I am standing in this by-election because faith in the States of Jersey is at rock bottom and I believe that the way we do politics has got to drastically change to regain the respect of islanders.
The Annual Social Survey at the end of 2013 showed that 75% of people do not have faith in the States of Jersey. This follows a year when unemployment hit the highest it has ever been, the cost of living has continued to rise and of continued in-fighting in the States.
I believe we need States Members with a 21st Century view of justice and fairness who are on the side of ordinary hard working islanders and will fight for policies that are in line with our values as a community.
Ultimately, this by-election is to fill out the last 8 months until the general election, so what I can achieve in that time will be limited. It is often said that it takes new States Members 6 months to get to grips with the job. For me, this will not be the case. I have been campaigning for two years, following States debates and procedures very closely and (because of the referendum last year) have a good working relationship with many States Members already. I will be active and effective from day one, and that is exactly the kind of States Member that St Helier No. 2 needs to see out the rest of this term.
I can make few credible promises, other than that I will always be a voice for the values of the people in St Helier No. 2 and that I will always work hard for constituents that need help.
My priority in the States will be to pressure the government to –
- Reduce unemployment and enhance job security for those already in work
- Address the increasing cost of living
- End excessive population growth
- Improve housing standards
- Reform the States to increase St Helier’s voice in government.
- Massive crackdown on inappropriate use of zero-hour contracts.
- Promote a real “living wage”, higher than the minimum wage, enough for working people to live on without income support.
- A stricter work-permit scheme to end excessive population growth.
- Improve quality and affordability of private and social accommodation, as well as security for tenants.
- Oppose any attempt to increase GST and support any credible moves to remove it from food and utility bills.
- Fast-track the introduction of anti-discrimination law.
- Introduce statutory maternity leave at full pay for a decent length of time.
- States to pay Parish Rates to improve funding for St Helier services.
- Reform the States to increase representation for St Helier in government.
- Introduce a “recall system” so voters can hold “votes of no confidence” on States Members.
- Invest in renewable energy to make the island self sufficient and protect the environment.
- Improved access to child care facilities for parents wishing to go back to work.
- A public vote for Chief Minister.