Monday, October 18, 2010

Letter to the Editor of the Jersey Evening Post 12th October 2010

John Heys

The worst anti-Jersey decisions are ....... ours.

For years now I have been expressing my concerns about our government putting all our support and financial grants into the so-called finance industry, and trying to point out that it could up sticks and blow to where the sun shines brighter where they could make even more money.

Oh, no, no, no, the gurus proclaimed, it could never happen. So our only hopes of a rescue, should it happen - tourism and agriculture - have disgustingly been underfunded and allowed to run down to virtually unrecoverable low levels.

Did I hear that Finance is down 12%. Not a word from Mr. Cook or Senator Ozouf about how wonderful that is.

So we turn to a possible saviour: tourism. Of course, we would have to rapidly build hotels and possibly inexpensive accommodation to cater for the influx. We could promote Jersey for the beautiful Island it is and introduce walking holidays, horse riding adventures and sea fishing, etc. But hold on a minute - how would that bring in the money? Our Chief Minister has effectively ruined any tourism advantage with his crazy idea of zero-ten.

Take this scenario: a couple fly or sail here from the UK. In both instances the travel companies are registerd outside the Island, so no money for Jersey there. They go into our diminishing town and see that, assisted by his ludicrous GST to try to make up for the zero-ten, prices are even higher than where they have come from so they do not spend.

Tourism has been effectively stamped out, and we are left with the god of finance, who only pay 10% tax (if you cannot find ways of avoiding even that), instead of 20% which they should be paying.

Our dear friend of many years, agriculture, has been given little support and is now reduced to bowing to the dictates of Tesco. What, when and how much you will be paid is what the growers who are left have to tolerate, surviving only by operating as members of a combine.

Oh, how I remember the hundreds of spud lorries lined up along the Esplanade waiting their turn to go through the Weighbridge and down to the waiting ships.

What I find so tragic is that the very worst of anti-Jersey decisions have not been implemented by some foreign force trying to ruin this beautiful unique Island, but by Jersey people, which is what so often happens when things go rotten from inside, as with the great powers of history Egypt, Greece and Rome, and recently with Communism.

We need to form a think tank quickly to decide what we want to do for Jersey, what direction we need to take, and how we are to achieve it. It has to be done now, without a lot of power struggling or vested interest. Am I suggesting too much?

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