Islanders are all increasingly concerned at the level of immigration and the
knock on effects it has on infrastructure. No one can deny the benefits of
individuals with fresh ideas and specialist skills being brought into the Island.
But uncontrolled immigration is extremely worrying. Finding the right balance
may be a challenge. All sectors contribute to our economy, but in the coming
years, we must make best use of the talent available on Island, whilst at the
same time supporting the non-financial sector who wish to grow their business
and need off-island recruitment.
Jersey must review the current policy and consider better controls.
It is reassuring that that Crown Dependencies are working together and
consulting with the United Kingdom government. However, the Council of
Ministers state that they may also ask for the UK membership of the WTO be
extended to Jersey. Given that such countries as Andorra and the Bahamas
are observers already working towards membership, this could make sense
but we need to be cautious. Whatever route we follow, the Council of
Ministers must keep both the States and the Public well informed and no
decisions made on the publics behalf without putting the matter to a
The proposition confirming development of the new hospital on the existing
site is expected to come to the States towards the end of the year. The
financing of this is not included in the MTFP nor has the design been evaluated
to ensure that it is effective and not over-stated for the island’s true needs for
best medical care.
The prospect of a new health charge and hospital charge worries all islanders
as there is no idea of how it will be calculated or what the charge will be. This
is scaring for lower income Islanders and pensioners on fixed incomes. These
charges must not be imposed until there has been a total review of the tax
Provision of more degree courses on Island is welcomed. However,
studentswho are more practically inclined must not be ignored and given
opportunity to study at a technical centre from the age of 14. Education must
ensure that all pupils can benefit from a mix of practical and academic
I am delighted with the performance records of those taking exams. However,
the fact that we have a number of children leaving school without the basic
reading and writing skills is an issue we must address urgently.
Ten years’ experience of the Ministerial system, reveal there are many
deficiencies There are concerns that policies are poorly researched and that
the Council of Ministers do not appear to listen to the public and even ignore
the justifiable concerns of other States members.
There is merit in re-assessing the Committee system in line with Guernsey who
now have a more accountable legislature.