1 (a). Is it right that the number of Senators has been reduced, thus limiting
the choice for Islanders as a whole to choose their political leaders?
1 (b). If no, what would you seek to do about it?
2. The States Pension age is going to be progressively increased over the next few years. Would you support legislation preventing employers from compulsorily retiring people who have not yet qualified for their pension, to prevent them being left without any income other than such welfare as they may qualify for?
3 (a). Would you support measures to stabilise the population at current levels?
3 (b). If not, how do think Jersey can accommodate further population growth?
4. Who will have your support to be the next Chief Minister?
5. Would you like Jersey to move towards a more progressive tax system?
6. Do you think GST should be retained in its present form, abolished, reduced or increased?
7 (a). Is Ministerial Government working the way it was envisaged?
7 (b) If not, what would you do to remedy the situation?
8. With the long-term stagnation of the housing market, the private rental sector is once again growing in importance. Would you support an overhaul of tenancy law to strike a fairer balance of rights and duties between residents and landlords?
9. Do you have a view on whether the extensive importation of UK Civil Service managers on short contracts is beneficial, or whether there should be more emphasis on career development for local civil servants?
10. Which, if any, public services would you like to see the States cutting?
11. Would you support increased Social Security contributions, ring fenced to protect future pension & health benefits, but not as a way of raising income for the Treasury.
Francis le Gresley:-
1 [a] The reduction in the number of Senators was part of a number of reforms to enable a true general election to take place in October 2014. The proposed Electoral Commission may recommend that the remaining 10 Senators are retained or do away with the position altogether in favour of one States Member as per Clothier. I would favour four or five large constituencies rather than parochial seats.
2. I do not support government interfering in the recruitment or release of staff employed by private businesses. The income support benefit system is there to help individuals who have the required five years continuous residence and who are in need due to unemployment or low income.
3[a]Yes. I am particularly concerned that an estimated 11,000 people with housing qualifications, currently living in the UK or abroad, could return to live in Jersey at anytime. I believe that ultimately the only way to control immigration is to have a system of time-limited work permits similar to the system we currently have for visitors or workers from non EU countries.
4] Of the current declared candidates I would support Ian Gorst but until all the candidates are known it is difficult to say.
5] Yes. I have stated this on numerous occasions in the States and it is in my manifesto.
6] We need the income from GST, estimated to be £80m in 2012, to replace the lost income from the finance industry and companies as a result of the 0/10 regime. I think the underlying rate should be reduced as soon as our finances improve. I would support locally grown fruit, vegetables and local dairy products being exempted from GST.
7] [a] The problem with Ministerial government is that we end up with an exclusive rather than inclusive form of government. The next Chief Minister must embrace talents from all sides of the house. I do not believe the system is broke but I do think we need to reduce the number of States Members down to about 43.
8] The States have already approved the Residential Tenancies Law, although it has not yet come into force. The Health and Social Services Department is also drafting legislation relating to minimum standards in residential accommodation.
9] I definitely believe in career development but accept that from time to time the import of Managers with particular expertise can be beneficial. For example I understand the new Hospital Director has been responsible for making changes which have improved patient care and safety whilst he has also found ways to save significant sums of annual expenditure.
10] I do not think we should cut any particular public service but we should continue to look for savings in delivery of services. I think the final salary pension scheme should be closed to new entrants and replaced with a defined contribution scheme. In the long term this would save the States in excess of £6m per year.
11 ] There is no doubt that social security contributions will have to be increased in the future to fund pensions and benefits. All employees can expect a rise of 1.5 % from 2013 for the new long term care benefit scheme.
The proposed rise in employee contributions of 2% for earnings above the lower earnings limit up to the new upper earnings limit of £150,000 has been deferred not abandoned. The money so raised would reduce supplementation by the tax payer of social security contributions for those people who earn below the lower earnings limit of £44,232. I have no problem with this proposal although some people see it as a tax raising measure rather than an increase in contributions.
1a. No. I voted against the reduction in the number of Senators and continue to oppose it.
1b. I will make representations to the Electoral Commission once formed to the effect that the lost seats should be re-instated.
2. I support the increase in pensionable age which will start gradually from 2020. I also support the introduction of discrimination legislation which will be essential to ensure that no one can be made redundant on grounds of age.
3a. I support population control through much stricter control and review of jobs licenses, which will be possible once the new law comes into effect. I made the case for the decision making to be undertaken by the Social Security department so that we could have proper alignment between those out of and looking for work and jobs licenses. Which we will always need some inward migration for nurses and doctors etc I think we should keep our population level below 100,000.
3b. Answered above.
4. I have said that if I am re-elected next week then I will consider standing for the position myself.
5. I have supported exempting food from GST (be that healthy, locally grown or mirroring some other system). This would help to make our current system more progressive.
6. GST should be retained but with exemptions for food.
7a. Ministerial government is working to an extend. It has however made the States chamber a more divided and divisive place, which is to the detriment of the community generally and good government.
7b. All States members should be more involved, either by making make Assistant Ministers or by giving each member a specific job or role to perform i.e.. an alcohol strategy champion.
8. The States have recently introduced new tenancy legislation which addressed some of the previous imbalance.
9.Much more must be done to develop local people. I together with Deputy Egre and Le Herissier developed a succession planning procedure for the States three years ago. We must ensure that it is adhered to.
10. I don’t think the problems are necessarily around cutting public services, but rather about providing them more efficiently and in a more cost effective manner.
11. Yes. Absolutely!
Sir Philip Bailhache:-
I . I do not think that the reduction of the number of senators was a sensible way of dealing with a problem that has eluded a solution for a long time. On the other hand, I do think that there are too many members of the States and that numbers should be reduced. My solution to the problem is set out in broad terms in my manifesto and in speeches made at St. Clement and St. Peter, all of which are on my website at www.philipbailhache.je .
2. Balancing the rights of young people leaving school or college with the rights of people approaching retirement is not easy. For many years people have retired at 65 and made way for youngsters entering the workplace for the first time. If older people are given a legal right to remain in employment indefinitely, that will impact upon the rights of young people, at least for a time. In broad terms of course it must be fair to seek to protect the rights of those whose entitlement to pension will arrive at a later stage.
3. 1 would support measures to seek to limit the increase in the population, but not to prevent it from rising at all, which would be likely to damage the economy to the detriment of all.
4. I do not know who the candidates are going to be, and cannot therefore answer this question.
5. I do not know what is meant by "more progressive tax system". If this means increasing the rate of tax payable by those earning more than a certain limit, I am not in favour, because I believe that it would probably diminish rather than increase the income of the States. A stable tax rate of 20% has been one of the reasons why Jersey's economy has been so successful in the last few decades.
6. I think that GST should be retained in its present form, and at the same rate of 5%.
7. No. My remedy is set out in my manifesto and in speeches given at St Clement and St Peter.
8. I should prefer to see measures taken to diminish the private rental sector by increasing the percentage of people owning their own home. Home ownership is at a lower rate in Jersey than in Guernsey or the UK, and this should be remedied.
9. 1 think that there should be much more emphasis on career development for local civil servants.
10. I do not know of any States services that I would cut.
11. Social Security contributions have recently been increased and I would not at present support any further increases which would, in my view, lead to higher unemployment and depress economic growth.