05 April 2011

Jersey: Run by whom for whom?

The following press release was sent out yesterday to the local media. I post it here for the blogging community and its readers ahead of its publication elsewhere:

The States of Jersey needs to give more priority to Social legislation including greater protection for women, who are more likely than men to be the victims of unfair dismissal by unscrupulous employers.

'My concern is that Jersey does not have the requisite social legislation to prepare us for the consequences of the economic downturn. We are already seriously behind when it comes to protection for tenants and private sector workers - especially women. It was hoped that the proposed Discrimination Law would bring Jersey up-to-date, but this has now been put on hold, as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review cuts. A short chat with the JACS (Jersey Advisory and Conciliatory Society) shows that women are more likely than men to be the victims of unscrupulous employers. This is of particular concern as we are facing the possibility of job losses in both the private and public sectors. Also, there is no statutory maternity leave and no sign of paternity leave. It should be asked whether this is acceptable in a prosperous island in 2011.'

Recent years have seen a shift in the tax burden from corporate taxation to personal taxation: in 2001 44% of the total tax take came from personal tax compared to an estimated 84% this year. Company tax will only account for 12% of tax revenue.There has been a corresponding reduction in the amount of disposable income of most lower and middle earners as a consequence of GST (which is set to increase) and the reduction of personal income tax allowances; 

The plight of hard working islanders is ignored by the majority of the States Assembly, which continues to prioritise policy and legislation which benefit wealthy individuals and corporations. Meanwhile, the executive's dogged adherence to its flawed zero-ten policy actually encourages companies trading in Jersey to avoid paying tax, by registering outside of the island, thus putting local tax paying businesses at a disadvantage. 

The prioritisation of corporate greed above social need is nothing new in the States of Jersey, but what particularly concerns me is that we may not have seen the worst of the economic downturn. People are already suffering, but historically, there is a time delay when it comes to the impact of a recession reaching Jersey. It is quite likely that we have not seen the full impact of that on the island; add to that the impact of the Treasury Minister's cuts and an increase in GST from June and it is likely that we will see a mass increase in relative poverty, in what is already an expensive place to live. 


  1. Monty mate,

    "My concern is that Jersey does not have the requisite social legislation to prepare us for the consequences of the economic downturn."

    Jersey does not have anything in place that will cater for ANYONE other than the ritious few! If they did, their attitude would be this very old adage....

    There are three treasures which I hold and keep.
    "The first is mercy, for from mercy comes courage.The second is frugality from which comes generosity to others. The third is humility, for from it, comes leadership."

    haha, Word V "raycciste" aaahha aaahahahha

  2. They would rather prat about with speed limits or argue about the precise number of senators than do anything useful!

  3. No maternity without paternity. Equal rights and all that!!

  4. ian time is no longer on there side you talk alot you ask other,s to act what have you done. when will we see you stand up and fight or is it just talk on your blog the nights are dark ?/

  5. The concept of a ‘fair’ taxation rate will always be subjective. The only objective method of taxation is to divide the cost of running the island by the number of its inhabitants, and then for everyone to make exactly the same contribution. The rational argument for this is that everyone is entitled to the same level of services and benefits provided by their taxation, so should pay exactly the same price for those entitlements.

    If you are a higher earner (Which despite your rhetoric, does not necessarily exclude you from the ‘plight of being a hard working islander’), do you not think that paying an increasingly larger amount of tax for the same level of entitlements at some point begins to grate ? (Especially when a certain number of people are receiving those same, or in many cases through welfare provision, a higher level of benefits), without making any payment for those benefits themselves.

    Appealing to people’s moral responsibility is not a rational argument. It is an emotional one, and ignores the inequality between payment made and benefit received. Is it fair to ask somebody to pay more simply because they can afford to pay more ? Would you gladly pay five times the price somebody else pays for every product you buy simply because you earn five times their salary ? The reality is that higher earners are already doing this in the price they pay for the ‘product’ provided by the States.

    Whether you like it or not, the ‘prioritisation’ of corporate greed actually enables this island to pay for its social needs, whether the taxation is derived from the companies themselves, or from their employees via higher income tax levels because of higher profit margins. (Every profitable business pays tax, even if they don't pay it locally) If you believe that this is wrong, then please ask the States to reduce your salary by the percentage of overall income the government receives, either directly, or indirectly, from the Finance Industry, and then at least you can carry on with a clean conscience, knowing the you are not living a lie by deriving a benefit from the very target of your criticisms.

    I do of course understand your concerns and the reality is that there will always be social inequality, however those people paying the larger amounts of tax also see inequality between their contribution, and the level of services they derive, and your argument appears to be that this balance should become even more inequitable.

    I hope you will publish this comment as understanding the other side of the issue is often helpful in developing solutions that will work for eveybody.


  6. On Wednesday the 30th of March you said "That was a piece of pure satire, his speech, and that is going to go straight up on my blog unedited because it was genius: “Jersey is a shining beacon of democracy.”

    We are waiting...................................

  7. Tell me elected rep - why do we seem to expect poor people to be more aware of political reform than rich ones?
    Surely with wealth should come knowledge and a social responsibility. If not, would it be better to campaign for poverty for all rather than prosperity?

    Do you think that Jersey would be a better place with an enhanced morality if poverty rather than wealth generation was the Strategic Aim?

  8. Well you have proven that you are powerless in the States together with your voting niche to do anything about any of this. All people can do now is get out of here.

  9. @ 'Tell me elected rep' -
    We don't expect the poor to be more aware of political reform than the rich ones. Quite clearly, the rich are more aware of the implications of political reform than the poor, and that will be to the benefit of those whose wealth they have hived off. And it is exactly this need for a 'conscious proletariat that one looks to the masses - not simply 'the poor' - to be the main protagonists in this social change

  10. Senator Perchard's amazing speech will be the focus of tomorrow's blog

  11. This is funny. You scan the blogs and its always the same handful of people who comment on each others posts. But moving on, you are going to have to pull your finger if you think you will have any chance of changing this Government because the voting system of 2-1 against anything the left wing fraternity mentions sticks out like a sore thumb since 2008. By the way what has happened to this Reform Party, care to give an update?