ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM, SPORT & CULTURE

Cultural Myths

We believe that some significant myths have been allowed to flourish and for far too long have gone uncorrected. One such myth (which is often perpetuated by employers in certain sectors) would have us believe that Jersey people will simply not do certain jobs. Further, that if we do deign to get out of bed in the morning, we are surly, ungrateful, unreliable, lazy, feckless, prone to thievery and drunkenness.

This is as offensive and racist as it is untrue. Jersey people, particularly young Jersey people are no more or less predisposed to this kind of irresponsible behaviour than any other group and have been regularly demonised by those who gain considerably by employing foreign staff, often on zero hours’ contracts, and at severely depressed wages.

We believe that Government has a role to play in dispelling these myths by speaking out against them whenever they rear their ugly heads, by standing up for this Island, our history, culture and people and by enabling our children, and theirs to be proud of who they are and where they come from.

We believe, as the Finnish model has found, if one pays a decent living wage to those doing the most menial tasks society requires then one has little or no problem finding and retaining local staff. Society benefits in several ways. Local men and women find long term sustainable employment. Employers have a stable workforce with a real stake in being and staying employed, society rids itself of a number of unemployed and gains economically active citizens earning, paying taxes and spending in the local economy.

Small Businesses

We have spoken to several small business owners in the research phase of this manifesto. We welcome their positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship and their desire to contribute to the success of this Island. We believe that many small business owners are very happy with the ease with which a business can be created, and people employed. We believe it is right and proper to congratulate the States of Jersey for creating an atmosphere where people have the confidence needed to invest huge amounts of time and often considerable sums of money pursuing their dreams of becoming businessmen and women.

We also believe it is right and proper to question why more people aren’t doing the same. Why there is insufficient awareness of entrepreneurship and the opportunities available, particularly for the Island’s young men and women who may well be the employers of tomorrow.

We also believe it is right and proper to question why fewer businesses (of any size) are moving to and setting up within the Island. Jersey is a naturally stunning part of the World. Safe, secure and politically stable. We offer favourable financial conditions, travel links to France, the UK and beyond. We are blessed with good schools, a vibrant night life, excellent restaurants to suit all pockets and tastes. Medium to large firms, of all types and in all sectors should be looking favourably at Jersey as a base of operations rather than just a convenient wall upon which they may hang a brass plate. We need to understand why they are not.

Finance Industry

We believe that the finance industry has been the backbone of our Island in terms of jobs, taxes, revenue and prosperity for many years and should be recognised as such.

We believe that more finance and related jobs could be created in Jersey and we should incentivise firms to expand existing operations or set up new ones where the result would be long term sustainable employment, and apprenticeships, internships or other training opportunities for our young people.

We believe that the JFSC is doing a very good job protecting Jersey’s reputation as a global financial services centre. Several recent, high profile cases prove that the system is working well and that the regime imposed now bodes well for the finance industry of the future.

We believe that the JFSC should be supported in all that it does. Furthermore, as great supporters and advocates of the finance industry we believe that when a company is guilty of a serious breach of regulations their actions damage the reputation of the finance industry and the Island as a whole.

We believe therefore, that it may be appropriate in some cases, to levy significantly higher financial penalties against firms and seek custodial sentences against those responsible. In many cases those powers already exist, they simply need to be used more often.

However, we believe that the JFSC is in danger of over-regulating our financial services industry and risks driving off business which would otherwise come here.

We believe that insisting on high quality business is very important, but allowing companies to flourish is equally important. A balance must be sought, which we fear is currently not present.

We believe it is important to reverse the policy regarding the reduction in the number of trust company licences. Currently the JFSC believes that there are too many licenced service providers, and is actively seeking to reduce the number of licence holders by encouraging smaller trust companies to merge with their larger counterparts. We understand that the JFSC view is that the smaller trust companies are unable to cope with the level of regulation and have in place in Jerseys finance industry.

We believe that this policy is detrimental to the continued development of our finance industry. You cannot only have a handful of supersized trust companies and no new entrants coming in. The JFSC must come up with a regime specifically for small (new) trust companies and actively encourage and support new entrants into the industry. Otherwise the finance industry will simply wither and die, with no new talent starting up.

Job-market Diversity

We believe that despite hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax-payer’s money being used to fund overseas travel, Jersey is being woefully undersold. We would like to see every effort made to reduce regulation and red-tape (where possible) and encourage existing financial services companies to expand their operations here and new ones to set up.

We believe that in recognising the importance of the finance industry, it is also important to recognise how vulnerable Jersey is to the vagaries of global finance. To this end, again we believe that Jersey has been serially and seriously undersold and every effort should be made to diversify the industry base encouraging the technology firms of today and tomorrow to our shores.

With all of the advantages Jersey can offer, in tax, finance, setting and travel links to mainland Europe and London, Jersey is the perfect base for software companies, film, video and music production and post production, online gaming firms, technology, manufacturing, internet and communications companies, clean tech, pharm-tech and bio-tech firms. All of which can provide long term, high value, stable and sustainable jobs and revenue streams.

Heritage & Culture

We believe that our heritage and culture are the foundation stones of who we are. Our past shapes us and moulds us and points us in the direction of the future we wish to hand down to our children, and theirs.

We believe that Jersey has a remarkable culture, history and heritage and a unique place in the world. We believe that for far too long we have been made to feel guilty about celebrating either our Britishness or our Jerseyness (or both) by those embarrassed or offended by our patriotism and our desire for identity.

We revel in celebrating St Patrick’s Day, St Andrew’s Day, and St David’s Day but Liberation Day is harking back to the past, St George’s Day is far beyond the pale and any celebration of St Helier (Jersey’s own patron Saint) on July 16th is almost unheard of?

We believe that for far too long the Jersey people and the culture of this Island has been seen as inferior to “the other”. We have lost count of the amount of times we have read stories in our local press of employers denigrating Jersey people, particularly young Jersey people in ways that would, under other circumstances, have the liberal commentariat shrieking “RACISM!” from every rooftop.

We believe that these claims are often made by those who benefit greatly from employing foreign staff at significantly depressed wages and our changes to the benefit system and the wages of the lowest paid will significantly redress the balance. However, this also highlights a significant cultural issue. This oikophobia, this belief that one’s own kind is worthless — that cultures, peoples, and families count for nothing and need to be rooted out — threatens to end Jersey’s existence as an Island for Jersey men and women.

We believe our culture, particularly any additional expression of Britishness has been wrongly associated for so long with war, destruction, mass murder and violence, slavery, racism and Empire to the point where we are ashamed to be who we are, and those who are not ashamed, are routinely condemned as racists, xenophobes, bigots and worse.

We have been made so doubtful of our own self-worth that we don’t even dare to defend ourselves; we silently endure whatever others do to us. We’re so afraid of being labelled ‘racist’ that we unconditionally accept this anti-Jersey racism and the multiculturalism that our left liberal and “progressive” elites have designed to dilute our culture, our patriotism and our identity.

We believe that our children must be allowed to know themselves. They must be allowed to find their own identities through an intimate understanding and appreciation of who we are, starting with our history, our homeland, and our culture.

Tourism

Historically tourism was a major industry in Jersey and has been in decline for some years. We believe that Visit Jersey Limited does a good job promoting Jersey as a holiday destination but much more needs to be done to achieve the goal of 1 million tourists by 2030.

We wish Kevin Keen well in his new role as Chairman of Visit Jersey Limited. It is too early to determine the impact of any policies he may introduce. However, we believe that with the correct political will, tourism could play as considerable a role in Jersey’s future as it did in her past and that there are many varied and significant benefits to it doing so.

Jersey is a safe, clean and beautiful destination which has, thankfully, and unlike many former tourist hotspots (such as those in Greece, Malta, Italy and other destinations throughout the Mediterranean), managed to escape the ravages of the immigration crisis. It is essential we keep it that way.

Sport

We believe that sport in Jersey is doing well considering the size and population of the Island. Jersey Rugby Club continues to compete at a very high level, Jersey’s Cricket Team has recently been promoted after an extremely good result at yet another well attended and well organised tournament. In Football we believe Jersey needs more exposure.

Jersey’s many different shooting clubs are well organised and attended as are various Martial Arts, Boxing, Cycling, Netball and Athletics Clubs.

We believe that the recent Island Games showed the very best of Jersey. It was a testament to great planning and organisation, it was enjoyed by many thousands of Islanders and visitors alike. We believe it is right and also entirely possible for Jersey to host a major event every two years. The World Dance Championships are evidence of the capacity and enthusiasm Jersey audiences have for such things.

We believe that purely as an example, a stage of the World Triathlon Championships could be held in Jersey.

We believe that Fort Regent could be developed into a world class sports, leisure and entertainment complex. We are in general agreement with the recent column written by Mark Proudfoot in the Jersey Evening Post and believe that it is a tremendous asset to the Island which is being woefully underutilised. However, we also believe that to make a full and sustainable success out of Fort Regent but it will require a combination of determined political will and considerable private sector expertise.