Sunday, January 24, 2010

Setting Short-term objectives: Our Deputies Meet and Discuss

The JDA's four Deputies regularly meet to discuss and co-ordinate their work. They have decided to start publishing the minutes of their meetings online, to give the public a better understanding of their work. Here, then is this year's first:


At today’s meeting, Geoff, Shona, Trevor and Debbie discussed their priorities over what propositions to bring in the next few months. They focus on the key policy areas of fair taxation, electoral reform and population.

Geoff will conduct a further investigation into land value tax. He will ask a question about how much revenue would be generated by a higher tax rate for high earners. There will be a proposition (possibly brought by Trevor) to remove GST from essential items and raise it on luxury goods. Debbie will focus on the removal of GST from winter fuel payments, and Shona on the removal of GST from healthy food items.

This is an opportune time to raise it to 45% of the average wage. This needs to be dealt with (by Geoff) by March.

Shona is working on a proposition re the method by which the Chief Minister is elected. Debbie is proposing that Ministers should be unable to vote for Scrutiny chairmen. Geoff or Trevor will propose a rolling electoral register.

There is a hope that 39A (the law that prohibits helping people to apply to get registered for a postal vote) will be rescinded, brought forward by a States member who is not in the JDA. Having discussed this with a number of members of the general public deeply concerned about the disenfranchisement of many who are elderly or disabled etc, Geoff is also looking at the possibility of challenging it in the Royal Court on the basis that it is not Human Rights compliant.

Trevor will try to establish the right to lodge propositions in the name of the party.

The migration and population policy is being restructured. The JDA needs to discuss the line it will take.

As Scrutiny has now stalled on establishing an advocacy service, members favour the holding of regular surgeries with a rota of town deputies. There could be a buddy system, with experienced deputies training less experienced ones, and lay members to take on cases.

This was discussed but it was agreed that no policy will be brought forward for the time being given that the issue is set to be a forthcoming Scrutiny topic.

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