Jersey

Minister denies claims spending is out of control

Jersey's Social Security minister has denied claims that his department's spending is out of control.

The group that monitors government spending said changes to the benefit system cost taxpayers an extra £32m.

The Public Accounts Committee said the move from a parish welfare system to an island-wide income support scheme was responsible for the increase.

Social Security Minister Deputy Ian Gorst said the overspend had little or nothing to do with income support.

The Public Accounts Committee said that the change, in 2005, pushed the Social Security department's spending out of control.

The committee said it proved that the way Jersey is run means the government has no power over how public money is spent.

Deputy Gorst said the extra budget had included supplementing the future States pension for workers on low and middle incomes and to pay for extra residential care for older people.

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