Manifesto 2018

Working for a secure future

Working for a Secure future

Since being appointed Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture in November 2014 I have worked intensely and on behalf of all Islanders to deliver strong, sustainable growth and increased diversity across every facet of our economy.  Jersey is in good shape with strong foundations, but the world is changing, sometimes faster than we’d like and we must be ready to face the future with confidence.

To secure that future prosperity and well being we will need serious people with serious vision, highly experienced people who are deeply committed to attaining that goal. It is vital that the new States Assembly makes greater efforts to find the common ground between us, rather than to entrench division, whilst protecting individual political agendas, come what may.

The people we represent deserve and demand that we, as an Assembly, become more decisive, proactive and confident moving forward, and I believe we need a change in leadership to achieve this.

Community First

Developing and maintaining a strong, diverse economy is absolutely vital. It creates the wealth required to help those in our community who find themselves in need and allows society to develop in a sustainable fashion and for the benefit of everyone.  However, with that prosperity comes responsibility.  While we enjoy a buoyant economy and full employment we must do everything we can to ensure that many hard-working Islanders do not have to depend on income support to provide them with an acceptable standard of living. The States, Islanders and business must work together to overcome this.

I am committed to further developing a fairer society which comes from having a strong, confident and inclusive community.  I have learnt that people invest their time, energy and commitment where they feel valued. People need to know that they are safe and that their needs are being acknowledged and addressed before they can feel fully confident in the future.

Our Children

The appointment of a Children’s Commissioner is an essential step forward in the protection and development of all our children.

The Children’s Commissioner’s role is to:

  • listen to children and young people to find out what’s important to them
  • support children and young people to find out about children’s rights
  • advise children, young people and those who care for them if they feel they’ve got nowhere else to go with their problems
  • influence government and other organisations who have a responsibility for making a difference to children’s lives, making sure they keep their promises to children and young people
  • speak up for children and young people on important issues

Looking after our children will help us to build a better and more secure future and we must ensure our Children’s Commissioner is fully supported moving forward.

Education

It is important that our young people leave school having achieved their full potential both academically and physically, in order to give them the best possible start in life. I fully support moves by schools to place more focus on; character development, good citizenship, life skills, and the teaching of our own heritage, history, culture and politics.

I support the introduction of a sustainable funding solution for a new higher education student grant scheme.

Lifelong learning and the upkeep of skills are of fundamental importance. We must embrace technology to help students of all ages to thrive in a rapidly evolving digital world whilst understanding that people from different generations learn in different ways.

The States must ensure that our education system remains sufficiently funded, and that our teachers are properly resourced and supported.

Growth and the Economy

Jersey is world-renowned for its political and economic stability and for good reason. I will continue working to deliver strong, sustainable growth and increased diversity across all sectors of our economy.

Financial Services remains our key economic driver, therefore, it is imperative we remain focused on continuing to develop the sector and promoting Jersey as a clear leader in International finance. The number of global businesses relocating to the Island has increased since 2014, enhancing our reputation as an offshore business centre whilst providing new jobs and career opportunities for our people.

Tourism is growing again with visitor numbers up 16% in 2017 contributing £250 million in visitor spend to the economy. Visit Jersey was established in 2015 and is building a long-term vision and strategy to ensure continued growth for the industry.

During my term as Minister and against a backdrop of departmental cuts, I ensured funding was maintained for tourism and increased for events led tourism with the creation of Events Jersey (EventsJersey.com). This led directly to the introduction of the Super League Triathlon series in September 2017.

Agriculture funding was also maintained, and the new rural economy strategy was launched in 2017. The strategy departed from area-based payments to payments based on economic and environmental performance. Farm Jersey (FarmJersey.je) was also established to promote the industry and stimulate exports.

I will continue to provide the strongest possible support for our traditional industries together with all other sectors of the economy.

Housing

The provision of affordable homes, help to buy schemes and fair rents must be key targets to ensure islanders have access to sufficient housing.  We have to make sure that the supply of homes is increased to match demand whilst exploring new and innovative construction methods aimed at driving down costs and improving environmental standards

Hospital

I had previously envisaged a new hospital being located out of town, but having examined the options, I believe that for practical, logistical reasons, a town centre location is sensible.

Notwithstanding the considerable cost of building the new hospital it is worth noting that over the next forty years Jersey’s tax payers will spend in excess of £10 Billion running the heath service. It is therefore, essential that wherever we build our new hospital, we must ensure that the building itself is entirely suitable and fit for purpose in order to provide for the very best medical personnel, technology and equipment available.

The former St Saviour Hospital site and other States owned sites identified during the process should be utilised for housing and could provide significant funds towards the cost of the new hospital.

Population

We must plan for limited but sustainable population growth which, if carefully managed, will help us maintain a strong economy and develop as a community for the benefit of all Islanders.  However, we must pay particularly robust attention to immigration which must be far more carefully managed going forward than it has been in recent years. To this end, a new population policy has been lodged for debate later in the year.  I support plans that will ensure businesses have access to sufficient numbers of staff, but which reduce the long-term impact on our population by introducing short and medium term, time-limited permits for newly registered workers.

Achievements in office 2014 – 2018

  • Establishment of Visit Jersey – returning the Tourism sector to growth.
  • Establishment of Events Jersey – introduction of Super League Triathlon world series and other events.
  • Publication of Rural Economy Strategy – safeguarding the economic and environmental future of agriculture.
  • Establishment of Farm Jersey – enhanced promotion of Agricultural sector.
  • Establishment of Jersey Sport – to guide and manage sports development and enable the participation in sport for everyone in Jersey.
  • Establishment of the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO) to independently resolve unresolved complaints about financial services providers in the Channel Islands.
  • Rejuvenation of Channel Islands Lottery with growth of proceeds to charity from £685,000 in 2013 to £1.4 million in 2017.
  • Establishment of the Fort Regent Future Group – committed to the re development and transformation of Fort Regent. 
  • Establishment of enhanced inter-island ferry service to improve social and economic links between the Channel Islands.
  • Contributing to the end of ministerial collective responsibility and supporting new leadership and structure for the public sector. 

Key Priorities

  • Economy – To continue to grow and develop all aspects of our economy and to provide new jobs and career opportunities for Islanders.
  • Public Sector – To ensure we are delivering the best possible value for the tax payer before proposing changes to taxes and charges and to consult properly before any changes are imposed.
  • Education – To ensure the further development of our education system and children’s services for the benefit and protection of all young people and to provide a sustainable funding solution for a new higher education student grant scheme.
  • Housing – To increase the supply of new homes.
  • Health – To deliver the new hospital.
  • Population – To introduce new population policy aimed at reducing long term population pressures without compromising the stability of our economy or our community.
  • Brexit – To ensure Jersey is well prepared for Brexit by maintaining as closely as possible the arrangements we currently enjoy with Britain and the EU.
  • Environment – To support further investment and initiatives to protect our environment and to pioneer the introduction of environmentally friendly technologies and behaviours. 
  • Infrastructure – To redevelop Fort Regent and to create new sporting and leisure facilities within the island together with further improvements to the island’s infrastructure and public realm.
  • Transport – Continue to enhance and develop air and sea links and improve value and reliability for passengers.

 

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Manifesto 2014 – An Economic Proposition

If elected I shall be seeking the position of Economic Development Minister, not least because I believe that we must now put economic prosperity firmly back on the agenda.  From the rejuvenation of Fort Regent to Sports and Event led Tourism to FinTech and the digital economy to economic diversification and Small Business development. In real terms in 2012/13 Jersey’s economy was at the lowest recorded level since at least 1998 – it’s time to act.

Tourism – It’s time to LOVE Tourism again! We have so much to be proud of, we have so much to offer. Let’s put our island firmly back on the tourism map. I will ensure that the Visit Jersey board is fully established and properly resourced to ensure that this important pillar of our economy can once again prosper.

Sports and Event led Tourism – We can be in no doubt that, following the success and legacies of the London Olympics and Glasgow Commonwealth Games, sport is a major contributor to a successful economy, as well as being essential to the health and wellbeing of our society. I will support the re-location of our Sport and Heritage portfolio from Education to Economic Development.  I will establish a new sports, conference and events body to develop Jersey as a leading venue for sports and event led tourism. I will also support the establishment of an expert led film commission and film fund to realise some of the great opportunities that exist for Jersey in this field.

Economic Diversity – Helps to defeat economic declineand offer new opportunities in employment, skills and the availability of goods and services.  I will ensure investment in emerging industries and small business start-ups by fully utilising innovation and development funding and support. I will also demand a complete RED TAPE REVIEW to lower the barriers and hurdles for businesses wishing to start up and grow.

Finance

In 2011 the Jersey Finance Industry celebrated its 50th anniversary year.  This industry has contributed so much to our prosperity over and above its economic contribution that it is almost impossible to imagine Jersey without it.  Whilst I will always enthusiastically promote a diverse economy and the benefits of tourism, agriculture and other new and emerging industries, I will also continue to fully support our finance industry.

Economic Success – Is largely dependent on the States Treasury’s fiscal policies, particularly in relation to budgeting and the setting of levels of taxation.  I will seek to ensure that a new partnership is established between the Treasury and the Economic Development Department to ensure a vital and productive flow of ideas and that the appropriate level of influence exists between the two departments.

A growing economy delivers:

  • Lower unemployment. With higher output businesses tend to employ more workers creating more employment.
  • Higher incomes. This enables islanders to enjoy more goods and services and enjoy better standards of living.
  • Stronger States finances. Economic growth creates higher tax revenues and there is less need to spend money on benefits. Therefore economic growth helps to improve the States finances.
  • Improved public services. With increased tax revenues the States can invest more on health and education and other essential services
  • More money can be spent on sports and leisure facilities and protecting the environment. With higher *GVA a society can devote more resources to sports and leisure facilities and the use of renewable resources and recycling.
  • Investment. Economic growth encourages new investment into the local economy and therefore encourages a worthy cycle of economic growth.

* GVA – Gross Value Added:  GVA measures the overall economic activity taking place in Jersey.

Economic Growth, Population & Immigration

Economic Growth if properly managed does not lead to excessive population growth. We all know that the population will grow, it’s the way of the world – there are more births than deaths and we are all living longer.   We therefore need to plan for sustainable population growth which if carefully and consistently managed, will assist us to develop as an economy and a community for the benefit of all.  However, we must pay particular attention to immigration which must be tightly controlled.

Health & Social Care

Our health service must be innovative and forward thinking if we are to continue to improve upon the levels of healthcare we enjoy at present.

The proposal to build a new hospital must be delivered within the time scales and budgets currently being established.  My preference is for a one site solution.

Our health staff must also be provided with the infrastructure, equipment and support worthy of their skill and dedication.

Education

Education is the process by which society retains, and transmits its accumulated and growing knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another.  It is essential that our children leave school having achieved their maximum potential, academically and physically, to give them the best possible start in life. I am particularly keen to encourage schools to place more focus on character development, good citizenship, life skills, and the passing on of our own heritage and history.

The States must ensure that our education system remains sufficiently funded, and that our teachers are properly resourced and supported.

In order to focus on its important key objectives I will propose that Education becomes a standalone department and that responsibility for Sport and Culture are moved into the Economic Development Department.

The Environment

Whilst recognising the need for careful stewardship of our natural environment, we must also be pioneering in our approach to environmental initiatives.  Serious consideration should now be given to ways to harness our natural resources – sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat – to deliver new sources of sustainable and renewable energy.

Law and Order

I am proud to have served as Assistant Home Affairs Minister from 2011 – 2014.

We are fortunate to be well served by all emergency services and by both a professional States Police force and an Honorary Police system.  Our police deliver a comprehensive service from everyday routine responsibilities to a close working relationship with the community.  Fortunately Jersey is a very safe place and crime rates continue to fall.

Our honorary system is both unique and valuable to Island life in many ways and must be retained.

Society operates best in an environment of good domestic order.  Mutual respect for each other and responsibility for our own actions are essential to maintaining and protecting our peaceful and respectable way of life.

States Reform – Retaining the island wide mandate

The size of our States Assembly should be reduced.  I also believe that of the three categories of States Member, Deputy, Constable and Senator, the office of Senator is, by virtue of its island wide mandate, the most representative, accountable and therefore the most democratic and should be retained.

I believe that Connétables should continue to sit in the States by virtue of their office. I also believe that the number of Deputies should be reduced and that Deputies should be elected in larger districts or super constituencies to prevent members entering the States with small numbers of votes.

Achievements

Since being elected as Senator in 2011 I have been busy. Although I have not been a member of the Council of Ministers I was appointed to the role of Assistant Minister at Home Affairs where I held responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service, the Prison Service and the Jersey Field Squadron. I also serve on the Justice Advisory panel and the Bailiff’s Consultative panel.

In addition:

  • I received unanimous support for my proposition to the States calling for political accountability to be established for the island’s Justice System (p120/2012)
  • I successfully amended the budget in 2012 asking for the PECRS pension debt to be paid off quicker
  • Led the campaign to retain Senators and the island wide mandate
  • Campaigning for the rejuvenation of Fort Regent and a new 50m pool and associated facilities for Jersey
  • Continuously championed the Tourism Industry both as a States Member and as President of the Jersey Hospitality Association
  • Achieved a most credible States attendance record missing only one sitting in three years (to attend my father’s funeral)

Please choose your elected representatives carefully

There is still a widespread belief in the Island that the States are not performing effectively. The main concerns are that some politicians are motivated more by self-interest than the interests of the Island and that some do not have the knowledge, skills, expertise or experience to be able to do the job.

And finally …

My politics are about people.  My politics are inclusive.  My politics are not about left vs. right, my politics are about hope, health, vigour, vitality and opportunity for all.

I do not favour party politics, I favour TEAM politics. We can all have different political views and aspirations but I don’t see that as a barrier to working together for the benefit of the Island.

In offering myself for election as Senator I bring a clear line of thought and a determination to contribute to the creation of a more productive and credible States Assembly.

 

4 Responses to Manifesto 2018

  1. Peter de la Cour says:

    What are your views on removing GST on food and essential Services?

    • Lyndon-Farnham says:

      Peter I am generally not in favour of GST on food and other essential good and services (where it is applied). However, I believe that it would now be difficult to remove GST on such items as this would mean an unsustainable increase in GST on non essential goods and services. Also, I do not believe that if we were to remove GST from food (and other essential items) the full 5% would be saved by the consumer given the nature of our retail economy. Hope this helps and thank you for your post.

  2. Gerald Howe says:

    Need for review of competition law and give CICRA the teeth and Gov backup to challenge local outsize virtual monopolies. For instance Ferryspeed local logistics company has virtually taken over by buyouts of competitors in a very quiet way in the last few years.
    This was exhibited by the chaos when the Clipper was out of action and shops were out of stock. Price undercutting of others who wish to compete. An ombudsman adjudicator is needed ,such as the monopoly commission in Canada has. Who can make damages awards and desist notices in a very short time.

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