MEMBERS of the Island’s business community say their views have been ‘trivialised’ in a political debate.
The Jersey Chamber of Commerce are so riled by references made last month during a States debate that they have organised a meeting next month just for States Members.
Chamber president Clive Spears, pictured, said he had received ‘vigorous complaints’ about the way the organisation had been described during a question about supermarkets, after St Brelade Deputy Sarah Ferguson had asked
Economic Development Minister Philip Ozouf about a report compiled by the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority. Mr Spears said that during the debate which followed the Chamber had been described as ‘a minority business group’ protecting interests of a few powerful members.
‘We were cited as being against competition,’ said Mr Spears. ‘We did not appear to enjoy a level playing field relative to other interest groups referred to.’
He said the debate had become ‘politicised’ and that the main issue – the possibility of a third major supermarket coming to the Island – had been ‘treated as somewhat trivial’. As a consequence, the Chamber council had decided to invite politicians to a presentation to set out their views and concerns.
During the debate Senator Ozouf argued that the JCRA report was based on consumer welfare and said: ‘The Chamber are a business lobby group, promoting the interests of shareholders.’ He added: ‘They will argue naturally against competition.’