Thursday, 8 January 2015

Challenge to the Chief Minister - Raise the Minimum Wage!



Following my blog post a few days ago on the Chief Minister's announcement that he intends to focus on reducing poverty in Jersey over this next year, Reform Jersey is calling on him to prove his commitment to this aim by backing our proposition to raise the minimum wage.

Here is our press release - 



Press Release - For immediate release

Political Party Calls on Chief Minister to Raise the Minimum Wage to Help Tackle Poverty



Following the Chief Minister’s announcement that he intends to make reducing poverty a key focus of the Council of Ministers this year, Jersey’s only political party, Reform Jersey, is calling on him to prove this commitment by backing their proposition to raise the minimum wage by a further 10p an hour.

Reform Jersey’s Deputy Geoff Southern has lodged a proposition (P.175/2014) which can be viewed here - http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyPropositions/2014/P.175-2014.pdf

Part (a) of the proposition calls for a 10p raise in the minimum wage (further to the 15p rise the States has already agreed) from April, with part (b) asking for a review to be held to assess the potential impact of a significant raise in the minimum wage with the aim of bringing people out of Income Support.

Party Leader Deputy Sam Mézec said “Given the shocking reports we have seen in the media recently about the rise in the number of working families having to turn to food banks, it was very pleasing to see the Chief Minister commit to trying to reduce poverty this year, however, he gave no indications or commitments as to how he intends to achieve this.

Often in politics we see States Members with plenty to say but who never follow it through with action. So thankfully there is now a perfect opportunity for the Chief Minister to demonstrate that he is serious about reducing poverty by backing our proposition to raise the minimum wage and investigate a further raise with the specific aim of reducing poverty.”

It should always pay to be in work, and a situation where a couple can’t afford to make ends meet without resorting to Income Support and charity, despite both being in full time work, should be considered intolerable to any politician with a social conscience.”

The proposition is due to be debated at the States sitting beginning on the 20th January.

49 comments:

  1. Raising the minimum wage by 10 pence per hour would add approximately £ 4 to the weekly take home pay of somebody working a 40 hour week. (That is before tax). Is that seriously going to alleviate poverty in the island ? Why not call for an additional £ 1 per hour, or more ?

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    1. On the 1st April the minimum wage is set to rise by 15p an hour, but we are saying increase that rise by a further 10p, so a 25p rise in total.

      So that's an extra £10 a week.

      That won't eliminate poverty, but it will help people at least a bit.

      But the second part of our proposition is to instigate a review into what impact on employment and public funds that a significant rise would have.

      The Labour Party policy in the UK is for an £8 minimum wage. I personally back that and if it goes ahead there we will surely have to follow.

      Delete
  2. 25p will definitely help, but why not ask for £ 1 or more per hour ?

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  3. Sam, slightly off topic, but needs must.

    In the week of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France, and the subsequent vigil in the Royal Square, the people who post on the "Politics Jersey with Free Speech" hate site are using their free speech to use a report about the vigil to hurl yet more pointless abuse at Reform Jersey.

    They are truly disgusting invididuals. They need to take a real look at themselves. They are utterly shameful.

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    1. Agreed. I believe it is the same people who also accused Reform Jersey of boycotting the commemoration of the start of the First World War.

      Some people will stoop to lows that most decent human beings couldn't even imagine.

      Delete
    2. Words fail me. The above dialogue has been re-posted on said site along with further abuse of you: "Tosser, twat, deluded".

      In a week when innocent people have been slaughtered for defending the right to free speech, do they not realise that "free speech" and "relentlessly abusing people you disagree with" are completely different things? I'm ashamed for them.

      Keep up the good work that your constituents voted you in to carry out.

      Perhaps they don't like it being called a hate site. The bottom line is that observers of Jersey politics such as myself do regard it as a hate site. It's all hate, hate, hate, abuse, abuse, abuse.

      Delete
    3. The one point that has to be made is this -

      The cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo never hid their identity. Their names were clearly credited and it was very easy to attribute their art to them. Their cartoons made a statement which, despite the danger it put themselves in, they believed was right and so they would not be forced into hiding by those who might disagree with them.

      The person who posts most of the abuse on PJWFS hides their identity. That is the height of cowardice.

      If they want to target me, I don't really care. They have never made a point about me that even approaches what a reasonable person would consider intelligent, so I'm pretty safe. But what does matter is that they use these fake identities to target people far gentler than I, like the people involved with the Jersey Care Leavers Association, HG (the woman who was abused by a Church warden a couple of years ago) and other victims at Haut de la Garrene. That is cowardice, pure and simple.

      I will defend freedom of speech to the end. But freedom of speech is a "human" right. James Pearce/ Julie Hanning/ Sue Young/ Steve Lewis/ James Le Gallais etc are not "human" they are fake names that don't represent a real human being. If they want to spread their bile using their real name, they should have the guts to do it, regardless of the consequences, like the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo did.

      As for the others who are "brave" enough to join in with them using their actual names. Well, they should consider how it looks to most outsiders to see grown adults playing with imaginary friends on Facebook.

      Delete
    4. Thanks Sam, a mature reply as ever. I 100% agree with everything you have said above.

      My politics are somewhat different to yours, nevertheless I abhor the abuse you have to suffer. It's good to see that it is water off a duck's back. It's so sad that some people are so bitter that they can't engage with you on the issues.

      To get things back on topic, I'd support your extra 10p suggestion.

      Delete
  4. Sam, as a regular albeit anonymous commentator on your blog (including on this thread) I'd be happy to confirm to any competent tribunal that the comments are my comments. It is completely false to say "posting anonymous comments giving himself a pat on the back". I gave you a pat on the back, they are my comments. Some people have to remain anonymous because of their sensitive job roles. It is OK to be anonymous as long as one is not abusive.

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  5. Hi, now that the very constructive internet squabbling has died away, is there any chance of answering my question as to why a rise of £ 1 or more per hour has not been asked for as an increase in the minimum wage, as the amounts of change suggested will have virtually no effect on the earnings of those in poverty.


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    1. I have already said. It's because we're proposing a review into the overall structure of the minimum wage and the feasibility of a significant rise (possibly more than £1) and it's impact on benefits and taxation.

      If we proposed a £1 rise tomorrow, it would be rejected by the States. If we get a review and some facts behind us, it will make the case much easier in the future.

      Delete
  6. http://ricosorda.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-recap-on-my-families-premier-league.html

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  7. I am very interested in the outcome of you review on the impacts of changing the minimum wage. Are you saying however that your existing proposals have been submitted without having conducted any review, and without therefore having facts behind you ? That is slightly alarming.

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    1. The proposition can be found here - http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyPropositions/2014/P.175-2014.pdf

      Deputy Southern has, as always, made the case very clearly, referrencing the relevant historical factors in what the minimum wage is meant to be ranged at. It has fallen behind it's initial scope, and his proposition merely seeks to put it up to where it should be.

      Delete
  8. Typical leftie approach that ALWAYS end up bankrupting the State. Like Labour and equivalent parties, all they do is spend money, keep people in poverty by giving only handouts, and therefore keep their voters locked in perpetual poverty.

    Because they have no concept of intelligence and any notion of economic principles, the simple thing is "give them money" - typical. Thankfully Jersey voters are smart and will keep the left where they belong. Simply hopeful.

    Love it!

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    1. But raising minimum wage would reduce handouts.

      Delete
    2. And where exactly would society be without handouts? Handouts like healthcare, education, housing, income support? Handouts are an essential part of society. They stop people starving and help maintain civil order. Without handouts there is no society.

      Delete
  9. Deputy S.Y. Mézec of St. Helier will ask the following question of the Minister for Economic Development –

    “Could the Minister update the Assembly on what progress, if any, has been made towards the introduction of new anti-cyber bullying legislation?”

    Good question Sam.

    Julie Hanning - Sue Young - James Pearce - Hilary from St Brelade - Garry Cummins.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have a very busy few weeks ahead with States business, so no more indulging the main two perpetrators of internet abuse.

    I think most sensible people are thoroughly bored of it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sam.

    Exclusive interview with Stuart Syvret discussing #CSAINQUIRY.

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  12. Thank you Deputy Mezec for speaking out against cyber bullying and in particular that vile individual with a plethora of Facebook profiles. Friends of mine have been a victim of his and what he did to Rico's wife was despicable. He is Jersey's most prolific cyber bully - the police know about him - but won't prosecute because it will show that what SS said about him was true. Thank you Deputy Mezec for speaking up for the vulnerable.

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    1. Not really... pot-kettle-black methinks. Mezec is not a victim of cyber-bullying, he just doesn't like it when people disagree with him, and HE undertakes cyber-bullying.

      Delete
    2. No problem with disagreements. I regularly let them be posted on here and often have good discussions.

      What I have a problem with is people attacking victims of child abuse and the mentally ill.

      If you don't also have a problem with that, it says more about you than me.

      Delete
  13. Dickhead.
    Just listened to your question and answer session.
    So why do you support and link up blogs that abuse and harass people then?
    Your nothing but a hypocrite.

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    1. Published simply because it helpfully illustrates my point.

      If you weren't a hypocrite yourself, why did you comment anonymously?

      Sounds like your nervous when these questions get asked. Wonder why...

      Delete
    2. The Law Enforcement Agencies need to be pressurized into arresting Jersey's most prolific troll before he causes suicides. Can you ask a question every states meeting until something is done about him?

      Delete
  14. The troll claims to be good friends with Ozouf so I wouldn't hold out too much hope Ozouf will be giving you much help Sam.

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  15. The office here have had a great day, total laughter at the article stating you have been a victim of cyber-bullying. You and Tadier crying out as poor-me victims. Don't you understand that you as elected officials pretending to be the victim doesn't wash well at all. We expect politicians to be able to handle criticism and alternative opinions, rather than your approach. You are often a cyber-bully.

    Tadier talks of not being able to stop someone sending him an email. Well DUH! He can't stop someone sending him a letter either.

    Grow up and get some, or just get out.

    Pot, Kettle, Black by the looks of it.

    Another drop on the ladder of credibility - if that was at all possible.

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    1. What a nasty bunch of colleagues it sounds like you have. Though I suspect it's the ringleader who is the real twit (come on, why not post under your name? Don't you realise what a hypocritical fool it makes you?)

      But, to repeat the point I have made over and over again -

      This is not about me. This is about a prolific offender who was a conviction for drunkenly threatening a politicians landlord, who now has racked up 18 hours of drunken phone calls to somebody else, threatening a local bloggers wife whilst she was both pregnant and ill.

      You can make light of that if you like, but it simply vindicates my point.

      It's also about another nasty troll who runs a plethora of false online identities so she can spout abuse at victims of child abuse, the mentally ill and any other vulnerable people.

      Again, you might think that's no big deal to bully victims of child abuse and the mentally ill, but hey, that justs more about you than me.

      Delete
    2. Illegally recorded phone calls you mean?

      Rico Sorda was caught out doing this when the subject went onto him and he was the one stupid enough to play them to his wife. The bloke's got no case to answer.

      Delete
  16. You are missing the point, and this is very much about you. None of the other people posting here are subject to the strictures, and penalties, imposed upon States members under the Member's Code of Conduct. They can be as rude as they wish about others without losing their position. It is unfortunate for you are held to a higher standard, and the fact that others are being rude, or that you believe you are acting for a good cause, does not excuse your behaviour.

    'Elected members should at all times treat members of the States, officers, and members of the public with respect and courtesy and without malice ..'

    The fact that you are insulting other idiots is not the point. It's the that fact that your behaviour is insulting, rather than who it is directed at, that is the problem.

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    1. I have no responsibility whatsoever to that people who attack the vulnerable with respect.

      My vulnerable constituents come before my criminal constituents and I will stand up for them first and foremost.

      Delete
  17. You may believe you have no responsibility to those people who attack the vulnerable, but you definitely have a responsibility to the general public, any of whom can rightly ask that you be censored for breaching the Member's code of conduct.

    It's not just those that you are insulting who can make a complaint. Do you not understand this ? Others can be as rude as they wish because they are not States members. Your employment depends upon you not being so, regardless of the cause you believe you are defending.

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    1. Well it's progress to finally get an admission that those people are attacking the vulnerable.

      The question now is why is my condemnation of their actions worse than their vicious attacks on the vulnerable?

      That is the real question, any answer I'd find intriguing.

      Delete
    2. Despite what you may believe, I haven't at any point questioned whether people are attacking the vulnerable, so please don't make that assumption in relation to my messages.

      As you well know, the validity of your condemnations, and the behavioural expectations as a public representative, are 2 separate issues. Regardless of whether you believe your approach is justified is irrelevant to how others, with the right to censure you, might judge your actions.

      It sounds very much like a complaint has, or will be, made against you, but it's irrelevant who has made that accusation, because the complainant, whoever they might be, is not subject to the same code, nor the same sanctions, that you are.

      Getting into blog fights, and then deleting all the records, makes it look as if you are embarrassed about some of the things you have said. If that is the case, you know the point I am trying to make.

      Please note that this is a polite, if firm, comment. You can't be an effective politician if this is the public face you present to people, or if others with the ability to censure you, believe your behaviour is inappropriate.

      Delete
    3. They are indeed two separate issues. What I want to know is why you find my response to be more objectionable than others attacking vulnerable people?

      Is it not a good thing to see people standing up to bullies? As a politician I have a duty to speak out when there are failings in government policy. We have a situation now where the police are not dealing with a drunk who is causing a family hardship by his actions. There is nothing wrong with me speaking up for that family (in fact I saw one member of that family today and had a good chat). I also have a duty to point out that the law in jersey is failing when it allows people to use fake identities to attack mentally ill people and victims of child abuse.

      Vulnerable people need advocates.

      The best outcome of these dialogues is that they have spent a few days ranting and raving about me, rather than targeting the victims of child abuse that they normally do. A noble outcome.

      The reason the conversations get deleted is because I simply use them as a way of communicating a message to these people. Most of their comments I don't publish, but I can tell how scared they are by them. Once they've seen my response, it has served it's purpose and doesn't really need to be on here to distract from what should be a political blog.

      Delete
    4. Why do I find your response to be more objectionable ? Degrees of objectionable are irrelevant. What is relevant is the consequence for each party. My employment is not dependent upon a code of conduct which dictates that I have to treat members of the public (even errant ones) with courtesy and respect. Yours is. If you have allowed yourself to be dragged into commenting in a manner where a complaint against you is upheld, the very people you are so angry with have won. How can you not see this ?

      As you will also be more than aware, deleting conversations that could count against you in no way mean that evidence is removed. If you were attempting to prosecute somebody in court for acting maliciously, and they decided to try and remove proof of that malice, how would you choose to depict that act ?

      Delete
    5. It would be quite easy to mount a sensible critique of my reaction to these people, whilst acknowledging that these people attacking victims of sexual abuse and the mentally ill is morally repugnant. But your silence on that point weakens your own argument because it makes you appear as if you're not concerned by that, when that is the central issue here. If these people (two specific individuals mainly) were not attacking victims of child abuse and the mentally ill (one of whom is now attacking another woman for the horrendous crime of getting pregnant!) then I would be saying nothing.

      'But for' sinister people attacking victims of child abuse and the mentally ill, I would have no cause to say anything about those people. They are the problem that needs solving, not my response.

      In fact, silencing me because you don't like how I confront these people actually does little else apart from reducing the number of people defending the victims. I hardly see how that could possibly be a desirable outcome.

      The States Members Code of Conduct makes no specific reference about treating errant members of the public with respect (only general members of the public) and also makes no reference to how I act when two sections of my constituency are pitted against each other and how I decide which to side with.

      My overall duty as a States Member is to defend the well being of my constituents. That duty supersedes all others that may come into conflict with it, including my apparent duty to be polite to people who attack victims of child abuse and the mentally ill.

      My duty to the victims trumps my duty to be polite to people who attack victims of child abuse and the mentally ill. I think most of my constituents would probably not find that difficult to understand.

      On deleting conversations - I know and it doesn't concern me. I have no interest in deleting evidence because I've not said anything which will see any complaint upheld against me. I simply don't want it contaminating my blog. If a complaint is made against me, I have somebody who can very easily compile the necessary evidence to show that statements I have made have always been true. That evidence itself will cause far more problems for potential complainants than anything they could produce against me. Which is why I'm not concerned.

      Delete
    6. Well I suppose that if you are confident that you have acted appropriately in all cases, and have never said or published anything that could be viewed as inappropriate behaviour by a public servant, I guess you've got nothing to worry about.

      If you are truly that infallible, well done

      Delete
    7. I never claimed to be infallible.

      It's a shame that you'd choose to just be sarcastic instead of joining me with some indignation at these people who are attacking victims of child abuse and the mentally ill.

      You'd have thought there could at least be one point of agreement there, but apparently not.

      Delete
    8. I wasn't being sarcastic. If you believe you are that good, you should be congratulated. Don't worry, I get your attempt to drag me into your condemnation of others. However what you are actually asking me to do is to confirm that your behaviour is appropriate for a States member because of the behaviour of the other parties involved. I cannot do that because I don't believe that is the case. Other people's behaviour does not excuse your behaviour.

      Despite your intentions to paint me as such, I'm no apologist for, or responsible for, other people's behaviour. My over-riding issue is that a States member has a responsibility to act to a higher standard than others. If you want agreement on one point, how about that one ?

      Delete
    9. It is perfectly possible to say "I agree that these people attacking others are doing something terrible, but I just disagree with the way you are going about standing up to them". You can copy and paste it if you like. But even with several opportunities presented, you can't find it in you to at least join me on the point that what these people are doing is terrible.

      Your over-riding issue is that a States Member hasn't been as polite as you'd like when standing up for victims of child abuse and the mentally ill against people who are deliberately trying to make their lives miserable.

      My over-riding issue is that there are some terrible people out there who are attacking victims of child abuse and the mentally ill and deliberately trying to make their lives miserable.

      I'm sure most reasonable people will see which is the bigger issue here.

      Delete
    10. 'I agree that these people attacking others are doing something terrible, but I just disagree with the way you are going about standing up to them'

      And in return, here's one for you to copy and paste:

      'I disagree with what some people are saying about others, but the manner in which I am acting in refuting them is not appropriate for a States member'

      Delete
  18. There is ample evidence collected by numerous people of this idiot's insults against others online and PPC are keen to see it all. His harassment of a person with a spent court conviction has also been raised with the probation service so let this idiot carry on with his agenda because when the JEP get hold of the story he will be toast.

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    1. It's a bit rich to be accused of harassing someone who has made 18 hours of drunken phone calls to threaten someone. Spot the irony there?

      The JEP are well aware of everything. The journalists I've spoken to are well on my side and know how sick the people I have to deal with are.

      Delete
    2. I spoke to them this morning.
      You are full of shit.

      Delete
    3. And what name did you give them? I'm sure they'd find it as funny as I do to hear of you complaining about me pointing out other send anonymous abuse to me, right before you then send me some anonymous abuse.

      Delete
    4. Named people on Facebook have shown evidence of you insulting a number of 'named' people. WTF are you on?

      Delete
    5. And if I'm asked for clarification I can just point out the evidence behind my claims. It's not hard.

      I'm not convinced that it is in their interests for me to hand over files to the JEP of these people either attacking victims of child abuse and the mentally ill, or audio files of drunken phone calls which the police have refused to act on. That's clearly the bigger story.

      Delete