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.
1. It is largely irrelevant the composition and number of States members. What is important that the States chamber works effectively. Whilst people have suggested political parties, I do not believe there is sufficient difference in opinion in Jersey to justify parties. However that removes the link between the wishes of the people and the people in the legislature which would be served by parties (through policy decision which are made at party conferences). The lack of this interaction between the public and the people in the chamber is I believe the root of all Jersey's problems and I would therefore address this by undertaking public surveys of every decision and bringing the results to each debate so the will of the people is clearly evidenced in every debate. David Cameron votes along party lines and not according to his own will so clearly there is no reason why any Senator should not likewise vote according to the wishes of the electorate.
2. I do not believe that their should be an arbitrary retirement age or pension age, the age of retirement should be determined by medical need or personal choice. Pensions received should be larger or smaller depending on contributions made and people should be able to opt out of social security altogether if they so wish and thus receive no state pension or sickness benefit etc. Clearly they would need to make their own private provisions.
3. I would institute a system of residence permit for all persons who do not have housing qualifications. We are overpopulated and need to remove some of the people that are already here. There should be a general understanding that no further people will be allowed to qualify for housing although persons may be allowed temporary residence to complete fixed term work contracts as required by businesses. If the last 13 years of immigrants were over time denied a residency permit, the population should drop.
4) Roy Le Herissier
1 (a) Is it right that to reduce the numbers of Senators.
No but it is forcing constitutional change that we need.
I am seeking constitutional change
2. States Pension
Yes, I would support this but if the recession gets any deeper to, then I would support job share and people working even longer.
3 a). Of course
4) so far in order of preference Philip Osouf followed by Ian Le Marquand.
5). Depends, if it means that we have to increase GST beyond 10% to fill the budget and there was really no other means of raising taxes, then I would move towards a progressive system.
6). GST retained as need to have some sort of Sales tax, as everybody needs to pay some tax. However do not want to see it go up or taken of chosen items. If taken of chosen items would lead to bureacratic nightmare.
7). a) nearly working
b) allocation of more work to deputies so each one has enough work to get along with so that they don't spend their time wasting States time and can report upwards.
8. Not sure yet.
9. Obviously emphasis on local rather than UK civil servants. But if the quality in anyways is compromised as a result then we should revert (case specific) to bringing in UK civil Servants. The most important factor is quality of service!
10. Road, Ambulance????? (this is a difficult question to answer as I don't yet work in the states.)
Certainly I would like to look at the hours (including voluntary hours) that each employee spends at work and then go from there.
Q 10) on Cutbacks, I would like add that I would, if the recessions continue, go for a cutback of 5 to 10% for senior civil servants, then work downwards in the civil service heirarchy, seek job shares wherever possible and then cutbacks of all unnecessary staff or work. This would be dependent on the need to cutback.
11). Yes but I would like social security contributions cut for the unemployed and for those starting out in a new business.
1a/ The way it was done without proper public consultation was not right especially as surveys have shown the public are keen on the Island wide mandate. It might be acceptable to reduce the number of senators as part of a complete package put to and supported by a referendum.
1b/ Lobby the electoral commission once it is set up.
2/ Yes with 1 proviso. I would not be totally against allowing an agreed graduated tailing off of hours for people over say 65 where the employer hires a school leaver or unemployed person and gives them training to take up the vacancy that is coming up. I suspect in the case of many manual workers they will be genuinely on sick benefits before reaching retirement age.
3b/ It cannot do so sustainably.
4/ Bob Hill.
5/ Oh Yes.
6/ GST is a regressive tax and I believe in progressive taxation. I campaigned against its introduction because of that. I would rather have consumption taxes on inessential, planet and life damaging, and luxury items. There is no sign of that happening soon locally, so I support the next best option on the table - removal from essentials like food, domestic power and water.
We could have avoided increasing GST if we had found a way to tax non resident non finance companies. That imbalance with locally resident non finance companies is unfair. Correcting this is key to reducing or removing GST, unless we introduce the consumption taxes above.
7a/ The key rationale for ministerial government was to get faster decision making compared to the committee system. It does that, but at a very heavy price. We are close to what John Stuart Mill called the tyranny of the majority.
The current Chief Minister proposed political friends and allies for ministerial and assistant minister positions, thereby breaking the consensual approach the committee system allowed. The excluded members were consigned to scrutiny or oblivion so scrutiny has become a sort of opposition. That is not what scrutiny was intended to be.
7b/ Ministerial government will only work if there some mechanism to hold the COM to account. As Clothier pointed out ministerial government only works in a party oriented system. My preference short term, assuming Clothier is not going to be implemented in full, is to have constables take on leading the scrutiny role, but lose their vote on propositions in the house. That would stop scrutiny being seen as an opposition, and allow the factions in the house to organise politically in formal or informal parties.
8/ This is not an area I know well enough to give a definitive commitment, but it seems a reasonable proposition.
9/ Yes, there should be more work done on career development for local civil servants. J-cats in general were intend to enable short term skills to be brought in so locals could be trained to take on the role once the J-cat expires. It does not seem to be working like that. I proposed in 2008 that we charge fees for J-Cats and use that ring fenced fund to support the education and training of locals with the skills to take up those positions.
10/ The communications unit.
11/ Any social security contributions certainly have to be ring fenced to protect them from being raided by the Treasury. We clearly do have to plan for a future where people are expected to live longer. However I am unconvinced that increasing social security contribution is enough. Increasing building quality so people have to spend less on heating and changing the tariff structure of utilities so consumers of small quantities pay less per unit overall would also help. We also should do a great deal more on preventative health care to avert some of the projected problems.
I respond to your questionnaire as follows:-
1. (a) & (b) No. I am committed to put the options from the Electoral Commission to a referendum and for the States to be bound by the majority vote of the same.
3. Yes. I am in favour of a work permits or similar.
4. Ian Gorst probably (if elected).
5. Yes. I am certainly in favour of a development tax that is tapered depending on the type of property built.
6. No. It is probably here to stay but should remain at 5% and not be applied to food and utilities.
7. No. I favour a role for as many members as possible and reform of the current scrutiny system.
8. Yes. When in London I was specialised in housing law so I am aware of the effects of an unregulated rented sector. I am also in the rented sector myself.
9. As a former member of the Appointments Commission I favour succession planning if at all possible.
10. Only excessive bureaucracy and 'golden handshakes'. As far as possible front line services should be protected.