Whatever happened to ‘charity begins at home’?

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From Jane Churchill.

ON Wednesday 6 August I read with dismay about the plight of Stephen Coleman, and by taking one look at the picture of him it was blatantly obvious that he is not ‘swinging the lead’.

While understanding that there are rules and regulations in place for the claiming of sickness benefit, surely it should be taken into account how many years somebody has paid contributions when an accident such as this occurs, which can cause severe hardship at a time of extreme stress.

Bearing in mind that this man has not sponged off the States and has paid social security for years, and that we are talking of £140 a week to ensure that this one family does not have to suffer undue hardship, imagine my shock when turning to page 10 on the same evening and seeing the suggestion that the budget for Jersey overseas aid should increase from £7 million to £24 million.

While agreeing that the work done by the many volunteers is fantastic, whatever happened to ‘charity begins at home’? The maths are quite easy, and if you divide £24 million by the population of what we have been told is 90,000, it works out that each member of Jersey’s population, man, woman and child would be paying £266.66 per annum to overseas aid.

We as taxpayers do not get a choice as to whether we contribute to overseas aid, as

this is decided for us by our States Members – the same States Members who, when they were asked to vote on cutting the budget for overseas aid to boost local education voted by two-thirds against it.

The children of Jersey are the future of this Island, and as such deserve the best possible education. I know that as a taxpayer, and I feel that many other taxpayers on this Island would prefer for Mr Coleman to receive his £140 per week rather than have the money spent somewhere else outside the Island.

The other point to bear in mind is that GST has just been introduced because we need more money in the coffers, which in turn has caused most of us to tighten our belts, but it would seem that in typical States fashion this has been forgotten and rather than spend this money at home, helping the likes of Mr Coleman and his family here in Jersey, the States feel that as quickly as it comes in somebody or somewhere else not connected or contributing to Jersey should benefit from the hardship that the taxes and the regulations on the Island cause to its population.

5 Les Carrières,

Chemin des Maltières,


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