Reform Jersey
Reform Jersey

Reform Jersey has responded to the publication of the Government Plan, criticising the lack of ambition shown by the Alliance Party-led government and their failure to set the groundwork for a post-pandemic recovery or deal with Jersey’s housing crisis.

Party Leader Senator Sam Mézec said – “As we come to what we hope will be the end of the pandemic, this should have been an opportunity to set government priorities which would get Jersey back on its feet and support Islanders to improve their standard of living. Instead, the Alliance Party-led government has delivered us a plan which lacks ambition and merely represents more of the same from what we had before the pandemic.

They have made no effort to rebalance our tax system to make it fairer and more progressive. Instead, they will be raising duties and impôts which disproportionately affect the lowest earners. No real commitments have been given in achieving our targets on carbon neutrality, beyond nice words and claims that action may come in the future. Nothing has been proposed to address our housing crisis, which we know is the biggest driver of inequality and poverty in our society.

At the start of this term of office, the government declared that one of its key priorities was to ‘reduce income inequality and improve the standard of living’. They have clearly failed to achieve this, as all statistical evidence produced since then has shown that the cost of living has increased, and real terms earnings have been frozen. Nothing in this plan will directly address that.

“The Chief Minister and his Alliance Party colleagues have shown that they do not have the vision or drive to help create a better society after the pandemic. Instead, they have reverted to their position of pursuing a costly and ineffective restructuring of the public sector, with a focus on job losses when they have been told they are facing a recruitment crisis for key roles which were proven to be so fundamental during the pandemic. On top of that they are continuing to waste millions on IT systems which are not good value for money.”

Last year, Reform Jersey laid out its vision for a ‘New Deal’ for Jersey, styled on the Roosevelt New Deal of the 1930s which ended the Great Depression in America and created a mobilisation of efforts to raise living standards and rebalance power structures in favour of lower and middle earners.

“Right now, Jersey needs a ‘New Deal’ style approach that focuses on raising living standards and preparing our economy for the challenges of the future. Over the coming weeks, Reform Jersey members will discuss proposing amendments to the Government Plan to align it with those ‘New Deal’ principles and take the action that the people of Jersey deserve their political leaders to be focusing on.”