Deputy Geoff Southern has hatched a whole clutch of written questions regarding the implications of the proposed redundancies at Jersey Water. He also will be challenging Terry le Sueur's complacency about the Foot Report.
Here is a preview of his questions:-
To Treasury & Resources min
1. As the representative of the States majority and controlling shareholding in the JNWCo ltd (holding 100% of the issued “A” ordinary shares, 50% of the issued ordinary shares and 100% of the 7.5 – 10% cumulative fifth preference shares), will the minister inform members of his position on the following aspects of the JNWC ltd announcement of the company’s intention to make 20 of its employees redundant?
Given that the company announced a profit of £4,034,000 for 2008, an increase of 14% on the previous year, and a dividend of 194 pence per share (up by 15%) on the ordinary and “A” ordinary shares of the company, does the minister accept that the States in condoning the actions of the company, appears to put potential increased dividend above its support for employment?
Will the minister inform members how much the States received in dividend on its shareholding in 2008 and what additional dividend might be generated by these redundancies in 2009? Will he further produce an estimate of the likely impact of these redundancies on States revenues in lost tax and social security collected and additional Income Support payments?
2. Will the Minister use his powers to act in the public interest contained in article 23 of the Water (Jersey) Law 1972 to reduce water rates across the island in the light of the Water company’s actions in exploiting its monopoly position to pursue increased profits and dividends at any cost?
3. Will the minister use his powers under the competition law to request the JCRA to investigate the level water rates and charges of the JNWC ltd and to act to reduce the level of profits produced by its monopoly position?
4. Will the minister inform members whether the “redundancies” recently announced by JNWC ltd fail to meet the conditions set out in Article 2 of the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003?
5. Will the CM accept that the Deloitte estimate of lost tax to HMRC through the activities of offshore centres given in the Foot Report as £2 billion is a gross underestimate which cannot be relied on, differing as is does from the figure of over £11 billion derived from the TUC investigation, for the following reasons:
The Deloitte estimate:
a) used one amazingly aberrant year - 2008 - as their sample base when a lot of companies - especially banks made losses
b) Used a different definition of profit
c) On some occasions used a different definition of tax
d) Consciously turned a blind eye to a lot of avoidance saying it was 'officially sanctioned' ?
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