I am standing in this election for Senator as a Reform Jersey candidate because I want to seek a mandate for a raft of policies to deal with the growing inequality which has been created by the current Council of Ministers.
Their plans to stop, reduce or outsource essential public services on which so many depend were hidden from voters during the 2014 election as were their plans to increase taxes. Now is the opportunity for the ordinary low and middle earners of this Island to join me in passing judgement on these failed policies.
At a time when incomes for the poorest fell by 20%, the ministers chose to cut £10m from support for pensioners, children, under 25s, single parents and those with a disability. A vote for me is a vote to end these shameful cuts.
Now the ministers propose new taxes for long term care, health and the hospital disguised as “charges”, all of which allow the very wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.
Ministers should admit that their economic model is broken. You cannot grow the economy by cuts to public services; mass redundancies simply increase the benefits bill; outsourcing will reduce standards.
I believe that only a vote for me will send the message to ministers that they should serve all parts of our community, not simply the wealthiest.
As Deputy for just over two years I have worked with my Reform Jersey colleagues and others in the States to propose realistic alternatives to the austerity imposed by ministers.
Together we have successfully –
- Maintained the Christmas bonus for the poorest pensioners
- Championed same-sex marriage
- Stopped a lower minimum wage for young people
- Saved People’s Park
- Exposed the wasteful spending of senior civil servants
- Promoted online voting
- Prevented some outsourcing
I will continue to support the ‘living wage’; raising the minimum wage and ending the abuse of zero-hours contracts. More must be done to help struggling businesses and emerging industries.
The Council of Ministers is ready to raise the basic rate of tax on middle earners to 23%. Reform Jersey proposes to replace the Health Tax by raising Social Security Contributions from businesses who employ high earners.
The Chief Minister has completely failed to meet his migration targets, most recently allowing over 1,100 low earners into the Island.
Population targets must be met if we are to protect our resources and the environment.
Both house prices and rents are too high. I want to introduce an empty property tax to encourage landlords to put the 3,000 empty properties we have back on the market. This could reduce demand and rents, making it easier for Islanders to get by.
I will oppose attempts to slash newly qualified teachers’ salaries because of the potential damage to recruitment and standards.
We must find a way to increase funding for higher education to improve access for young people.
Please read my full manifesto at www.reformjersey.je