does mean more freedom to trade, or that's what the British

:04:06.:04:08.

Its unclear if that freedom will also be carried

:04:09.:04:13.

to the Channel Islands, who are also not in

:04:14.:04:16.

This is a typical example of a product where we have

:04:17.:04:23.

the bottle made in Italy and shipped from there.

:04:24.:04:26.

The foil is in Germany and the label in the UK and the case

:04:27.:04:31.

Tim imports lots of goods from the EU.

:04:32.:04:34.

He's distilled yesterday's Brexit speech positively.

:04:35.:04:37.

He still has concerns a new trade deal could cost them more.

:04:38.:04:40.

We've already seen the uncertainty of Brexit in the first place.

:04:41.:04:45.

Trade prices are in disarray and we have probably seen in the

:04:46.:04:50.

markets that food ingredients have raised by about 5 or 10%.

:04:51.:04:54.

As a while before that filters through.

:04:55.:05:07.

While some things are slightly clearer, whether Channel

:05:08.:05:09.

Islands set within these agreements have not been made.

:05:10.:05:11.

Senator Ian Gorst, Jersey's Chief Minister.

:05:12.:05:13.

The most important thing for us is that we maintain our existing

:05:14.:05:16.

relationship with the UK and that's about the common travel area with

:05:17.:05:19.

the UK, its about the customs union with the UK and they are the most

:05:20.:05:22.

important things not only for individuals but right

:05:23.:05:24.

And it will be the local businesses like Tim's who will be listening

:05:25.:05:28.

closely to this to make sure all the imports in and out

:05:29.:05:31.

of the Channel Islands will be made smoothly in the future.

:05:32.:05:38.

A Jersey constable hopes that giving prisoners the chance to vote

:05:39.:05:41.

in island elections will mean they're more likely to integrate

:05:42.:05:44.

now prisoners who serve four years or less will be able

:05:45.:05:52.

The move will bring Jersey in line with Guernsey and most other

:05:53.:05:56.

European countries, except the UK where prisoners

:05:57.:05:58.

Concerns over funding for a new benefits system have been

:05:59.:06:04.

raised at a scrutiny hearing in Guernsey.

:06:05.:06:08.

Members of the Employment and Social Security Committee also

:06:09.:06:10.

faced questions on pension funds, family allowances and tax

:06:11.:06:12.

Its president says they're committed to the principle of universal

:06:13.:06:21.

benefits rather than means-testing, but admits there are doubts over how

:06:22.:06:23.

We've only got a certain pot of money.

:06:24.:06:34.

We are under pressure to deliver more with that

:06:35.:06:36.

money, but actually we have got a declining pot of money.

:06:37.:06:43.

So for us as a committee, that is always the

:06:44.:06:46.

Meanwhile, an independent report's found that Jersey's social

:06:47.:06:49.

security fund is healthy, with ?1.4 billion to meet the costs

:06:50.:06:52.

However, the report also concluded these

:06:53.:07:00.

assets will gradually be used up as the cost of pensions increases.

:07:01.:07:03.

But it said action doesn't need to be taken until after

:07:04.:07:06.

Should learner drivers in the Channel Islands have to spend

:07:07.:07:12.

more time behind the wheel before taking their test?

:07:13.:07:14.

It's something that's being considered in the UK.

:07:15.:07:17.

And it's an idea that's got support locally too,

:07:18.:07:20.

So driving in Guernsey is pretty different to the UK.

:07:21.:07:42.

Although not without it's challenges.

:07:43.:07:45.

But pass your test here and you can nip over and be on those bigger,

:07:46.:07:49.

And wanting that to remain the case Guernsey tends to mimic the UK

:07:50.:07:55.

when it comes to things like driving tests.

:07:56.:07:59.

What is important is that although we pass

:08:00.:08:01.

Channel Islands we drive everywhere in the UK.

:08:02.:08:08.

Our test has to be rigid and comparable for other areas.

:08:09.:08:11.

So if plans in the UK go ahead, to make learners spend a minimum

:08:12.:08:15.

of up to 120 hours behind the wheel before taking their test.

:08:16.:08:18.

This local instructor thinks there'd be merit in the idea.

:08:19.:08:27.

You know, having a certain amount of hours to do before they do their

:08:28.:08:31.

Some people pass their test very quickly and I think it leaves them

:08:32.:08:41.

open to danger on the roads with not enough knowledge, just being taught

:08:42.:08:45.

That is one thing, but being able to drive properly and

:08:46.:08:48.

have the skills to react well is another thing.

:08:49.:08:53.

In reality, if Guernsey does not want full behind

:08:54.:08:55.

and the UK decides more practice is what learners need, then Guernsey

:08:56.:08:58.

might have to consider going for it, too.

:08:59.:09:06.

Here's David Braine with your weather.

:09:07.:09:13.

Our fine but cold weather continues. There's been some lovely winter

:09:14.:09:21.

sunshine today. A shot taken by Chris in Guernsey. Glorious blue

:09:22.:09:24.

skies. Cold at night. Tomorrow is going to be another dry and sunny

:09:25.:09:29.

day. More of a breeze and a cold wind to coming in from the Easter

:09:30.:09:32.

wrap-up warm. A weather front straddling the weather here, but it

:09:33.:09:39.

is that easterly winds and dry air coming from the continent. It is

:09:40.:09:42.

going to be with us throughout the rest of this week and it keeps fine

:09:43.:09:47.

with cold weather right the way through. A bit more in the way of

:09:48.:09:51.

cloud coming through the channel on Friday, but overnight tonight like

:09:52.:09:54.

we saw last night a lot of clear sky that very quickly turns very cold.

:09:55.:09:58.

Temperatures not quite as cold as they could be because there is still

:09:59.:10:01.

a bit of a breeze and easterly breeze that helps keep the

:10:02.:10:05.

temperatures up quite a few places. They will get down to one or perhaps

:10:06.:10:10.

below zero. A risk of frost tomorrow morning. Fine weather to enjoy when

:10:11.:10:14.

the sun comes up that it is almost unbroken sunshine through the day.

:10:15.:10:19.

Still cold at the strong wind from east or north-east just 6 degrees as

:10:20.:10:23.

the top temperature. Unsubtle weather in the southern areas of

:10:24.:10:27.

Spain and Portugal. Quite cold. Really cold and really low

:10:28.:10:30.

temperatures across eastern parts of Europe. That has been beset up a

:10:31.:10:33.

couple of days and that continues into Thursday, as well. This is the

:10:34.:10:38.

forecast for the rest of this week. It is cold of a breeze still from

:10:39.:10:43.

the east still a bit of cloud into Friday and into Saturday. The cloud

:10:44.:10:47.

on Friday and through the morning and the afternoon is likely to

:10:48.:10:51.

produce showers. Not many lows will reach the island. It will be cold.

:10:52.:10:55.

Have a good night. That's your news this Wednesday

:10:56.:10:57.

evening, BBC Radio Guernsey next few days, no great changes over

:10:58.:11:07.

the next few days, more sunshine on the way.

:11:08.:11:14.

Despite high-pressure sitting across the country so only slow changes in

:11:15.:11:21.

the weather, we have had a variety of

:11:22.:11:22.

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