SUBSIDIES given by the government to LibertyBus are commercially sensitive and will not be made public at present, the Infrastructure Minister has said.
Responding to a written States question about LibertyBus, Deputy Tom Binet said that with the current bus operator contract being put out to tender again, releasing details about the subsidy would be likely to harm the public interest.
For the second time this year, Deputy Rob Ward has asked the minister about payments and received a similar answer.
In his answer to the most recent question, published on 2 October, Deputy Binet explained that payments were made by the government to LibertyBus to ensure that the fares paid by passengers were maintained at a low level.
“Fares are significantly below the break-even level, therefore representing a subsidy to the travelling public,” he said.
In February this year, Deputy Binet signed a ministerial decision extending the span of the existing contract, which began in January 2013, until April 2025.
A shortlist of organisations interested in tendering for the new contract had been drawn up following a pre-qualification process, the minister added, with tender documentation set to be issued as the next step in the process.
“In view of this, the information requested is currently considered commercially sensitive,” he said.
“At this stage, putting the predicted subsidy amount into the public domain is likely to be detrimental to the government’s negotiating position and ultimately to the public interest.” Deputy Binet gave an almost identical answer to a previous written question asked by Deputy Ward in April.
LibertyBus services are provided by CT Plus Jersey, which has been a subsidiary company of Kelsian UK since September 2022, having previously been wholly owned by HCT Group.