Senators Hustings Meeting - St Peter
The world finance crisis dominated the hustings as the Senatorial election campaign reached its halfway point in St Peter last night.
Many candidates used their three-minute opening speech to talk about the problems and the need for a deposit banking scheme in Jersey.
Parishioners wanted to know if the candidates thought that there was a need for their savings to be protected in the middle of a crisis that is gripping national headlines every day. The specific question was why it took a world banking crisis for the States to think about having a review for a deposit protection scheme.
Montfort Tadier said that the States claimed experience in banking, but they obviously had none. He suggested that voters should focus on candidates who looked after people.
Chris Perkins said that a political crisis was needed to get States Members talking about it, and Senator Philip Ozouf said that a deposit protection scheme had been looked at numerous times previously.
Ian Le Marquand said that the current crisis had simply not been anticipated, and he suggested that financial institutions might have been put before people in order to be competitive.
The response from Adrian Walsh was that too much attention was being paid to keeping finance people here and not enough attention was given to savers.
Nick Le Cornu compared Jersey’s current situation to that of 19th century Cuba when it was wealthy before it collapsed.
It was certainly an issue that concerns ordinary people, according to Daniel Wimberley, who said that the minimum wage took ten years to come about. Action on ‘bread and butter issues’ just did not happen.
Stronger language was used by Trevor Pitman, who said that a deposit scheme could have been implemented five years ago. He blamed incompetence and total irresponsibility.
The States were working with a ‘we’re okay Jack’ policy, according to Mick Pashley, who added that maybe the States had thought about it after reports that the United Kingdom was going to strengthen its deposit protection scheme.
Nicholas Palmer said that he was astonished that the Island did not have a scheme, and Deputy Alan Maclean thought that most people did not believe that the crisis would happen — but he said that this should not mean that there was no deposit protection scheme.
Deputy Geoff Southern agreed that of course Islanders should have a deposit protection scheme.
Jeremy Macon said that the finance industry did not look as good as it used to, and he doubted whether the Americans had thought that their banks would collapse around them.
Gambling and profit-taking were to blame for a lot of the current problems, according to Cliff Le Clercq, and Senator Paul Routier said that the protection scheme was something the Island needed to get on with.
Mark Forskitt said that little people with little promises came way down the list of priorities with ministers, and Deputy Peter Troy said that a deposit scheme should have been implemented long ago.
Senator Mike Vibert said that it was great to hear people talk about the scheme now, and Deputy Sarah Ferguson said that Jersey was solidly the best regulated banking jurisdiction in the world.
Jersey were way behind the UK in terms of a deposit scheme, according to Deputy Alan Breckon, who added that ordinary people got ignored by the government, and Mike Higgins said that laws for the protection of Islanders were being sat on and left behind.
[ Source : This Is Jersey ]