I am standing for this election in response to the many of you who have asked me to stand. Through the opinions which you have expressed to me, it is clear that the main concerns are immigration, population, taxes and charges and housing.
Over the past 14 years the population has increased by 17%, the number of states employees by 33%, Inflation by 52% and States Net Revenue Expenditure by an enormous 98%. It is essential that this growth in expenditure is reduced so that we live within our means.
Under the current system, over half the income tax collected is paid by those in the marginal rate tax band – Middle Jersey. There is already a Long Term Care Charge and now proposals for a liquid waste charge, a health charge and a hospital charge. There is a proposal of a rubbish charge for businesses –how soon before private residents are included? – and rumours of a new Community Infrastructure Levy to be imposed by the Environment Department. These are all taxes masquerading as charges.
All these charges fall most heavily on Middle Jersey making the tax system totally unfair. It is time it is redesigned to be more equitable. There must be a review of the total tax system and there also needs to be an up to date cost benefit analysis of the zero/10 system. Then we evaluate reform of the system and possible charges.
The level of immigration into the Island is unsustainable. No one would deny the benefits of fresh ideas being brought into the Island but the strain on infrastructure caused by uncontrolled immigration is worrying.
The increase in population means an ever-increasing demand for housing at all levels. At the lower levels it leads to difficulties for native islanders who may need social housing. The pressure on middle level housing makes it more difficult for young islanders to return to work in Jersey after they have gained off Island working experience.
It is essential that there is support for the Parishes to find brownfield sites for affordable housing. Unless these are found the Parish villages will wither away and with them a significant part of the Honorary system.
Inward migration has increased the pressure on affordable housing. The consequent pressure on land available gives an incentive to reduce the sizes of property in an attempt to make homes more affordable. This must be resisted.
There is pressure in attractive locations for larger properties for high income earners. Policies must be developed to ensure middle and low income Islanders are not denied the opportunity to live elsewhere than large estates concentrated in already crowded urban areas.
We need to improve support of our other significant industries, agriculture, fishing and tourism. This will be even more necessary as the negotiations for Brexit progress.
You can read more about my ideas in my manifesto and comments on:
But most importantly your vote is your voice so please use it.