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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

"Hijacked Commission Pretends To Be Credible"

Jersey Electoral Commission meeting considers States reform

The Electoral Commission is responsible for looking at States reform

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Jersey's Electoral Commission is considering how people should be represented in the States Assembly.
The Commission is holding public hearings to find out how people would like to see the States reformed and what constituencies should be like.
Reform has been on the agenda in the States for decades but the number of people voting is in decline.
A meeting on Monday heard a range of views, from removing Constables to larger districts.
At the last election in 2011 the average turnout was 48%.
This was the first election where the three types of States members - senator, deputy and constables - were elected on the same day.
Politics graduate James Rondel's dissertation on government reform is being used by the Commission as part of its deliberations.

It is a tricky task that has been set for the Electoral Commission.
It has been tasked with coming up with a new form of government acceptable to the majority of islanders.
The system will have to deliver in terms of more voters turning out on polling day and give more meaning to the votes cast.

He wants a new role for the constables in an upper chamber reviewing legislation.
Mr Rondel said: "At present our scrutiny system isn't functioning correctly and by having the constables in an upper house we would have some wise old heads hopefully being able to look over legislation."
Student Sam Mezec, who plans to run for the States at the next election, said he wanted bigger constituencies to bring in fresh ideas.

He said the current system was unfair as people in St Helier have one States member for every 3,000 people, whereas people in St Mary have one member for every 1,000 people.
The Commission said it had a rich and diverse range of views to go through over the summer.
They then have to be able to put their findings to the States and come up with a question to put to the island in a referendum.

Why have local legal costs rocketed?

Jersey politicians are asking why local legal costs have rocketed in the failed bid to overturn Britain's scrapping of LVCR.

The island's bill has reached £740,000 - that's more than double the estimate of £360,000 and 10 times more than Guernsey's costs, which are £75,000.

The bill is set to rise further when the UK government claims for its costs, which will be divided between the two islands.

Low Value Consignment Relief had allowed Channel Island companies to send cheap goods to the UK VAT-free. Last year, the UK government decided to end the controversial tax loophole.

In March, Jersey and Guernsey States appealed to the High Court to overturn that decision but the islands lost their appeal.

During States' Question Time, Jersey's Attorney General said complexities of the case and unforeseen developments, such as compiling extra witness statements, caused the costs to rise.

He confirmed that the fulfilment industry has contributed £85,000 towards legal costs, but the remainder will come out of the taxpayer's purse.

Asked why Jersey and Guernsey costs are so different when they were fighting the same battle, the Attorney General said: "Although Jersey's and Guernsey's legal actions were joined at the hearing, they were started independently and remained independent, different proceedings, reflecting the markedly different profile and history of the fulfilment industry in each jurisdiction. It was in the interests of Jersey to base its case on both a strong legal and factual argument."

Chief Minister Ian Gorst said: "Litigation is a very uncertain process and it's very usual that costs will increase during legal action. I am satisfied by the original legal advice we received from PWC Legal."

1 comment:

  1. The make up of this reform panle and the prestated agenda of mr Baillache makeit invalid already and the worst thing I have seen in my life island wise....so very very wrong.

    ReplyDelete