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.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
STEP FORWARD ' HIGH CALIBRE CANDIDATES'
LETTERS TO THE JERSEY EVENING POST 30/04/2011
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..