Bad decisions and bad policies

Bad decisions and bad policies

Just one bad decision might be an accident, it happens. But all the bad decisions below surely show a record of bad judgement. People are right not to trust the States. Do you want more of the same?

increasing the population
This policy is being carried out against the wishes of residents. The idea is that bringing more people in will grow the economy which will increase the tax take, which will help to pay for “the problem of the ageing population”. The whole thing is of course madness. It involves all of us running faster in order to stand still.

easy-way-out politics
>  It is easier, to increase the population “so as to increase the tax take” than to have a proper debate about how to run a society with an increasing number of elderly people in it, and have adequate public provision in other areas too at a time of global economic slowdown, but it isn’t right.
>   It is easier to build a nice new incinerator than to move to a zero-waste society, but it isn’t right.
>   It is easier to provide more car parking in town and on new housing developments than to move to a low carbon transport future, but it isn’t right.
>   It is easier not to think about what happens when La Collette reclamation site is full, but it isn’t right.

Failure to look ahead

In a splendid example of back-to-front government, The Social security minister has just handed out winter fuel allowances in response to rising fuel prices. This sounds caring and good. But the same money should have been spent years ago to save on our heating bills and the environment by a steady programme of home insulation. Did the States not see that higher fuel prices were sure to arrive one day soon due to Peak Oil? If they did not see it coming, how is it that other well-informed people knew? – see here

The States have pursued a policy of deliberate population growth. As a result house price inflation has been 20% a year for the last two years. This stops any young Jersey person from returning home, and is also completely unsustainable and therefore unstable. Did the minister, and the States, not predict what was going to happen?

La Collette is filling up faster than predicted. What happens then? Why does no-one seem to plan ahead? This should have been a major factor over the years in weighing up decisions about the island’s future. But it wasn’t. This is why we have the feeling of our government lurching from one crisis to the next.

I fear that government attitudes to the Finance Industry and to the Tourism industry are mired in the same approach – if you don’t look at the problems, maybe they will just go away. The problems being in this case, first the effect that rising fuel costs will have on air travel, and second the fallout of the global financial crisis on jersey.

The incinerator and waste
How could the States ever have voted to burn so much of the island’s waste while other places have adopted zero-waste as their goal, and when residents have shown a clear willingness to get stuck in on this issue?

House inflation
is running at 20 or 24% depending on the size of house. Can you believe it? This is a direct result of deliberately growing the population.

Retail price inflation for essential goods
is far higher than the official retail price index figure. Our States cannot grasp how serious this is for those on low incomes. Rising prices are now a permanent fact of life due to peak oil – tinkering is no longer enough to ensure a fair deal for the less well-off.

Spin and the destruction of trust
Both Imagine Jersey and Imagine Jersey 2035 were, unfortunately, not genuine consultation but were exercises in opinion management ands spin which have damaged trust between States and people, trust which will have to be re-established.

Relocation of the Tourism visitor information office
The location of the Tourism information office on Liberation Square just felt so right. So it was moved, and now sits uncomfortably on an anonymous corner of town devoid of charm. How sad. It is a small thing perhaps, but is indicative of a deeper inability to get things right, or even to know what is right.

Rezoning land for housing
As a result of the stealth population increase policy, the States have rezoned land earlier this year for building in 8 parishes, completely outside the Island Plan process. Where, and when, will this end?

Public sector and public expenditure
For years the public sector has endured a barrage of actual cuts, threats of cuts and hostile propaganda from our establishment, of which the recent attempt by Deputy Sarah Ferguson to cut expenditure across the board by 20% was only the daftest example.

I believe that spending money collectively to provide infrastructure and services to benefit all of us is a good thing. There are qualifications of course. Sometimes I am surprised that public servants (our teachers, manual workers, nurses, librarians, etc. etc.) keep working at all, when they must feel that their contribution is regarded as of little or no value by our present politicians.

Finance Industry and Tourism
£600,000 has just been moved from the Tourism marketing budget into promoting the Finance Industry. There appears to be no limit to the size of the Finance Industry, incomes are high, therefore the tax take per job is high, so it is the “easy-way-out.” Not enough regard is paid to its inflationary effect on the island, the destructive effect this cost inflation has on other industries especially tourism, the loss of land to housing, and above all the risk of having so many eggs in one basket, or indeed to how risky is the basket itself.

Responses

  1. Good Luck – you need to get your web page more publicity……………

  2. You need to be exact on your GST stance.
    I believe that will be a critical part of this election.

    Must admit to liking your laid back manner and dress sense, at the St Clement hustings.
    A refreshing change to some of the other’s spin and designer suits!

  3. I welcome your comments about the finance and tourism, and agree that the finance industry is already huge in Jersey. I would just like to see more interest in improving tourism and what Jersey offers us all on a daily basis. As islanders we would also benefit from this enormously, by having an vibrant and interesting environment to live in.

  4. I love your handcrafted Wimberley signs

  5. Hello Roberto

    I am totally committed to encouraging tourism in Jersey. I think this is what Jersey really has to offer to the world, a beautiful welcoming and peaceful place tro visit.

    It needs to move up the political priority list. By this I do not mean we need to build this or that “to attract the tourists” but simply that we need to bear it in mind.

    For instance, “St. Helier” is the most often mentioned downside of Jersey by visitors. But this is crazy, St. Helier is actually quite a pleasant place architecturally, think pedestrian precinct, markets, Royal square. But there is one thing really spoiling it: traffic. (not to mention drunks etc. )

    So if the toursits harp about this, maybe we can learn from the places where they come from, with far higher environmental standards. So we need to spend some money. Broad Street scheme could be replicated elsewhere.

    We need to try to assess risk in tourism and act accordingly. Most obviously we need to future-proof tourism against peak oil and climate change.

    What do YOU mean, when you say “vibrant and interesting environment to live in” – suggesting that this aspect falls short as it is now?


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