Attac Jersey is a Member of the International Tax Justice Network. We are Members of the Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions for the Benefit of Citizens, (ATTAC) and the Tax Justice Network, (TJN). The aims of both organisations are to research, educate and campaign to further public awareness. We are seeking to alleviate poverty through the creation of just taxation systems to fund social goods.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Family Nursing and Home Care Cutbacks: A Comment

From  Tony the Prof.  

PATIENTS using Family Nursing and Home Care may soon have to buy their own medical
products after the charity announced cuts to its service. In a letter sent to FNHC patients on
Monday, the charity's finance director, Andy Cook, said that there were plans to get patients to
purchase their own dressings from their local pharmacy. In the letter Mr Cook said that the range
of dressings and other medical items distributed by FNHC district nurses would be reduced
to 'conform to an agreed list of products between us and Health'. The move has been heavily
criticised by Unite union official Nick Corbel, who has warned that patients will be put at risk.

What will happen in the future if you are one of those who require medical products that are
currently supplied by Family Nursing & Home Care (FNHC) who have recently announced the
closure of their outlet?

Currently you have to join FNHC and pay a membership fee of £50 upwards to be able to access
this service, and the scheme includes the provisions of feeding tubes, dressings and incontinence
pads for children three years and above. Dietary drinks are also medically required by the person/
patient for their well-being (to keep them alive).. The change in policy means that members will
no longer be receiving the service they have paid a membership fee for.

Financial assistance is currently provided to FNHC by Health & Social Services and Social Security
Department fund, and there are free medical supplies to under five year olds. Families with
children over five years pay 15% of FNHC retail price for the products.

According to the staff of FNHC stores, who received their redundancy notices on Easter Saturday,
the outlet closes on the 1st July 2011. One of my correspondents commented that "The staff
runs efficient and personal services which believe no private company would, or could provide."

The alternative will be purchasing items required from chemists or other outlets at full cost.

This reminded me very of the true story told by theologian Frances Young, in her book, "Face to
Face", and this was about the NHS in England. Cuts there came in earlier than in Jersey, under
the regime of Margaret Thatcher and the so-called policy "care in the community", which actually
often simply meant State care on the cheap:

Arthur's incontinence has always been with us, and the way we have handled it has really been
an extension of the babyhood practice of using nappies. We are geared up to it with suitable
washing machines and drying arrangements. But plastic pants became a problem: he got too big
for the typical baby-pairs you can get in chemists' shops. We heard from other parents about the
supply of disposable rolls and plastic pants. I asked our social worker. She said I could call in at
the Community Health centre and pick up what we needed. I could and did. There was a funny
old man who would just take your word for it, fill a plastic sack with rolls, produce a couple of
pairs of plastic holders and all was fine. We went about every three months. We only needed
rolls for school.

Then came the cuts. So what did they do? They employed a secretary to check up on every issue
from the Community Health stores. The secretary must have cost more than they saved. The
informal arrangement no longer worked. A call from the social worker got us on the list, but then
they would only give us a couple of rolls at a time, and we were lucky to get any plastic pants.
There was no way we could call frequently enough to get enough rolls for school use. School
kept pressing. Other parents were on the laundry service; they had a regular supply delivered
every week. Why didn't we apply? Eventually I tracked down the District Nurse and a formal
application was put in. We were put on a two year waiting list. Think of it - people coping with
incontinent old people on a two year waiting list! They're likely to die before they get what they

That is the trouble with removing a system that works. The alternatives usually require form
filling, and bureaucrats checking, and replacing the front-line staff who know the people and
their needs, decisions become bedded down with line managers checking decisions at a lower
level; instead the whole enterprise, as I am sure will also happen in Jersey, becomes more
formal, with forms to complete, assessments to check, before any alternative support is given to
the needy.

They now will have to justify their need to clerical staff, rather than it being assessed on a
common-sense basis by an organisation which can supply nurses to change dressings, for
example, and who will know how people are coping. It is another burden, another hoop to jump
through. As Frances Young says:

Professionals are always telling us to keep fighting for our rights, but we have got better uses of
our time and energies. What concerns me is not our particular situation, but what it reveals
about the stupidity of the whole set up, what it reveals about the hardships more vulnerable
people must suffer. And this is supposed to be a caring society. Those who need the care are
subject to suspicion and discouragement. They are exposed to unnecessary indignities - like the
time my husband and I were sent separate bills to cover the parental contribution to Arthur's
care. I hear people from disadvantaged backgrounds, immigrant groups, crying out at the way
they are treated and saying this society is racist; I tell them it is not just those with the `wrong'
colour skin who suffer in this way in our society. It should not simply be interpreted as racist.
Granted that it is worse for them at times because of racist attitudes, it is still a fact that even
people like us, white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, comfortable, middleclass and articulate, are
subject to being treated as non-persons when we present our vulnerable face to officialdom.

There is something about the way state services are organized which creates an 'us' and `them'
situation which is profoundly alienating. I am glad that I have experienced something of this, and
can stand with at least a small measure of understanding alongside the real poor and
inadequates in our society. It is time we realized just how uncaring and inhuman our institutions
are. It is time Socialists realized that this is what their ideals have produced -- it has gone bad on
them. It is time Conservatives realized that cuts have hurt the most vulnerable members of
society whatever they say, and that stopping waste has created waste, and hardship .

And she notes what we will see in Jersey, that more expensive options will be available, and an
extra financial burden placed on those who are struggling with enough burdens as it is:

It is since they came to power that supplies for incontinence have mushroomed in Boots and in
chemists' shop windows. At last we can get what we need - by paying for it. Society may need
handicap, but it will not bear the cost of handicap. The unfortunate are made to feel that they
are to blame for their misfortune.

One of the comments on the JEP website is particularly pertinent in this respect:

Someone needs the Nurse opinion on this one as some patients, like my late father have leg
ulcer problems and the amount and cost of dressings is extortionate to them. For the old its
often a choice between food and electricity or changing dressings regularly. Looks like we'll be
back to the old days when the patients had to rewash bandages.!!

"Face to Face", Frances Young, 1986

Friday, May 27, 2011


From: Tax Research UK, Director Richard Murphy

Letter to the Editor of the Jersey Evening Post.

Let’s talk things over in public

May 26, 2011 – 3:00 pm

From Ted Vibert.

JOHN Boothman (JEP, 18 May) is full of accusations but totally unable to back them up with facts. When he wrote his last letter about me and the JDA in November last year, he wrote about me having ‘nihilistic policies’. I challenged him to produce any policy I have ever supported that could be described as ‘nihilistic’ in this way. Silence.  
In his previous letter Mr Boothman also advised me that I should choose my friends more wisely. Such pompous arrogance is hard to understand in this so-called enlightened day and age but political dinosaurs don’t seem to learn any lessons.
He claims that I ‘snuggle up’ to the Tax Justice Network. I am not a ‘snuggler’ but I do sit comfortably at the same table and on the same level with men of intellect who are highly talented, generous (in terms of their time towards helping Jersey) thoughtful and moral.
People like Richard Murphy, John Christensen, Professor Jacques Harel of the Institute d’Etudes Politiques de Rennes, Nicholas Shaxson, author of ‘Treasure Islands – tax havens and the men who stole the world’ and Prem Sikka, Professor of Accounting at Essex University.
When Richard Murphy came to Jersey recently to deliver his ‘ethical banking’ proposal, Mr Boothman and his mates failed to turn up. 
So much to say from the comfort of their bunkers but so little to say face-to-face. Such political cowardice is typical of this group.
In my last letter, I challenged Mr Boothman to stand in the Senatorial elections and let’s see who is ‘equipped for the task’. I repeat that challenge. I also challenged him to publicly debate the issues with me.

He wouldn’t. 
So I now issue him with another challenge to publicly debate with me at the Town Hall the motion: That the finance industry has given Jersey more problems than benefits. 
While I can understand his fear of crossing swords publicly with people of the calibre of Richard Murphy, why would he be afraid of me?

So here’s your chance Mr Boothman to prove that I am ‘ill-equipped for the task of being in the States’. Come and publicly humiliate me with your superior intellect and knowledge. After all, I am just a Jersey bean from Grosnez. Rise to the challenge and defend your industry.  I dare you.


Friday, May 20, 2011


From Tax Research UK, Director Richard Murphy


Jersey approach to EU Code of Conduct is just bravado, everyone else has lost faith in it.

from: Tax Research UK, Director Richard Murphy

Live Link:


Thursday, May 19, 2011


From: Tax Research UK, Director  Richard Murphy

Live Link

Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Peace and all good to Goldman Sachs"

Sister Nora Nash of the Order of Saint Francis of Assisi in Pennsylvania speaks up for fairness and justice.  

It will be a happy day when Jersey does as much.


Sunday, May 1, 2011



from Ted Vibert, President of the Jersey Democratic Alliance

Your editorial headed “Step forward high calibre candidates” raises some very interesting questions. 

The first and most obvious is- who are the right people to be elected to serve in the States?

Your editorial states that “it is always important that the island should be led by capable and committed politicians with the best interest of the community at heart”
That set me wondering whether that referred to those members of the House who blindly follow the Ozouf/Le Sueur form of government, which persistently and consistently ignores the wishes of the public?

It is clear to me that the island has been led by a gaggle of wealthy politicians who promised us that we could leave the running of the island to them, as they were all experienced businessmen with an effective record and would ensure that they would cut waste, eliminate unnecessary expenditure and provide transparency and accountability. 

Are these the” high calibre of candidates” we should be looking for?.  Or should we be looking for people with a practical, commonsense approach to Jersey life; people with a social conscience who are deeply concerned about the way our society has drifted into the haves and have-nots; people with  intellect who recognise the struggle that ordinary people are  enduring; people who love their island and who are appalled by what has been happening to it and who say sadly  “jersey is not what it was” and are determined to make a difference and stand up and fight for ordinary people and do the greatest good for the greatest number.

Do the electorate want more of the same or do they want people who are not bamboozled by the highly paid echelons of the top civil servants, who now have immense power in policy making thanks to weak-willed, supine politicians of the “right calibre” who are well on the way to ruining what was once a lovely place in which to live and bring up your family; people who can research and then articulate their concerns in a cogent and powerful way.

If those who have ruled us are regarded as members of “high calibre” are they not the same people who have led us into this abyss of incompetence by:

·        Failing to carry out the simple and fundamental task of hedging the euro cost of the largest contract ever set by the States of Jersey for the new incinerator, costing us at least £4 million pounds and possibly 10million.
·        Siting that incinerator on a scenic spot and building one that has so much capacity that Jersey’s burnable waste , which is going down  dramatically because of re-cycling,  will never ever use up the capacity so that our authorities responsible for this whole debacle are hoping against hope that the States will allow Guernsey and Alderney to ship their waste  to us to keep it burning 
·        Failing to take action over the massive increase in population, when all the warnings were given by concerned people and organisations that this was taking place( even back ten years ago when that thoughtful and clever locally- born public servant, Mike Romeril, the Environmental Officer,  who publicly reported that his detailed study showed that 85,000 was the maximum population that Jersey could comfortably sustain
 and was then driven out of the island with his family because he dared to disagree with the expansionist policies of the Walker years, and being forced to leave the island, the island he loved so passionately totally disillusioned with his treatment by the hierarchy of politicians and senior civil servants..
·        Wasting the opportunity to provide the island with a magnificent waterfront development and, instead, giving us a conglomeration of monstrous ugliness.
·        Allowing the top public servants to increase their salaries to astronomical proportions
·        Letting those same public servants engage consultants at enormous cost instead of doing the job themselves.
·        Allowing public servants to continue with their gold plated pension schemes
·        Failing to diversify the economy thereby allowing the island to become hostage to the finance industry, which is built on the shifting and dodgy sands of tax avoidance?
·        Ignoring advice that the zero-ten tax regime would fall foul of the European Code of Conduct and would have to be scrapped.
·        Causing the tax burden to shift savagely from the corporate/business sector on to the shoulders of the public( as a result of introducing zero ten, corporate tax has dropped from 52% to 12% in ten years and personal tax- that’s you and me- has risen from42% to84%.)
·        Allowing a consultant for the Hospital to be engaged at a ludicrous cost.
·        Despoiling our coastline with developments like Portelet and protecting Jersey’s ugliest building, the Odeon, and blocking a £40 million development that would have rejuvenated an ugly part of St. Helier.
·        Threatening to remove grants from private schools and dismantle what is an excellent education system.
·        Allowing our road system to deteriorate to such a degree that  it will cost £100million to put right.
·        Letting our housing stock deteriorate so much that £84million has to be spent or urgent maintenance..
·        Failing to tackle the Housing problem and provide decent homes for young people at a reasonable cost.

The public know who are those States members responsible for this shambles and it is they who will decide who are “the right calibre” at the next election.  It is unfortunate that some of those responsible will not face the electorate this time round.  But the electorate have long memories so you men of “the right calibre”, don’t get yourself too comfortable.  Your time will come to face the music..

Yours sincerely

Ted Vibert