Friday, 6 January 2017

Our last hope for democratic change in 2018

P.133 - A small step forward for democracy in Jersey

Here are the facts:

- Jersey's electoral system is an undemocratic mess.
- It needs to change.
- So far every attempt to change it has been a disaster.

Following so far?

Our system is over-complicated, with three categories of elected MP, each elected in different constituency types but who do exactly the same job as MPs, with one doing an extra job of running a Parish. Our system is unfair in that different parts of the Island receive different levels of representation. Our system produces huge numbers of uncontested elections (17 out of 49 last time), many constituencies do not attract very high caliber candidates and election turnouts are some of the poorest in Europe.

Still following? I don't blame you if your eyes are glazing over already.

If you've been paying attention to Jersey politics for any reasonable length of time, you will be well familiar with all of this and probably be sick and tired of talking about it.

We are the victim of our circumstance. Our democratic system has evolved over hundreds of years without any real democratic revolution which has forced our constitution to be underpinned by clear principles of objective democracy, and it's proven so difficult to overhaul the system to one which actually works on behalf of the people of Jersey, rather than the people in government in Jersey.

It isn't rocket science to build a proper democratic system. You just need to make sure it complies with two basic principles -

1) The system must be simple and user-friendly so any citizen can easily engage with it if they choose to.
2) The value of everyone's vote should be equal, so that the system is fair.

This isn't difficult. It isn't controversial. It certainly isn't radical. It's just basic democracy.

My policy is that Jersey should have one category of States Member, elected in equal sized constituencies where every voter has the same number of votes. Party politics would provide further accountability where people would see a direct connection between how they vote and what they get, plus it would provide a framework for ordinary Islanders to still be able to get involved in politics even if they don't aspire to stand for election.

That is what I believe in and what I will fight for.

But there is one thing getting in the way - Reality.

My preferred system just isn't going to happen any time soon. I wish it was imminent, but it's not and that is the sad fact of the matter. Anybody who does not start by accepting this clear fact is living in delusion.

For any proposal which changes how States Members are elected to be successfully implemented, it needs 25 States Members to vote for it in the Assembly. The number of us who will vote for equal votes and a simple system is probably in single digits.

The political reality is that my ideal system will not be implemented by this Assembly for the 2018 elections, and so if I want to see any improvements at all, I have to be prepared to support measures which, in my view, don't go far enough, but which represent at least a small bit of progress.

We have a choice. We can be pragmatic, accept the reality of the situation and work constructively to deliver improvements, or we can stay dogmatically tied to an idealistic ambition which stands no chance of being achieved. If you fall in the latter camp, you serve no positive purpose to politics and actually provide an unhelpful and counterproductive distraction.

Only one thing matters in Jersey politics - improving people's lives.

Politics isn't a game and it should not be a nice cosy club for those elected to stand on a soapbox and claim £800 a week for the privilege.

To waste time devoted to something which is not going to be achieved and which actually reduces the chances of more modest reforms being accepted, is a self-indulgence that I will not be involved in.

My last manifesto said - "We will support any proposal which makes our system fairer."

I have a duty to my electorate to obey that promise, and so I will vote for any proposal which makes our system fairer, even if it doesn't totally represent what I want in an ideal world.

Why does our system need change?

Nobody is satisfied with our system. When 70% of the public don’t vote, yet all polls show 70% of the public are dissatisfied and want change, it doesn’t take a genius to spot the correlation there.

With greater participation in our elections we would get better quality governments.

If elections are made tougher, only the highest calibre candidates will get elected and they will be forced to produce much more comprehensive manifestos with tangible objectives which they can be measured against at the next election.

To quote Spiderman's Uncle Ben - "with great power comes great responsibility". When the electorate begin to feel the direct consequences in society from how they voted at elections, they will treat their vote more carefully and be prepared to be far more pragmatic in their expectations and more willing to treat those in power with respect so long as they maintain their integrity, and that partnership between the people and the government will be far stronger and more constructive.

Basically, more democratic societies get better outcomes, especially in smaller jurisdictions where it's tougher to fund big projects.

Why has it been so difficult to change is thus far?

Two words - self interest.

Too many States Members over the past few decades have been prepared to implement a system that they can't be certain they'll still get elected in, or which could accidentally weaken the power of the right-wing establishment in Jersey.

Basically, they're scared that if we had a fairer voting system, they'd actually have to work harder to democratically defeat progressives at the ballot box, because when we stand on equal platforms, most Jersey people would actually find the progressives more convincing. Jersey is not as conservative a society as people often say it is. The establishment know this and know that unless they rig the system, there is a very real chance that they could lose power fairly quickly and then it will be down to the people of Jersey to determine who governs the Island.

We have a dodgy history of States Members spending days debating various hodgepodge propositions to alter the system, some representing small progress, some actually making things worse. Mainly just paying lipservice to the subject because they know they can't really keep a straight face and say "what are you talking about? The system we have works fine!"

In 2000 Sir Cecil Clothier headed a panel of locals and experts to make recommendations to reform the entire government system. The establishment of the day decided to implement all the recommendations which consolidated their power, but to ignore all of those that gave more power to the public.

In 2012 the States decided to set up an independent Electoral Commission to produce proposals for reform to be put to a referendum in 2013. At the last minute the States decided that the commission should not be independent and should actually be headed by States Members. It was hijacked by Senator Philip Bailhache who used it as a vehicle to propose the system he really wanted the whole time where more power would be concentrated in the areas the establishment do best and less in the urban and more progressive areas.

He proposed reducing the States to 42 members, with 30 Deputies elected in super-constituencies based on the Parishes, plus the 12 Parish Constables remaining as members. The effect of keeping the Constables meant that the conservative countryside remained hugely over-represented in the States. This system was non-compliant with the international guidelines on fair electoral systems (the Venice Commission).

A referendum was held and, by a very slim margin on a low turnout, what became known as “Option B” won, with that system being resoundly rejected in the parts of the Island which would suffer under that unfair system, but being outvoted by the countryside.

Then, amazingly, the States went on to reject the referendum result and refuse to implement it anyway!

Proposals came forward to ask the public to vote in a referendum on election day in 2014 on proposals for one type of States Member distributed fairly across the Parishes. The proposal was wrecked by an amendment to turn it purely into a referendum on the Constables in the States.

Since that referendum I have worked on a sub-committee of the Privileges and Procedures Committee to see if there is a way forward for reform, to make positive changes, bearing in mind that referendum result and the desires of States Members.

There isn't.

Simple as that. Two years work and it has amounted to nothing because there just isn't a system that stands the faintest chance of being accepted by the States which could improve things.

There is no dishonour in admitting defeat when you've worked hard but circumstance is against you.

What can we do now to achieve change?

There is one final chance. It's called P.133.

Deputy Andrew Lewis has lodged a proposition to have the States redebate the winning "Option B" from the 2013 referendum, however with a small change to increase representation in St Helier to undo the unfairness which helped seal Option B's initial defeat.

The States would be made up of 44 members, including the 12 Parish Constables and 32 Senators elected in large districts with 5 members each, except the St Helier districts which would have 6 members.

Here is the breakdown -

The map at the top of this blog post shows what the Island will look like.

The addition of two extra members for St Helier is a significant improvement for voter equity in contrast to the original Option B which left St Helier underrepresented -

Under the current electoral system, St Helier represents just 22% of the Assembly despite making up 34% of the population. Under this Option B+ system, St Helier will make up 30% of the Assembly. That is significant progress.

The proposal is still not compliant with the Venice Commission, but it is more proportionate than the current system.

Residents per S + C
St Brelade + St Peter
St Ouen + St Mary + St John + St Lawrence
St Helier North
St Helier South
St Saviour + Trinity
St Clement + Grouville + St Martin
Total members

Let me be clear - this proposition does not represent what I want in an ideal world.

If I wanted this proposition to be perfect, I would remove the 12 Constables and have every district elect 7 Senators. That would provide complete equality.

But here are it's virtues -

- It provides more proportionate representation than the current system

- It is far simpler than the current system, with 32 members elected equally and 12 in Parishes, rather than 3 types of member, only 8 elected equally.

- It reduces the number of States Members, with the countryside taking most of this burden.

- It gives voters a much more equal number of votes, either 6 or 7, rather than the current system where some have one vote for Deputy, some with 4.

- It will require all candidates to knock on doors if they want to get elected and reduce their reliance on the mainstream media.

- The 32 active members will be elected in tough elections on an equal basis, so will each have a mandate for their policies.

- It broadly reflects the result of the 2013 referendum, with a nice concession to those who voted against it, and might restore a bit of faith in politicians for listening second time round.

But most importantly - it actually stands a chance of winning in the States.

Many sitting States Members campaigned and voted for Option B in 2013 and voted for it when it came to the States. Many Option A campaigners were against it then, but are now of the view that this slight alteration does represent progress and could be tolerated. If any proposition stands a chance of succeeding, it is only this one. No other one will and successful amendments will weaken it's viability.

I also believe that the exercise of overhauling the electoral system once will show the public that there is nothing to be feared from change and will make us all more tolerant to the idea of the electoral system not being set in stone and subject to regular review. I believe that soon enough there would be a successful proposal to move to one type of member in equal constituencies, with a majority of States Members prepared to accept it.

I promised I would vote for progress. This is progress. I have to vote for it.

I want much more and will not settle for this as a final solution. But if it's a choice of no progress, or this small step in the right direction, the answer is obvious. Progress must prevail.

This is exciting and we should be prepared to grasp the opportunity with both hands. If we don't, we face going into the 2018 election with the same system and the same inevitable outcome. That is not acceptable.

Please lobby your States Members to vote for progress and support P.133.


  1. "Basically, they're scared that if we had a fairer voting system, they'd actually have to work harder to democratically defeat progressives at the ballot box"

    I got as far as reading this comment and realised you are talking rubbish.
    Reform Jersey had a number of people defeated at the ballot Box last time because they were weak and after watching the Hustings in St Peter, simply not good enough. If Andrew Lewis wins his proposal then it is the Right who see themselves in benefiting not the Left because the Right will flood St Helier.

    1. I got a third of the vote in the last Island-wide election. That should mean 13 seats in the new assembly.

      Bet that terrifies you eh?

    2. The right should not have the number of representatives in a place like St Helier now. In the days of the JDA St Helier was almost entirely to the Left but for a couple of rightists pretending to be for the people in Green and old Benny Fox.

      provided the left have good candidates and work hard to expose the lies the right always spread St Helier could and should easily be all left again. To say the right will flood St Helier is just hokum.

    3. I agree that the urban areas tend to be more supportive of progressive politicians (whether they are Reform Jersey or previously JDA, or independent) and it would be in the best interests of Jersey democracy for the urban areas to get the representation they want and the voice in government that they deserve.

      But I think it is fair to say that there are plenty of right-wingers in St Helier who deserve their representation too. Amongst those 12 Senators who will represent the St Helier districts in this proposal, I hope they do have their representatives who will stand up for what they believe in.

      It also has to be said that there are a huge number of progressives in the country Parishes who currently have no voice and this proposal would change that for them.

      I came second in St Ouen, St Lawrence, St Martin and Grouville at the by-election. There are thousands of progressives in these areas who, because they are not as numerous as the right-wing voters, they get zero representation. Of course the minority should never get majority representation, but it's unfair for the minority to get no representation at all. Under this new system, I'm confident that working class voters in St Martin and Grouville would vote with the working class voters in St Clement and it would be enough to win at least one seat in that district.

    4. No it depends on whether the voting in the new multi-member constituencies is run on First past the Post or on some better and more accurate system. That is why voting systems reform HAS to include the TYPE of voting.

      Can I suggest that the new system be amended pronto to include this aspect. Otherwise the progressives in the countryside, for example, will be TOTALLY unrepresented, as the right will win ALL the seats. And in the same way the Left will quite likely win ALL the seats in the Town areas and the right would be totally unrepresented there.

      Exactly the same happens in Scotland now, where in the elections for the Westminster Parliament, the SNP wins ALL the seats in Scotland (bar one I believe) with almost exactly HALF the votes. This is completely unfair and completely damaging to democracy.

      So please can you put forward this amendment in the interests of true democracy. Then the elections will accurately reflect the political allegiances of all the voters, which is surely the aim of the exercise.

  2. Sorry Sam but your table arguing that representation for all constituents in a new district is the sum of senators and constables in that district is utter hog wash. Some would argue it is a stretch to say that constables represent their parishoners at all , being elected for an other role and only ex officio in the States. It is simply wrong to count the constables of St Mary, St John and St Lawrence as representatives in any manner of residents in St Ouen. They are elected within their parish exclusively and remain so under this proposal. They are not obligated or answerable or accountable to electors outside their parish.
    St Ouennais

    1. Hence why want them out of the States.

  3. Here we have Reform JErsey Gerry-mandering. Look at hwo they treat St Ouen, St MAry, St John - the area's against the Reform Jersey lot, and so what dos he do - bungs them all together to keep out of their way.

    This is Gerry-mandering to the extreme!

    1. Hahahahaha.

      Yeah, it's proper gerrymandering to leave those parishes 30% overrepresented!

  4. The thing is I am sure you know that this hasn't a hope of going through regardless of who is bringing. The proposition fudges two incompatible systems. Only when the Constables are removed will things improve. Or at the least when numbers of representatives are upped in places like St. Helier to balance out keeping a Constable and a Deputy in country parishes no bigger than a shoe box like St. Mary and Trinity etc. That is what you should be fighting for.

    1. I am fighting for that.

      But it isn't going to happen. There was a referendum on the Constables in 2014 and this States Assembly will not vote against that result. Therefore the only chance of progress is a reform that includes the Constables.

      I've been working on the PPC sub-committee for 2 years to look for a solution and there just isn't one.

      This proposition stands the best chance out of any that has come forward for a long time because it matches a referendum result and provides a small concession to people like me who were against that referendum result.

      There is literally no other option that stands a chance right now except P.133.

    2. Must the Constables always be treated with kid gloves? You stated that those on PPC with yo effectively blocked proposals to make them bound by the same rules as you are as a Deputy or a Senator is. Why were they not exposed? Will you at least do this in the coming debates? I accept that Ozouf won't. How can we have Constables being allowed to sit in the States mad or bankrupt or not even British citizens and the public only learn about by chance? it stinks.


      Rico is out of order pretending you and Reform have some kind of formal alliance. But I also think that you need to appreciate how strongly people like Rico who fought with Voice for Children and only about five or six States Members to get justice for the victims, and Graham Power feel about those like the odious Andrew Lewis.

  5. Rico has got this spot on

    1. Rico's argument is backwards and childish, but also based on lies as he has partially been forced to admit.

    2. I beg your pardon Deputy. I don't think so.

    3. It's precisely what you've done. You've been pedaling a lie that RJ has a secret alliance with Andrew Lewis and has jumped into bed with him.

      This isn't true and you know it isn't.

  6. I'm going to start calling you Chairman 'Mao'zec. I will have my say on my blog. Posting next week. I'm now a liar. Like everyone else who disagrees with you. So be it.

    1. So I'm chairman Mao for standing up for myself when people lie about me? Why are you acting like such a child Rico?

      You've made stuff up about now and now whinge when I point out that it's not true? What on earth are you playing at?

    2. Who is the real liar in all this Sam? My opinion is Andrew Lewis is the liar and you're calling Rico (the guy who exposed Lewis) the liar. Come on Sam tell the truth. You know what Lewis has done but you're not calling him a liar when you know he is. I never thought i'd see the day where a progressive politician is attacking a blogger who exposed the child abuse cover up while shielding one of the worst culprits of the cover up. Shame on you.

    3. So because Rico has done some brilliant blogs on the child abuse cover up, I have to tolerate him saying things about me and my party which aren't true?

      What sort of stupid logic is that?

    4. The logic Deputy is you have called Rico a liar on a number of occasions and never have you called Andrew Lewis out for his lies. You know what Lewis did why aren't you calling him a liar?

    5. Because it's not even slightly relevant.

      I care about the merits of P.133 and because Rico can't effectively argue against those, he's preferred to spread this nonsense about RJ forming an alliance with him and ignoring the history with Graham Power.

      This whole thing is pathetic.

    6. I like the Constables no more than Sam, but I think that Rico is pissing in the wind, and reluctantly I'll back P.133

  7. I support you Sam! Anyone with atleast an ounce of sense will see that all you want is for fairness to override selfishness in the government to ensure the greater good of the Island which is exactly what everyone (who hasn't been voting especially) wants! They want to feel like their vote matters! Again I say, you have my support! Keep up the fantastic work.

  8. can you tell us the full result of the members vote in favour of supporting the proposition ? thanks

    1. Of course. The debate will take place on the 31st January and will be broadcast online with the full vote being published a matter of minutes later.

    2. sorry i think you misunderstood. i meant the result of the reform jersey members vote which lead to the party supporting the proposition ?

    3. I appreciate you are busy, but any chance of an answer on the voting question ? What was the majority vote by members in Cavour of the proposition ? Thanks

  9. Good luck. I think this proposition getting your support will make you or break you come 2018. Let us hope it is the former.

  10. I share the disgust in the association with Andrew Lewis. Very disappointed, in fact gobsmacked!

    The attack on Rico is equally repugnant. To the point I think the pointy heads have taken over Sam Mezec!

    What on earth is going on in this world.

    I will never support Lewis' proposition, even though have (until now at least) been a fan of Reform Jersey!

    1. There is no association with him. There is nothing to be disgusted at.

      I've said this about a million times but people continue to believe lies.

      What else can I do?

  11. Just because you call it pathetic Deputy, does not mean it is. The fact you call your supporters pathetic is quite shameful. No doubt you will say that they aren't your supporters, but you are starting to alienate your supporters, whether you acknowledge it or not...

    1. I have told the truth from beginning to end. Some bloggers don't like it and prefer to make up conspiracy theories instead.

      People don't have to agree with me or what I say, but if you make things up and lie about people you disagree with, you are pathetic. Simple as that.

    2. Calling bloggers conspiracy theorists is something the establishment have done since the bloggers have been publishing the truth about the child abuse cover ups and Andrew Lewis's wrongful suspension of Graham Power. You're not in bed with Lewis?????????

    3. The other thing the establishment do is lie about their political opponents. On our side we lie about our political allies now apparently.

    4. I would just not bite back any more, Sam. I don't support Reform Jersey's support for this proposition for two reasons. It is a complete fudge trying to fit democracy around the Constables who care only for themselves. Super-constituencies in total - yes. Constables and parish Constables - no. I also would not take a glass of water from a creature of the night like Andrew Lewis if I was crawling through a desert. Having said all of this you don't deserve the stick you are getting. As Churchill said when you are going through hell all there is to do is keep going. Good advice for you now. Don't waste good energy on people who are entitled to their views but will never come around to yours. That as they say is life. Good luck.

    5. What do you think the odds of P133 winning are? I read somewhere that Lewis thinks it will be passed.

    6. By my estimate I have it just about winning, but it's tight.

    7. Think you are wrong. It will get thrashed. Even the Constables won't support it. Nobody but the progressives wants democracy. Have you actually sounded people out to be so optimistic? I am not asking you to tell us who might support it. Just wondering if this is what you have done or whether you just have a gut feeling?

    8. I can guarantee that this will win comfortably. I am reliably informed the COM are also in support of this proposition.

      Whilst one Senator if vocal against it, there is widespread support within the COM of it. Can guarantee that!

  12. Well, this article states the obvious:

    1. I'm conclusive proof that this is not true!

    2. Conservative politicians generally have no chin, no testicles or morals. They almost always have very low IQs. Not very appealing or advantageous. Although on the island of Jersey it is said that such 'attributes' will almost certainly guarantee you a seat on the Council of Ministers.

    3. No one can accuse Gorst of having no chin.

  13. Hi Deputy, can you assist please (which I am sure will help other readers). How do I go about getting a FOI request in relation to States expenses?

  14. What is this Ozouf amendment to P133? Does it undermine the alleged improvement of things for St. Helier? does it want to keep Senators?

  15. Why no comment, Deputy about this disgrace of an amendment? Surely you should get Andy to pull the whole proposition now to save us from an even bigger disaster for those who care about fairness and democracy? If Ozouf's amendment goes through we may as well start calling the Chief Minister Fuhrer.

    1. Forgive me, I've been a bit busy today (see media headlines).

      Ozouf's amendment will not succeed. It will sadly waste maybe an hour or so of time and money spent operating the States Chamber to debate this waste of time.

      His proposition is idiotic and, as far as I can currently work out, carelessly misleads the States in the report.

      I have asked Senator Ozouf to answer a few questions I have about claims he makes in the report. If he doesn't answer them, I will be making a formal complaint.

  16. The Ozouf suggestion is better than P133 as it keeps the Senators.
    Another thing, why are you making out that Ozouf must resign over a Report which clearly puts the blame for cock ups at the door of highly paid Civil Servants? I cannot stand him but at least stick to the truth, twisting things like your mate Andrew Lewis did when suspending Graham Power is gutter politics.

    1. There is so much idiocy inherent in virtually every word of this dumb comment that it's impossible to know where to start.

    2. Shut up Jon. Get a job.

    3. Can you confirm that despite Senator Philip 'Can't count - never here anyway' Ozouf's claims St, Helier would still be under represented under his amendment?

    4. Yes, drastically. Voter equity is much worse in the scheme he has devised (on the back of a fag packet) than P.133.

    5. Always find it strange how when everyone and his dog can see Ozouf is way out of his depth and has finally got exposed over the Innovation Fund shambles the Jersey Evening Post are letting your good friend KasHaworth81 of Petty Debt court fame to turn the spotlight on you and Jeremy Macon? It isn't you have wasted millions of taxpayers money is it?

    6. Whats even more embarrassing about that is that Philip Ozouf actually hates the toerag behind those fake accounts. He knows all about him and his history. Yet Jon keeps sticking up for him.

    7. Ol' convicted in March 2011 would make excuses for Hitler if the Austrian Charlie Chaplin lookalike had taken a contrary stance on something to you.

      You should amend his amendment just to highlight how this former St Helier Deputy is trying to shaft the parish.

    8. Surely you should lodge a vote of no confidence in Ozouf via his Digital Ministry farce? Otherwise if Gorst won't sack him I think a vote of no confidence in Gorst would be well supported. These cock ups just keep on leaking out. Look at "we must have stricter immigration rules" farce. Go for it I say. Be doing Jersey's people a huge favour.


    "Philip Ozouf had one job – and one job only: to deliver calm, reliable stability to Jersey’s taxation, economic and financial environment. The one job that mattered in particular: managing Jersey’s public finances.
    He failed.
    And not just a little bit.
    .......a £95 million deficit."

    There were alternatives back in 2004

    1. From Syvret's 2004 report:
      "...From time to time political discourse in the Island is gripped by issues that seem of great significance at the time. Occasionally the subject may be a single issue, the apparent significance of which can quickly fade. With other subjects, the issue may be of more lasting importance to the community; the process of reforming our system of government may fall into this category. Yet even that subject, consuming as it has vast amounts of political time and effort, almost pales into insignificance compared to the future of the Island’s economy...."

      The establishment will protect their own.

  18. Jon is working overtime now. Not real work. Don't be silly. But on the Filthy Rag echo chamber he is answering himself while attacking you as both Kaz81 and Bazzer. Probably just as well nobody will employ the lazy so and so. He just wouldn't have time to attend between writing up all his fake accounts. No wonder the wife had to go to Petty Debts. What a complete button he is.

  19. Any chance of a vote of no confidence in Ozouf, Deputy? Or if Gorst won't sack him as he should a no confidence vote in the Chief Minister?

    1. Can I just echo that last comment. A no confidence vote needs to be held if only so the public can see who has complete contempt for their money being wasted come the next election.

    2. Totally agree. I'm prepared to lodge it myself. Just waiting on tomorrow and Tuesday to speak further with colleagues to work out the best way forward.

    3. Lodge one in Gorst if he doesn't give Ozouf the long overdue heave-ho. These excuses for incompetence and negligence are shocking even by Jersey standards. Did or did Ozouf not say in the States that he was totally responsible for this Fund barely more than a year ago? If he did then game over.

  20. Sam.

    Interview with Leah McGrath Goodman who tells us "LEGACIES WILL BE CEMENTED."

  21. Got to laugh at Kaz81Haworth attacking you and the (old) boy Jeremy on the JEP Ozouf story. Old booze-a-lot wants to know if you two have ever had a job. Surely the question is has he ever had a job? Certainly be interested in the answer since Syvret/Sorda outed him as an internet pest and harasser of people's wives.

  22. The spiteful and personal vitriol pouring out of you whilst inciting a mob this lunchtime is unacceptable of a Jersey States politician.
    PPC should take action.

    1. I was there. You are talking crap, Sharrock. As usual.

  23. Sam.

    Senator Philip Ozouf Resignation(?) SPEECH.

  24. Has this been moved?

    Taxation of High Value Residents (P.127/2016)

    1. It's been withdrawn. At the end of last year the Council of Ministers announced that they were changing the policy on HVRs to be very similar to what we were proposing.

      We wanted the minimum tax contribution increased and the rules changed so that HVRs can have their agreements altered as time goes by, and not leave them on the same tax rate forever.

      The Council of Ministers have basically agreed to do that. It doesnt go quite as far as we would have liked, but it's pretty close so does not make sense to force a debate when we've already won almost all of what we wanted.

    2. Okay thanks.

    3. What will the minimum tax rate be though? I remember that it was Deputy Trevor Pitman who forced out the figures for the first time on how little most of these tax dodgers really paid. Think it was around 80% who were not paying the minimum. Sure after he got the figures released Ozouf or Noel was trying to deny that people had ever been allowed to negotiate their rates. But before around 1995 they were, am I not correct? How can you have people worth millions still paying £3.0000 tax like they were in the 1970s?

    4. How can you have a local born and bred millionaire having to pay 20% on all his wealth but an imported scrounger paying this only on part of it?

    5. There will still be people who came in on the old system who will pay a pittance. That's wrong, but will sadly end up costing us a huge amount if we try to change it and end up getting sued left, right and centre.

      The minimum contribution will go up to £145k from £125k as it is now. But there will be provisions to increase it every few years.

      It is totally wrong that immigrant millionaires are treated more favourably to local millionaires. However, the Chief Minister actually has the power to give HVR status to local millionaires if he chooses. He claims he has never done this. I wonder what would happen if a local millionaire threatened to take the Jersey government to court for discrimination. The Chief Minister could grant them HVR status to give them a nice big tax cut to shut them up!

    6. Time for a Freedom of Information request to see if this claim is true? Big Trev would have done it no doubt. A very valid move for Reform too given as you are amongst the only ones fighting for ordinary people? Bet its a porkie pie.

    7. Changing the subject why didn't PPC, which I believe you sit on, include the Deputy Higgins issues about unfairness/inconsistency relating to standing for, or staying in the States, include these with some of the less serious stuff the committee did bring forward?

  25. Will Deputy Tadier be turning up tomorrow to hold the Constables to account?

    1. Depends if he is feeling okay or not. He was ill today.

  26. To the comment at 11:37 on the 18th. Local people do not at any taxes on their wealth. In terms of income, most high income individuals in Jersey that I know of (n fact, all the ones I know) run their income through either a Guernsey or IOM structure, so they receive similar benefits as an old 1.1(k) does.