August 10, 2022

The political movement is “socially liberal and fiscally conservative”

Sir Philip Bailhache said Conservative Liberals in Jersey did not approve of “wasting our financial resources”, adding that they believed in “appropriate” investments to stimulate the economy.

Speaking at the JLC launch event at the Pomme d’Or Hotel yesterday, Sir Philip said the self-proclaimed “political movement” was “socially liberal and fiscally conservative”.

Other founding members of the JLC include entrepreneur and JEP columnist Susana Rowles, former Policy and Resources Committee Chairman Pierre Horsfall, former State Treasurer George Baird, former Chief Executive Officer of Social Security Ann Esterson and managing director of digital agency Matthew Robins. The group said its members came from different backgrounds but were “united by common ideas.”

Sir Philip said that being socially liberal and fiscally conservative were “essentially” qualities of Jersey.

He added: “We are also conservative in a fiscal and economic sense. This means that we do not approve of the wasting, nor the wasting of our financial resources.

“Investing and stimulating the economy in the right way is good. But writing a blank check for a new hospital is wrong.

“Dramatically increasing hospital bureaucracy at great cost to create an NHS-style health care system is not right. We think governments should be careful with taxpayer money, because most people do it with their own money. ‘

The JLC was formed because of members’ fears that the current system is not working, Sir Philip said.

“We all share a deep sense of frustration with the political arena and the way decisions are made or not, and the quality of some decisions,” he said. The former bailiff also expressed his concerns about the transparency of the current government.

“Ministers and officials should always be honest, but unfortunately that is not always the case,” he said.

According to Sir Philip, the most “glaring and egregious” was the response to questions about former government chief executive Charlie Parker and his decision to take on a second role as non-executive director of UK property trust New River.

Mr Parker was given verbal authorization to take over from the chief minister, but was not granted written authorization, despite a subsequent press release suggesting he had received the required authorization.

Sir Philip asked if the public “really knew why” a payment of £ 500,000 had been made to Mr Parker, who had received the six-figure sum as part of his release package.

He also said he didn’t think the JLC was the only one “seriously concerned about how this government is spending money like there is no tomorrow,” pointing to plans for hospital, IT and new government offices, as well as its redevelopment. plans for Fort Regent.

He said the JLC believed 20% was a fair income tax rate and that the GST was a “significant source of state revenue,” with 5% a “reasonable” rate. Low-income people should be supported, he added.

The former minister said the JLC were “conservatives”, believing the planet was “in urgent need of protection” and that it would be “criminal” to allow Jersey beaches, coastline and countryside to be damaged or destroyed.

The JLC also wants the island’s environment ministry to have only the environment under its responsibility and the planning committee to be responsible for processing requests.

Inclusiveness was another goal of the “movement,” according to the JLC, which said it would engage with minority groups on the island, including its Portuguese, Polish, Romanian and other communities, and “make them to feel that they are part of the whole ”.

In her speech, Susana Rowles said the JLC is the party of business, adding that more people should be able to start their own businesses and the island should embrace technology to increase productivity.

The businesswoman said education was the “most powerful engine of social mobility”, which meant investment in schools and colleges was needed.

She also said politicians need to engage with the wider community, which has become disenfranchised, as political parties can potentially help address this issue.

“Economic insecurity and an increase in social misery have fueled this resentment of the political classes,” she said.

The education technology entrepreneur added: “Social mobility is not an easy process, but I am proof that it can be done. Having started as an adult as a single mother and an economic migrant who needed tax credits to cover the bills. ‘

She said: “In a democracy people get the government they deserve, and I think the people of Jersey deserve better.”