Integrity, Resilience, Experience
It has been a privilege to serve the island as Chief Minister over the last 4 years, a time unprecedented in the history of Jersey since WWII. It has required integrity, resilience, calm (tough) decision making, and proven experience to lead the team that governed our island through the global pandemic, Brexit and other challenges. We have protected lives as well as livelihoods; Covid Debt will be repaid by 2025; and we are back in surplus.
The role of a States member is complicated and varied. Jersey increasingly has to present itself in a global context, both to face off challenges, and also to support the economy, the Island identity, and ultimately jobs.
The challenges we face are complex, but they are solvable. I do not favour constant, short term, ‘quick fixes’, but have strived for long term solutions to address the challenges that have affected Jersey for years. In exceptional times, innovative, immediate, solutions are sometimes required as we showed during the pandemic and recently.
We need to continue to focus on a number of important areas, including: Recovery from Covid (economic and social); supporting children in an increasingly complex world; housing; creating a sustainable workforce; the future diversification of the economy; the ageing population; and the present cost of living challenges (to name but a few).
I know there is more to do on housing. There IS hope. We have unlocked brownfield sites; there are thousands of homes in the construction pipeline; and we have taken a stance on external buy-to-let.
Funding for Mental Health has increased substantially during my time as Chief Minister. Again, it will take time for that investment to bear fruit, but adult mental health, CAMHS and community schemes will continue to need support.
‘Low, broad and simple’ are the basic tax principles I continue to support. We have introduced a number of important, long term, structural changes.
There has been a lot of investment into key areas (including education and health). Much has been financed by reducing waste (so far by approx. £70m p.a.).
Separately, on 6th May I concluded 2½ years of work which will save over £3 Billion (through refinancing) over the very long term. As at 31/12/21 the ‘rainy day’ fund had increased to £1.032 Billion
Over the last 4 years the team I have led has taken a considerable number of long term decisions to secure a positive future for the Island and all its residents. Times are still tough; we still need to focus on recovery. It will take experienced politicians, as well as new faces, to achieve this.
I believe my experience and teamwork approach will constructively contribute to that future.
Chartered Accountant; States Member (16 years); Senator; Chief Minister; Previous Deputy of St Lawrence; Company Director; Honorary Trustee Les Vaux Housing Trust (24+ years); Previous Parish Roles; Married (2 teenagers).
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