Frequently Asked Questions about the New Deal for Jersey
What is the New Deal?
The New Deal is a plan for Jersey after coronavirus.
It sets out a vision for how Jersey can recover from this crisis and secure a future in which our Island becomes a fairer society where all can look forward to an improved standard of living.
It takes advantage of the unprecedented mobilisation of efforts there has been to deal with the health crisis, and now proposes directing those efforts to deal with the economic crisis Islanders were facing before.
Whether that is the soaring house prices, the increasing cost of living and inaccessibility of health services, Islanders do not deserve to have to face continued inertia when it comes to those problems, when this crisis has shown that we have the capacity to deal with these issues if only we have the will to do so.
Why do we need a New Deal?
We need a New Deal because we cannot just go back to the way things were before the coronavirus crisis hit.
In the ten years before coronavirus, real terms earnings for Islanders had been frozen. At the same time, relative poverty had drastically increased, yet the wealthiest Islanders (those earning above £1m a year) had quadrupled. We had also seen an increase in the tax burden on ordinary Islanders and perpetual cuts to our public services.
In the year before the crisis, there were pay cuts forced on those front-line workers who played such a fundamental role in keeping us safe throughout the crisis.
We stood outside on Thursday evenings to clap to show our appreciation for them. Now we owe it to them and to future generations in Jersey to resolve these problems once and for all.
What is the New Deal plan?
The plan consists of the ‘Three Rs’ –
- Relief – Continue support for Islanders in the immediate aftermath of the crisis
- Recovery – Transform our economy and public services to drive up the standard of living
- Reform – Ensure that we build systematic resilience for future crises
This three-phased approach will ensure that we protect islanders facing hardship, whilst actively bringing our economy up to strength and ensuring we are protected in the event of future crises.
Each phase will require decisive action. We have made some of our proposals in the statements we have published, and more will follow.
How will the New Deal affect me?
If you have incurred debt during this crisis (for example, by falling behind on your rent) the New Deal proposals will help alleviate that burden from you.
If you lost your job during the crisis, the New Deal will actively help you back into employment.
If you had to rely on financial support from the government to afford your basic living costs, the New Deal will ensure that you do not lose that support until you are capable of being financially independent.
If you have chronic illnesses which were leading to financial hardship because of doctors’ fees, the New Deal will ensure you have free access to the healthcare you need.
If you are an Islander who is simply concerned about the future of Jersey, the New Deal provides hope that we can achieve a better society for us all to enjoy and thrive in.
How does the New Deal compare to the ‘Green New Deal’?
The Green New Deal is a proposal in the USA for a government programme and mass mobilisation to tackle the threat of climate change. It is inspired by the ‘New Deal’ of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who successfully brought America out of the Great Depression, by focusing on job creation and support for those facing financial hardship.
Our ‘New Deal for Jersey’ is inspired by those proposals. It is aimed primarily at ensuring Jersey recovers from the coronavirus crisis in such a way that we are also able to deal with the economic challenges we were facing before the virus. But in doing so, we must ensure our economy and our workers are equipped to take advantage of future opportunities, such as the fourth industrial revolution (digital) and creating green jobs which are good for the environment and play our part in combatting climate change.
What is the Government of Jersey’s position on the New Deal?
The Government of Jersey is currently preparing its recovery programme. It has not yet indicated on what basis they are working, but some statements from some ministers have not been positive signs.
Some have spoken of tax rises without qualifying who those taxes will target. Some have spoken about “right-sizing government” which is a euphemism for cuts.
However, some have spoken of the need to become a ‘Living Wage’ economy after this.
Our mission is to get the government to adopt the New Deal plan and take decisive action as quickly as possible.
Is the New Deal a Reform Jersey proposal?
Reform Jersey was able to initiate the discussion and planning for the New Deal, because it has members in the States of Jersey who have direct access to government and the information needed to ensure any plan is credible and capable of being implemented.
But this campaign is a grassroots collaboration of people and organisations which want to see a fairer and more prosperous Jersey for everyone. It includes support from Jersey’s trade unions, which are the democratic representatives of many of those workers who worked so hard for Islanders (health care workers, shop floor workers, postal workers etc).
How can I support this proposal for a New Deal?
You can sign up as a supporter of the New Deal by going to www.reformjersey.je/NewDeal. Your details will be kept strictly confidential, but we encourage you to publicly declare yourself as a supporter of the New Deal and to encourage others to sign up too.
We will keep you up to date on our work and invite you to future events and policy discussions. We will also let you know how you can lobby your States Members to support New Deal proposals.
Can my business/ charity/ organisation become a New Deal supporter?
Yes. Many businesses, charities and other organisations went above and beyond to support Islanders through this crisis and are fully aware that drastic action needs to be taken now to secure our recovery.
We welcome any of those organisations signing up to the New Deal. We will make contact with you and discuss how you can support our campaign, and how you can be promoted as an organisation which endorses this plan.