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IoD Jersey Debate to Explore Future Funding Challenges

IoD Jersey Debate to Explore Future Funding Challenges

The measures available to Jersey’s government to maintain high quality public services against the backdrop of a growing population are set to be examined at this year’s IoD Jersey Annual Debate.

Entitled ‘Funding our Future’, the event, sponsored by law firm Carey Olsen, will take place on Thursday 21st September at the RJA&HS. Starting at 5.30pm with a drinks reception, the event will look at the anticipated future pressures on Jersey’s infrastructure, social, health and education services, the impact of a growing and ageing population on Jersey, and whether taxation is the solution to meeting the costs of the services islanders have come to expect.

Against the backdrop of the recently launched ‘Future Jersey’ initiative, and looking at what Jersey can learn from other jurisdictions, the Debate will look at some polarised alternative scenarios to explore what sort of future Jersey’s communities envisage, and how that future is going to be paid for, including:

  • Should Jersey have a small or big government?
  • What capital projects and services should Government undertake, what should it outsource, and what should it leave alone completely?
  • Should Jersey have tighter population controls, or look to ease restrictions?
  • Should Jersey maintain a low tax regime, or explore a higher taxation model?
  • Should Jersey import skills from elsewhere, or invest more in funding skills development off-island and supporting higher education locally?

 

Keynote speakers for the event will be Bronwen Maddox, Director of the Institute for Government and Sir Peter Caruana KCMG QC, former Chief Minister of Gibraltar. They will be joined be panellists Deputy Rod Bryans, Minister for Education; Fiona Kerley, President of the Jersey Hospitality Association; Senator Alan Maclean, Minister for Treasury and Resources; Deputy Susie Pinel, Minister for Social Security; Ben Shenton, President of the Channel Islands Co-Operative Society and Investment Manager; and Charlotte Valeur, Governance Consultant and Professional Non-Executive Director.

Returning moderator and renowned news broadcaster Alastair Stewart OBE will also ensure that attendees have the opportunity to question the panel of experts.

Commenting on this year’s Debate, IoD Jersey Chairman Chris Clark, said: "Jersey faces some serious demographic challenges over the coming years, with figures estimating that the number of people over 65 will rise by 51% between 2025 and 2065. On the one hand, having a vibrant working population contributing to tax receipts and economic growth is one way to meet the rising costs of social and public services and infrastructure. But that brings with it societal, cultural and environmental challenges of its own.

“The alternatives are a more tightly controlled population and the likelihood of creeping taxes on residents and businesses alike, or a Government that is willing to relinquish control of certain services it has previously provided, halting the ever-increasing cost of running the Island, our businesses and life in general which could genuinely demonstrate a culture that is ‘open for business’. Our debate this year seeks to ask some difficult questions about these alternatives, what sort of future we envisage as a community, and how we are going to pay for it.”

The IoD Annual Debate will take place on Thursday 21st September 2017 at the RJA&HS from 5.30pm – 10.30pm and is open to all islanders who have an interest in Jersey’s future. Places and tables of 12 can be booked at £87.50 per person, including a two-course supper, through www.iod.je, whilst further information is also available at the IoD Jersey LinkedIn Group and by following @iodjersey and #iodjsydebate on Twitter.