Letter to the Editor: 'We live in an island that has a great future, and we should seize it'

From Senator Philip Ozouf

ozoufr

UNTIL this week there had been an almost unstoppable tide of opinion about a deficit in Jersey’s public finances that had allegedly previously been undisclosed.

What become known as the ‘black hole’ caused a huge amount of angst and uncertainty, which knocked confidence in the Island.

In 2014, as the then Treasury Minister, I published three reports that set out four areas which would need tackling in 2015-2018:

1. Significant investment in Health and increased allocations required for Education.

2. Promoting Economic Growth and diversification to boost jobs and revenues.

3. The need for efficiencies across the public sector.

4. The capital investment required for investment in infrastructure – especially a new Hospital.

For whatever reason, it is now clear that the reports did not form the basis of the debates that followed. The reports were clearly misunderstood by many.

The Chief Minister and others have consistently tried to explain why reductions in spending were being made, and that they were necessary. Reductions in spending are still needed to fund increasing Health costs for the future.

The carefully laid plans to boost economic growth were derided but are actually coming true.

The Chief Minister has now been criticised for repeating the things he has said in the past. Moreover, because it appears the plans are working – almost faster and to a greater extent than was hoped – the criticism is getting louder. That in my view is unfair.

Tax receipts are up because of an increase in the number of Islanders in employment – a result of a buoyant economy fuelled by a resurgent finance sector. There are encouraging early signs of success in our digital sector and in many other areas.

Spending reductions are greater than those which were originally set out in 2014.

At the same time, the States public investments appear to show spectacular returns in 2016. If these reserves had been spent earlier – as had been argued by some – these returns would not have been made, and today they place the Island in such a strong asset position.

These strong financial and economic results in other places would be welcomed.

With the benefit of hindsight, not all decisions are the right ones. Anyone who makes decisions and takes responsibility makes mistakes. But there needs to be a balanced debate about the policies of the last few years.

Politics in Jersey has become focused on negativity. There are certainly some issues which should not have been allowed to happen. We have so much to be thankful for and the results now emerging show that not all is bad – and never was.

The readers of the JEP deserve an honest and realistic debate about the positive economic and financial situation that Jersey finds itself in today. There are positive choices ahead. We live in an island that has a great future, and we should seize it.

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Comments for: "Letter to the Editor: 'We live in an island that has a great future, and we should seize it'"

Bob Boner

Obviously after the vote -'not me, guv'

AJ

Someone's after some votes...didn't vote for him last time...ain't spoken to anyone who did....I wouldn't vote for him end of!

Island Strife

No Phil.

We LIVED in an Island with a great future.

People like yourself killed it through greed and unchecked immigration.

Please sod off back to London.

I cannot stand most jersey "politicians" but it's been almost bearable not having to read about your BS over the last few months while the heat on you has died down.

j_longsden

get this idiot and his mate Gorst out NOW.

tony.t.1.

only interested in himself..... more words to comfit his flunkies,get this waste of space out of public service now.

Andre

There is something of substance behind this piece of verbose candyfloss: the rumour of a planned vote of no confidence in Gorst must be true after all.

Squawkie L Pelican

Comments, on this, on a Friday night. Really?

Tim South

IN the recent past Phillip Ozouf as treasury minister said:

1) Only the States can provide desperately needed grade " A " office space.

2) This development will only go ahead if the tenants want it, there will be no financial risk.

3) The grade ' A "offices of the International Financial Centre will attract new business.

Today the reality:

1) The dear Freddie letter that Phillip Ozouf was copied and admits receiving, showed a list of other private developers at the same time, who were planning or had passed plans to develop grade “A “ office space including Le Masuriers Broad Street development, it was called J1.

2) The first office block is not fully let, nor the second, but the first is completed, the second started and the third has been passed by planning. States accounts show a liability of £74 million by SoJDC where there was none before.

3) The promised influx of new business is a fallacy, the office space has been let to businesses already domiciled and working from Jersey. The previous tax take on rents has been lost to a company owned by the states that does not pay tax but a dividend when it feels like it. History shows pathetic returns by the SoJDC to the treasury.

Goodbye Phil, go live in London and pay for your travel and upkeep your self. Jersey cannot afford your failures. Take Maclean and Gorst with you, for supporting your untruths without any factual basis resulting in plain and simple incompetence in public office.

karaoke joe

My Dear Phil.

Your ship is sailing,can you please be on it. Oh and please do not try yet again to fool we the people of Jersey. TTFN

tony.t.1.

make sure its not the "condor cancellation" otherwise he will never leave.! !

Squawkie L Pelican

Come to think of it. Is there anybody who doesn't read this codswallop with a degree of cynicism. Be it a wry smirk or outright contempt. Ozouf is deluded if he thinks that anyone feels inspired by these words.

Bean_about

P.O. has as much spin about him and his self absorbed universe as Tony Blair has had over the years. I hold both men with a mass of contempt and hope that they both subsequently disappear into a large black hole - preferably filled with cow dung! I hate to add however that even with all the moaners and whingers out there in Jersey's voting population, no change will occur next elections and the same s**t will continue to roll down the hill!!! Such a shame that Jersey has come to this...

the doctor plants

Have we heard all this stuff before?