Geoff Southern

Candidate for Deputy St. Helier Central

I have been Deputy of St Helier no.2 district for the past 21 years, and during this time I have worked hard to represent all residents, both collectively in the States, and as individuals when problems arise. I remain an active member in terms of questions asked and propositions lodged. 

As a member of Reform Jersey, the only organised and effective political party in the States, I will continue to promote progressive solutions for the problems we face in society. For too long now we have suffered from governments whose sole aim has been to protect the needs of the wealthy few at the expense of the rest. The current government, despite its promises ‘to reduce income inequality and improve the standard of living’ made in 2018, has produced a low-wage, high-rent economy where middle and low earners struggle to make ends meet. 

Pressure from your five Reform Jersey Deputies has produced a higher minimum wage and the adoption of the living wage. We intend to replace the minimum wage (£7.22) with the living wage, (currently £12.02) before 2026. We shall act on the current investigation into insecure working conditions such as zero hours contracts. We shall undertake a thorough examination of employment law to introduce ’day 1 rights’ to respect and protect our workers. 

We have successfully reduced Andium rents from 90% of private sector rents to 80% and will further reduce rents in the public and private sectors as a priority. We were also behind the agreement to investigate empty property charges as a means to open the housing market. We have a full set of proposals to improve access to housing, including shared ownership. 

There can be little doubt that our Health Service is under extreme pressure, both in the hospital and in primary care, largely through its GP service. Reform Jersey pressure persuaded the Social Security minister to reduce GP fees from £50 to £12 for those on Income Support and Pension Plus. We will push to expand access to this scheme to wider groups such as those with chronic illness, children and the elderly. 

This current government has wasted enormous sums of money on the new hospital, but it has lost sight of what the basic needs of the island are. The government needs to accept that it must recruit and retain staff at all levels, from care assistants to consultants, and that this is now an expensive island. Until we can put together sufficiently attractive employment packages we will remain dependent on expensive agency and locum staff. 

Reform Jersey is committed to reducing income tax rates for those on low and middle incomes, and to end the cap on social security. These two actions alone will raise up to £50m in additional revenue to fund essential services. 

I have the energy, enthusiasm and, above all the know-how to continue to fight for social justice, so vote for me, as one of the Reform Jersey team in St Helier Central. 

Names of Proposers and Seconders

  1. Samuel Yves Mézec
  2. Dominique Sousa
  3. Paul Simmonds
  4. Chris Day
  5. Sandra McMullen
  6. Catherine Curtis
  7. Janette Booth
  8. Hedley Guilleaume
  9. James Spriggs
  10. Laurie Nehwati