First Tower hustings..


What is your view on the pension poverty.

Life is getting more and more expensive for more and more of us.

We don’t need a review or another report – we need to remove GST from food as a first step, and then to look at what more can be done. The utilities should be praised for keeping price increases low, but given that they are all entirely or majority States-owned, they should be limited by statute to the RPI for any price increases.

Where should the hospital.

The failure by the States to deal with this issue makes us a laughing stock. We have nothing to show for an estimated 38 million pounds worth of expenditure. The priorities should be a) to find a site, b) to build the hospital  and c) to establish who is accountable for this expensive failure. It is not good enough to talk about “lessons being learned” – this is wasted money that could have been spent on our schools, on sustainable homes, or taken from our tax bills entirely, or used as compensation for removing GST from food.

Resolving pay dispute with states employees and Charlie Parker.

I support public sector workers who feel that they have been exploited over pay, excluded from the debate over their own future, and taken for granted by an employer that knows many of them have no options because only the States employs people with their skills. Reform was absolutely necessary to pay and terms, but it has been mishandled by an expensive group of UK-imported civil servants on enormous pay, who will be long gone by the time the full mess becomes apparent, and who will never be held to account. I will be joining the protests against this cuts programme even though I think some reform is necessary – my issue is with how the process has been handled, and the total failure to communicate in a meaningful way.

Number 1 issue facing islanders today.

We all know that the population is too high, and that ministers have ignored this problem because they don’t want to face the facts. Of course we need people to come in and do jobs, and of course we benefit from having different people from different countries here. But the numbers are just too high. We need a return to sensible controls – and that means a cap on the number of people who can enter Jersey to live and work.

What are we going to do with St Helier House, price of care homes.

Good question. No easy answer at the moment. People are living longer these days.

That is a good thing and the ageing population should be seen as an opportunity, not primarily a problem.

Many older members of the community have much to offer beyond normal retirement age, whether through sharing their wisdom and professional skills or volunteering to help charities of all kinds.

They also have an increasingly important role in family life, which should be at the heart of St Helier and Jersey.

We also need to ensure, though a programme of education and adaptation, that everyone in future has a sympathetic understanding of dementia.

What do you wish to do about Fort Regent.

I agree entirely with Senator Steve Pallett – ministers have not treated this as a priority despite saying that they would, and have not put nearly enough effort into resolving this.

The fact that the Fort Regent swimming pool is still standing all of these years later is the clearest possible evidence that they do not care. It is not good enough.

If part of the site must be sold to get the capital to redevelop the rest, then let’s get on with it – not put up with more years of delay, and an even more expensive bill at the end.

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