Trevor's written questions for next week's States sitting focus on a number of different areas. Question One arises directly from concerns already expressed within the JDA Blog, that really the Chief Minister should play no role in the debate around the proposition being brought to the Assembly by Deputy Bob Hill of St. Martin.
Question Two poses issues that have been troubling many political observers recently and which really should warrant clear answers in the public interest following on from the Verita Report.
Question Three, Trevor tells us, is an issue that a number of the 'progressives' in the States have been discussing due to the regular disappearance/non-appearance of a number of senior politicians during sittings - not just from the Chamber but from the States building. Having rejected Trevor's move to increase the quorum from 27 to 35 we would have to say that it is surely only fair and proper that all unexplained absences from sittings are highlighted for the public.
In many ways Question Four follows on natuarally from the first. Given that we are consistently told that suspensions such as that of Mr. Power and Mr. Day are simply necessary 'nuetral acts' whilst serious allegations are investigated the fact that the same approach has not been applied to the States CEO cannot but help to raise eyebrows. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty but the States simply must have consistency in their approach. Following on from the still unresolved questions around the responsibility for setting up Operation Blast, the release into the public domain of the sworn affidavit from Mr. Power by Deputy Hill really does make this a question that demands an answer.
Finally, Question Five to the Minister for Treasury & Resources poses a question that should be answered fully in the light of the prmised review of taxation in the island; not to mention the storied now doing the rounds that GST may have to be rasied to 12%. Our 1.1.K system is in need of a complete overhaul not least because of the two tier structure that has been allowed to develop with individuals being accepted as residents either side of the current legislation. Having heard from the Chief Minister last year that taxing 1.1.K's would be 'immoral' and the claim from Assistant Treasury Minister Deputy Eddie Noel that individual tax agreements could not be renogiated, clarification of the sort Trevor is seeking will be interesting to say the least.
To Chief Minister
“Given that he is a central figure within the suspension of the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police, does the Chief Minister consider that he is conflicted in the matter and should therefore declare an interest and withdraw from the debate of the Deputy of St. Martin’s proposition to set up an independent Committee of Inquiry into the suspension and the way that it has been handled (P.9/2010)?”
To Chief Minister(as responsible for staffing matters -
“Will the Chief Minister clarify whether the recently departed Chief Officer of Health and Social Services received any additional monies/severance bonus payments outside of his contractual entitlement, and, if any such payments were made, did this come from the public purse and what was the total amount?
Would the Chief Minister also clarify whether the former Chief Officer of Health and Social Services resigned, was invited to resign, was dismissed or left by ‘mutual agreement’ in the light of the Verita Report findings?”
To Chairman oF PPC
“Given the fact that the requirement for a Member to attend meetings of the States is set out within the Oath found in Schedule 2 to the States of Jersey Law 2005 and paragraph 2 of the Code of Conduct in Schedule 3 of Standing Orders, will the Chairman advise what disciplinary measures, if any, exist to ensure Members carry out their duties as required?
Would the Chairman advise whether Members leaving the Chamber and indeed the States Building entirely after roll call to pursue non-States matters and to conduct private business is in breach of the above legislation; further still, if none exist will the Committee consider developing disciplinary sanctions to put a stop to this practice?”
To Chief Minister
“In the light of the serious and detailed allegations against the Chief Executive to the Council of Ministers outlined in the sworn affidavit, signed by the suspended Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police, recently released into the public domain by the Deputy of St. Martin, will the Chief Minister clarify why he has not, as a ‘neutral act’, suspended the Chief Executive until the allegations of engaging in political activity wholly outside of his remit can be fully investigated?”
To Minister for T&R
“Given that 1(1)(k) classified residents fall into two categories; namely those who were granted residence before current regulations were put in place, and those who have been granted residency since, will the Minister list the number of individuals by year for the period 2005 to 2008 inclusive, who paid tax within the following brackets –
(a) less than £20,000;
(b) between £20,000 and £50,000;
(c) between £50,000 and £70,000; and,
(d) between £70,000 and £99,000?
If any 1(1)(k) classified residents do fall into these categories, would the Minister advise how this fits into the framework outlined within the relevant income tax legislation?”
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