Well, well, plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose.
For the French-challenged that = (roughly) same old same old
We have lost some dinosaurs, gained some dinosaurs, and the balance between the various axes along which politics divides (left – right; traditional – modernisers; green – don’t care; libertarian – authoritarian) will be much the same.
Noteworthy about the election:
1 the amazing lack of balance on Radio Jersey, Frank Walker on a “what music do you like” slot 3 days before the election, with a 15″ commercial for the establishment party, and then election night with a panel consisting of expert Adrian Lee (fair enough, a real expert on Jersey election system and voting patterns) and the local representation was Ozouf, Henwood and Walker! Election night is probably one of the most-listened to programmes Radio jersey put out, and this is the Panel!
2 the 11 people who got in unopposed, that is over a fifth of the Assembly, including 8 of the 12 Constables.
Oh, and the Minister with the biggest budget of all the departments.
I have 4 propositions down before I leave the States on November 14th.
Fairness – a proposal to tax the uplift in value when land is rezoned or gets planning permission
“This proposition is about basic fairness. When land is rezoned or receives planning permission, its value increases by between 80 and 200 times. This windfall gain goes only to landowners, and only those landowners whose land is developed. These huge gains have been going to the owners of land for years. It is government policy which has created these astronomical land values, and it is administrative decisions and political decisions, taken as part of the Planning process, which decide just who it is who, in the Deputy of Grouville’s memorable phrase, “hits the jackpot”. Like many other issues, this has been discussed for years. I believe it is high time that the government shares in that enormous windfall, so that the revenue can be used for the good of all Islanders. I have added paragraph (d) to make it more focussed – the revenue from the increase in land value will go back into providing rented housing or housing for purchase that is more affordable.”
I am simply asking that the States
a) declare that this uplift should be taxed in some way,
b) that the Treasury Minister gets on and produces proposals for the 2013 budget (a lot of background work has been done on this proposal)
c) the proposal should apply to all transactions starting from now
d) the revenue from this new tax/levy should be ring-fenced to assist in the provision of more affordable housing, whether to rent or to buy.
Will the States back this oh-so-radical proposal which has been called for for years?
Society – a proposal to tighten up on shops being allowed to open on Sunday
Some may call me old-fashioned but I think this is important for social reasons. There should be a “special” day in the week when as many people as possible share in a day which is set aside for not-work.
It is certainly important for economic reasons. More shops open on Sunday means higher prices all round, as the same trading volume is spread over seven days, with the increase in operating costs which would result.
And for reasons of choice for the workers. Yes, some do prefer the option of the extra money, but equally some prefer not to work, and the danger always is that, in fact, there is no choice.
Environment and openness – make TTS publish online what the incinerator is putting into the air and sea, in real time, or as near as possible to that.
A simple proposal. Give the public (and not just the regulator) full information (as full as is feasible), and not information edited by departments. Of course TTS can add explanatory notes if those might be necessary. It is our information, anyway, we paid for the incinerator, it is our incinerator, and our data. Early averaged data, which I have seen, shows things which definitely do need explaining.
We will see how that goes!
Standards of government in Jersey – proposal to make standards of truthfulness in the States enforceable
See here and all the sections of this menu for the story of how often States members are deceived by, usually, Ministers. And here, and all sections of this menu also, for the biggest lie of all, sold to the public. It cannot continue, but will they take this step? Or just adopt the Philip Bailhache version of what is important in the States Chamber? Never mind honesty, but be polite and keep your shoes clean, and wear a tie.