Monday, 13 March 2017

The Jersey Aircraft Registry - a Soaring Success from the Jersey Government





I'm not going to lie, today was pretty irritating!

Myself and someone I know had been doing a bit of digging lately, trying to uncover what we thought might be a political scandal. We were on the verge of being ready to go public and, lo and behold, the media somehow managed to beat us to it!

I am of course talking about the story today that the States has spent £860k on setting up and running the Jersey Aircraft Registry, and only two aircraft have actually signed up to it.

Just a few hours after this story hits the headlines, my written question for the States sitting tomorrow was published, so I've missed the chance to get involved. Oh well! - http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyQuestions/2017/(152)%20Dep%20Mezec%20to%20EDTSC%20re%20cost%20of%20jersey%20aircraft%20registry.pdf

There will be more documentation being published at our initiative soon to reveal a few more details.

The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry has almost 1,000 aircraft registered to it, and Guernsey's paradoxically named "Channel Islands Aircraft Registry" has 160 registered. We have two. That's £430k per aircraft, with only £11k in registration fees made to offset that. Pretty embarrassing, by all accounts.

I think that most Islanders will rightly feel aggrieved that, once again, a venture headed by the Economic Development Department has led to a huge amount of taxpayers money being squandered.

Whether it is the business class golf jollies around the world, the failed Innovation Fund or now the failed Aircraft Registry, there is a legacy of embarrassment haunting this department.

Whenever questions are raised about what the department are doing and the legitimacy of any of their activities, we get normally a rebuttal from the minister, Senator Farnham, which usually is missing any actual answer but instead contains a bit of hot air about how "this government is a success because the economy is growing and you lot just hate success".

This is incredibly worrying that Farnham thinks this is acceptable answer and, in my view, shows that he either doesn't really understand how economics works, or that he does but is just awful at bluster to hide his failures.

In a nutshell -

Jersey has had some economic growth over the last two years, but it has been erratic and doesn't reflect a positive trend. In one year growth was driven by the finance industry where several large firms undertook one-off restructuring, but all other industries shrank. The next year, finance shrank and growth was driven by the other industries. Nobody can really take anything genuinely positive out of that, especially when a large proportion of that growth was driven by the fact our population is massively increasing every year (which is ultimately a Ponzi scheme).

So, having noted some of this bluster and been unable to find any evidence that government policies were having any positive tangible effect on our economy, I thought I'd just ask a simple written question asking the minister to list everything he has done which he thinks has helped develop the economy.

Here is his answer - http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyQuestions/2017/(15)%20%20Dep%20Mezec%20to%20EDTSC%20re%20promoting%20economic%20growth.pdf

To sum it up in one word, this list is - pathetic.

The first one on the list is the regulations to extend pub opening hours for the Queen's birthday (which by the way was actually my idea! But anyway...), as if this is a true success story for our economy. Unbelievable.

Others include the raising of various fees charged by the States. As if increasing the cost of business helps grow the economy.

But, most amusingly, a whole seven items on this list are to do with the Aircraft Registry!

In a parliamentary question to a States Member about measures which have had a tangible effect on economic growth, Senator Farnham chose to boast about a scheme which has seen a deficit in States finances of £849k.

You could not make this stuff up.

If his department had any proof that their actions had actually done anything to help businesses in the Island, cut unnecessary red tape or improve the regulatory framework for those busy employers in the Island, then I'm sure they would be shouting them from the rooftop. But instead we get pub opening hours on one weekend and the Aircraft Registry.

When I stood for election last year, I was asked at one hustings what I would do to create jobs in the Island. I said a combination of three things -

1) Cut Social Security Contributions for the self-employed (ironically the opposite of what the "pro-business" Tories in the UK are now doing), so they have more security in their lives, can afford to invest more and employ more people. 
2) Form a joint review group of employers and trade unions to work together at finding the laws and regulations which no longer suit the needs of either workers or bosses and consolidate, update and simplify those laws. 
3) Push forward with the eGovernment programme to cut down on bureaucracy and red tape that businesses have to contend with when dealing government.

I think these policies aren't too bad for a left-winger. Yet instead, the pinnacle of our government's creativity is the creation of an Aircraft Registry.

Lord help us!



So, is Senator Farnham our most useless Minister? It's a tough one. Leave your thoughts in the comment box below!

40 comments:

  1. No. Deeper depths are plumbed by his predecessor, McLean.

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  2. How much of the growth can be apportioned to new arrivals. Down here in NZ the National (right wing govt) trumpets success with 3% growth. However when you look deeper... you find that this nation of 5M welcomed 70K last year (1.4% pop growth), the vast majority of whom brought upwards of 50K into the country... do the maths... most of the growth is due to immigration rather than endogenous activity... Is Jersey the same?

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  3. Maybe if reform jersey attempted to work with the system you'd get something done. Instead you end up with tittle tattle and acts like today's shameful exchange with the chief minister and like like tweeting Ozeufs step down speech before he made it.

    Why not give an opinion about a big issue like the pending states bond rather than safely sniping from the sidelines.

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    Replies
    1. We do work with the system and work with it more than virtually all other non-executive States Members put together.

      Geoff won his Family Nursing proposition yesterday. Disabled people now get free bus passes because of Monty's hard work and later this year gay people will be able to get married after I won a proposition on it.

      We're making a difference.

      I don't think it's shameful to try to hold the Chief Minister to account when millions of pounds of taxpayers money is disappearing on his watch.

      Delete
    2. Monty's hard work?

      Philip Ozouf getting Soft Bank into Jersey is hard work.

      Delete
    3. Does he pay you to make these sorts of comments Jon? You do know that his views on you are exactly the same as mine right?

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    4. Philip Ozouf does real work for the Island of Jersey.

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    5. Jon, you're a joke. He doesn't even like you.

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    6. WTF is Jon?

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    7. The criminal who spends all his time attacking victims of child abuse.

      Now away with you.

      Delete
    8. Before the wider electorate will trust you, you need to demonstrate you can work on harder decisions which are for the greater good but are not necessarily popular. Again I'm raising the bond issuance, it's a bit more important for jerseys future than the £15 fee on bus passes.

      What is your considered position on Jersey issuing a bond??

      Delete
    9. We're publishing a wider tax policy in the next few weeks.

      We have wider concerns about the viability of the whole hospital project way before the bond even comes into it. The entire project is flawed because the proposed hospital isn't being designed with accurate population forecasts underpinning it. It doesn't matter how it's funded if the project is flawed from the start.

      Delete
  4. There are a few other parties involved in the registry. Farnham was the last.
    http://tonymusings.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-registry-that-never-took-off.html

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  5. I think it is a bit rich you claiming as yours the gay marriage legislation. That isn't you, this was a LGBTI community success. NOT Reform Jersey!

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    Replies
    1. Well you would think that because you despise Reform Jersey and would deny us every success because you're petty and nasty.

      The first proposition in the States to set the wheels in motion for delivering equal marriage was lodged by myself, which I did in consultation with some members of the LGBT community.

      I know the truth upsets you, but that is the truth.

      Delete
    2. No it was Philip Ozouf again who did all the work.
      You are wasting your time trying to talk to this prat, he lies all the time.

      Delete
    3. Jon, you're an embarrassing idiot on so many levels.

      I lodged the proposition. Philip Ozouf did not. These are facts.

      Philip has the same view of you as I do. He knows your criminal record and he knows your obsession with child abuse. Give it a rest.

      Delete
    4. Jon H needs to get a job to keep him off the blogs, massive Stella consumption and out of the petty debts court. Embarrasment to the family.

      Delete
    5. What is it with Reform Jersey, can hand it out but can't take it back.

      Delete
    6. Pretty ironic from someone who is too scared to post in their own name.

      Delete
  6. Logging the proposition is only a minor part of the work, the grind you need to drive forward is changing the laws around tax etc, however once you've got the headline you don't seem that interested in doing much more?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Some of the Public comments on the JEP website about this useless party says it all because too fewer numbers = no power.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jon, do you not realise what an absolute sad case it makes you that you post comments on the JEP (we all know it's you) and then come brag about it here? What a complete loser you are.

      Delete
    2. Here we go again.
      The illustrious no surname Jon mentioned again and free speech against Reform Jersey not allowed.
      It must get to you or you wouldn't throw toys out of the pram.

      Delete
  8. What do you mean free speech not allowed? I'm publishing your idiotic comments aren't I?

    ReplyDelete
  9. The JEP has come on leaps and bounds lately.
    I always look forward to the opinion of Kaz81 and others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why do you have to look forward to it when you know in advance what you're going to write?

      Delete
    2. I don't write them you plonker.

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    3. Oi Jon. You must be desperate when you are back on the JEP echo chamber pretending to be Digger Barnes again just so 'someone' will agree with you as Kaz81 praising Ozoud for the Softbank farce. If you have half a brain you should know that this being administered in Jersey won't generate a single penny of tax for the average local bods. Softbank won't even help provide a single penny toward your benefits. At least Reform Jersey do work for the community. Why don't you give it a try? Sorry, You have made yourself unemployable haven't you? How silly of me to forget.

      Delete
  10. Jon H is getting more and more desperate or possibly mad. To try and back himself up on the Rag story on Stuart Syvret who he used to stalk on line he is not only being Kaz81 but Digger Barnes, Shoot to Thrill and a newie Shiv22. Sure Norman Le Brocq and Ally King will be joining in too very soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup. He's even resurrected his Dom Les Gresley Facebook profile.

      The sad thing is watching people like Proudfoot and the Morgans interacting with these profiles as if they don't realise they're fake. Sad.

      Delete
    2. Morgan is a looney tune as she demonstrated in her record low polling attempt at getting elected. As for Proudfoot his ignorant views about gay people and would be immigrants (rich ones are ok it seems no matter how thick or anti-social?) he is the best advert yet for scrapping the High Net Value tax dodgers regulations.

      Delete
  11. Just get used to Reform Jersey being trashed online.

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    Replies
    1. Jon, I have nothing to be scared of if a petty criminal like you is the best they have to do their dirty work for them.

      Delete
    2. I love the way you address everybody Jon on here and then claim not to be scared of posters when it obviously gets to you big time from posts on here. Mark, Mick, Jon, Maureen, Julie, Sandra, Mike, David etc etc all get to you and this blogs proves its painful for you.

      Delete
    3. Jon, I spend very little time thinking about you. Be assured of that. But what is disgusting is how the child abuse scandal has gotten to you. The fact it's inspired you to spend a huge proportion of your life attacking the victims and trying to silence anyone who stands up for them. What a vile excuse for a human you are.

      Delete
    4. Why no comment on the Tax report or the re-introduction of prescription charges yesterday?
      Each time I visit this blog you are preoccupied with a Jon and you write *Jon, I spend very little time thinking about you*. Priceless.

      Delete
    5. I spent half of my day yesterday dealing with the tax report. Your contributions continue to be as tedious as they are inane. Try harder.

      Delete