SATURDAY 4 DECEMBER 12 NOON. ROYAL SQUARE.
Families, workers, retailers, charities and pensioners as well as those who are regular users of threatened frontline services – such as the recently closed hospital hydrotherapy pool - are invited to attend a demonstration in the Royal Square this Saturday to oppose cuts in frontline services and an increase in GST.
‘We are not advocating inaction. Nobody is denying that economically, times are tough. Rather we are asking the Treasury Minister and other States Members to acknowledge that neither the recession nor the introduction of zero-ten, which have led to the cuts and the proposed increase in GST, are the fault of the public. Yet, it is the ordinary citizen, family and pensioner who will be hardest hit by the latest budget proposals, with increases in taxes – direct and indirect – from which big business is immune. This cannot be right. We are also concerned that local retailers some of whom are already struggling with high rents, administering GST and competing with internet sales will be disproportionately affected. We are concerned that the Chamber of Commerce position ignores this fact.
‘Despite the global climate, Jersey remains a world leader in terms of GDP and the proportion of GDP that we spend on the public sector is very low compared to other jurisdictions, including the Isle of Man and Guernsey. We have no national debt, rather we have savings of over £500m.
However, this wealth is by no means evenly spread and this is also true of the tax burden. Jersey is a small place where multi-million pound corporations, some of which pay no local tax on their profits, sit alongside the homes of ordinary families who are struggling under 20 means 20, social security, GST, increasing education fees and general living. This budget will lead to even greater inequality.’
‘The real backbone of the economy is not one industry or another, rather it is the workers present on the island, who require hospitals, schools, roads, a good postal service etc., and indeed those workers who provide these excellent services.’
If times are tough, it is right that any additional funding (or cuts in spending) are borne by those most able to bear them. What is actually happening is the exact opposite. In recent years, we have seen taxes on profits go down, whilst personal taxes have gone up. Our message to Senator Ozouf is to reverse this: to optimize the contributions of those making huge profits on the island and to ‘let up’ on ordinary residents who are increasingly feeling the pinch, but do not have the same lobbying power of big business.
Members of the public who are unhappy with this state of affairs are invited to join us for the demonstration on Saturday 4th December, 12 Noon in the Royal Square.
DATE: SATURDAY 4TH DEC 2010
VENUE: ROYAL SQUARE
TIME: 12:00 NOON
The meeting will be opened at midday by a young local musician, who will perform a couple tunes as the crowd assemble.
Whilst being organized by Time4Change, there will be contributions from various other groups and individuals, including environmental groups, charities etc. Invites have been sent to Age Concern and other civil society groups, who will be affected.
There will be an opportunity for members of the public to speak. We would particularly like to hear from families who are currently struggling to make ends meet; those who have been affected by 20 means 20 and others who may be struggling to put their children through University. Alternative fiscal policy will be discussed and we invite States Members to listen and take comments on board. There will also be an opportunity for people to leave comments anonymously, or otherwise, some of which will be published.
We invite people to wrap up warm and join us. A different, better Jersey is possible.