Revealed: The antidote to our ills

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From Alan West Gillham.

The JEP of 28 July provided two features which could be the antidote to the Island’s current ills.

Firstly, there is the possibility that Simon Crowcroft could be the next Chief Minister. Secondly, Roger Bale has, in a brief article, quantified what is essentially the roadmap for the Island.

Mr Crowcroft has adequately shown his ability by what has been achieved in St Helier, and Mr Bale has drawn up a blueprint which could and should have been prepared by the panel of senior civil servants instead of ‘dreamworld’ issues such as the Island’s independence.

As for the Treasury Minister’s risible claim to the Chief Minister’s position, this would but ensure more of the same. He must be challenging Gordon Brown in the U-turn stakes with his record of the quarry at St John, the former Girls

College, the ‘make do and mend’ adjustments to the wretched GST and, recently, possible belated acceptance of the Jurat Blampied plan.

No one has yet assessed the true cost of collecting GST, and it would certainly test the qualities of the Auditor General to prove its viability, having regard for the loss of profit (thus reduced taxable factor) to local businesses, retailers and the like, then additional tax staff, their office accommodation, general administration cost etc.

And now we have the latest pseudo-socialist ‘controlling’ with £400,000 for those unable to afford to pay GST. And what assurance do we have of the probity of that figure? Any thought of realistic amendment of GST by, say, excluding food would of course mean a loss of face. More tears before tea?

Many long-standing States Members were party to the financial ills of the Island’s economy, but the Treasury Minister has been the catalyst. Further, can anyone imagine Senator Le Sueur, as Chief Minister, implementing any of the necessary changes detailed by Roger Bale?

It is also fair to say that it was predominantly during his watch that civil servants were paid 40% more than their UK counterparts and the size of the service increased beyond any much larger, otherwise comparable, jurisdiction.

As a St Helier resident, I feel sure that Simon Crowcroft will prove a hard act to follow as Constable, but the Island needs him.

7 La Ruelle Vaucluse,

St Helier.

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