The JDA believes that Jersey’s public services are a vital bedrock in sustaining the local economy and the community both in good times and now, during the worst economic recession in living memory. They ensure essential investment in infrastructure and support for business, and can mitigate the worst social and economic consequences of the downturn. As public services come under increasing pressure to cut costs and jobs, we believe that the Treasury Miniter’s view that spending cuts are the only option needs to be robustly challenged. For Jersey to emerge successfully from the current recession in a strong position for the future, we need to strengthen and sustain our public services.
We believe that that before we can decide on any measures, the public and the States must be in a position to fully understand the first year (2%) cuts in the context of :
a) the full (10%) cuts to be applied over 3 years, and
b) the possible tax changes that that might mitigate the cuts
Deputy Southern has called for such an open debate. The Treasury minister has refused to take part.
Public sector workers know that 10% cuts cannot be forced through without major disruption to services to the vulnerable and large-scale redundancies. This in turn will make the recession worse and further delay any recovery.
The Council of Ministers of ministers appears to be hell-bent on cutting services. Those services that are not scrapped will be subject to outsourcing or outright privatisation. This will result in lower standards of delivery and reductions in terms and conditions for workers as it has in the UK and elsewhere.
The first cut has already taken place: the arbitrary, unilateral and perverse decision to impose a pay freeze, and thereby an effective cut in public sector pay, removing at a stroke some £7m from circulation in an already depressed economy.
The teachers may have led the way in opposing the reactionary and oppressive tactics of the ministers, but this is just the start of a long campaign. We call on all workers, private and public, to oppose these drastic cuts.
JERSEY NEEDS JOBS - NOT REDUNDANCIES
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