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The difficult with living within our means is deciding what gets cut. I think it was Neil Foreman on another thread who pointed this out - one persons candidate for cutting is anothers sacred cow. Here's an example: a while back I posted a comment on TiG that found its way onto the paper. Basically I said that the Schools Music Service should be cut before any schools were closed. My goodness what an uproar it caused on Facebook when John Gollop criticised it! I had to explain to John and others that actually I didn't want to close anything, it was just a question of priorities. As a parent I'd rather no front line Education Services were closed....still I can understand why others (particularly those without children) would be clamouring to shut a primary school or two and ditch the Music Service. So you see the dilemma - what do we cut? A couple of Primary Schools? Schools Music Service? Beau Sejour? Non-essential operations? Mental Health Services? Universal Benefits? Civil Service Jobs? Dairy Subsidies? Bus Subsidies? Infrastructure Maintenance (Airport / Harbour / Roads)? .....and what do we not do? Sewage Treatment Plant? Waste Management? Everyone will have their ideas which ones are more important than others, but wherever the axe falls someone will be unhappy, and therein lies the crux of the matter on this island. The problem with Guernsey is we want world class public services with low taxation. This is all well and good in affluent times - jobs are plentiful and salaries are high, but gradually those times are changing. At the moment though we're a bit stuck as low taxation is necessary to maintain our core industry. No matter what people say we are reliant on finance and we'd be in a much bigger financial mess without it. What this does mean though is that that cuts do need to be made, and we need strong political leadership to decide what these will be. Yes we can trim some of the fat but unless the economy dramatically improves at some point we're just delaying....eventually the books won't balance and we'll be back to where we are now. It will require Deputies to be tough, even cold hearted, to ensure things get seen through - as we can't afford to have too many u-turns just because some folk get upset.