Senators - Jeremy Macon
Twenty-one year-old Jeremy Macon is the youngest candidate standing for Senator.
He has wanted a career in politics since sixteen and especially wants to give the youth in Jersey a voice that truly understands them and their issues.
[ Source : BBC Jersey ]
Jeremy Macon, at 21, will probably be the youngest candidate to stand as a Senator in next month's elections.
The former Hautlieu School pupil graduated from the University of Plymouth earlier this year. He lives in St Saviour with his parents and decided to stand himself as he felt that there were no candidates whom he could support.
He has set up a page on the social network website Facebook entitled 'Vote Jersey! Vote Jeremy! Elections 2008' that has 54 members.
Mr Macon has also set up a website of his own at www.jeremymacon.com to conduct his campaign. These websites urge Islanders to vote for a 'fresh face and fresh ideas' Mr Macon's policies include the abolition of Goods and Services Tax as well as moves to make the social security and income tax systems fairer.
He wants to see Fort Regent regenerated to provide affordable facilities for young people, and he believes that there should be free university courses at Highlands College. He wants immigration controls imposed and measures introduced to enforce job promotion from within the Island.
He thinks that the States should do more to promote and encourage Jersey-owned small businesses and wants to see the proposed deemed distribution tax proposals scrapped. Affordable housing, he feels, should be built on the St Helier Waterfront rather than in the green zone, and he believes in diversification and the encouragement of industries other than finance. He said that he would also pursue a more efficient public transport system.
[ Source : This Is Jersey ]
- Graeme Mauger
- Maurice Merhet
- Hanora Jones
- Philippa Macon
- Laura Smith
- Callum Alexandre
- Nellie Macon
- Alister Shield-Laignel
- Christine Larose
- Vincent Thorne
[ Source : Channel Online ]
Jeremy Maçon is the youngest candidate to stand in the Senatorial elections. The 21-year-old is a former Hautlieu School pupil who graduated from the University of Plymouth with a BSC (Hons) Joint Social Sciences degree earlier this year. His proposer, Graeme Mauger, said he nominated the candidate because he was an exceptional young man who had planned a career in politics since he was 16 years old. During his speech at the Town Hall Mr Mauger said that Mr Maçon’s family had roots in the Island going back to the 1700s. He said the candidate, who has worked as a sales assistant, truly wished to give people a voice and added that he was a man of integrity, courage and energy who wanted to represent people young and old. Mr Maçon was against GST, supported free child care and wanted Fort Regent to be regenerated to allow affordable facilities for young people.
[ Source : This Is Jersey ]
As my family have been in Jersey since the 1700s I have always been keenly interested in the Island, its people and history.
I want to give the young people of Jersey a voice. It’s rare that we're asked for our views and even rarer for the government to consider our opinions when making major decisions. These decisions are going to affect the rest of our lives and our children's lives long after most of these States Members are gone. Some of my friends have already left the Island as they see no future for themselves here.
I've seen the effect that taxation and the cost of living has had on ordinary people like my family. Hard-working, ordinary people shouldn't have to worry about feeding their families or choosing between buying shoes for their children or paying the rent.
If people work hard they should see a return for their labours, not struggling whilst the government wastes their taxes on steam clocks, money which would be better spent on providing medical care locally rather than having to travel away from their families when at their lowest ebb. My dearest wish is to help the youth and ordinary people of Jersey.
[ Source : This Is Jersey ]
A video of Jeremy Macon's election manifesto is available on Channel Online
Last summer was disastrous for British agriculture, particular for their wheat harvest, which was said to impact on us. It was obvious that food prices would rise dramatically, and a caring government would have done it's upmost to keep food prices down, our government though decided to introduce 20 Means 20 and, worst of all, GST.
There are other ways of recouping income loss from removing exempt tax from companies administered in Jersey, but our government chose instead to place the burden on the people of Jersey. Even now when it is evident that a significant number are struggling they still refuse to remove it.
We have a government that is out of touch with the people and generally only listens to the voices of those representing the finance industry and big business.
We do need the finance industry, and are very grateful for the contribution it makes towards out standard of living, but we desperately need to diversify.
Many students don't return to the island because they don't all want to work in the finance industry, but there is little choice for them either in employment or recreation, and there is little chance that they will ever own their own homes.
The infrastructure of our island is desperately in need of renovation, yet we allow more and more immigration. Eventually immigrants gain housing qualifications and want their own homes, they also have families and so more schools are needed and so on.
Over the years we have seen many nationalities come to the island and our culture is the richer for it, I myself have one French and one German grandmother apart from my Jersey grandfather, but the fact is we have to reasonable and accept that there is a limit to the population Jersey can bear.
We can never hope to house everyone properly and still maintain open spaces if we continue with this open door policy. We would do better to take care those who are already here now, and give everyone the best possible quality of life we can.
To turn around some of our current problems we need to do the following:
Introduce a charge on companies administered in Jersey to recoup the £600 exempt tax.
Encourage diversification to not only encourage our young people to stay, but to safeguard the future if we ever lose the finance industry.
We need to control immigration through a visa or points system, if we are to retain our green fields and ever hope to solve the housing shortage.
We need to provide means-tested childcare for the under-threes so parents who want to can return to work.
We should introduce US style school buses to get as many cars off the roads as we can at peak times.
We should bring modern recreational facilities to Fort Regent, financed through private enterprise.
And most of all we need to remove GST once and for all.
If you elect me I promise to do my upmost to make sure your voices are heard.
An audio version of this election manifesto is available from BBC Jersey
[ Source : BBC Jersey ]
A video of Jeremy Macon's election manifesto is available on Channel Online
Whether we were born here or have chosen to live here, we have strong feelings about Jersey. Over the years we have developed a sense of security and tended to leave the governing of our Island in the hands of our elected representatives. In recent years this attitude has changed dramatically, particularly since the introduction of ministerial government. Many people are sceptical and suspicious of any governmental policies as too often we have been totally misled or completely ignored. The number of people that have registered to vote in these elections is significantly higher than usual and I hope it is because you want to see changes being made to improve the way we are governed.
Whilst I am very much concerned with the issues facing young people, families, small businesses and our Island heritage, I've been discussing many of the issues we currently face with people from different walks of life and now I would like to put forward some suggestions as to how we can deal with these:
On the morning of the States sitting to decide for or against GST, I was at the door of the States Chamber with the small crowd of protesters to let our States members know you did not want GST.
The whole concept of 0-10 is flawed. It was rushed through by a government that is running scared of the OECD which is basically a body of large countries which tries to impose their directives on other jurisdictions and is terrified of offending the Finance Industry. We need Finance and we do need to protect it but there are far better ways of creating a level playing field where taxation is concerned than allowing foreign owned companies to pay nothing! How does this make any kind of financial sense? Jersey owned Jersey companies will be inflicted with the Deemed Distributed Law next year. They are not getting a tax break! We should make these foreign owned companies pay another type of fee to recoup the £600 exempt tax we have lost. If we did this, there would be no need for any further measures. However, I also have other suggestions that could be used to generate revenue more fairly.
Social Security & Income Tax
Currently Social Security is set at 6% up to £40,700 and you pay nothing on any further earnings. That means that if you earn £80K you are paying 3% and even less if you earn more. We are told that we will not be able to support an ageing population by 2035, if this is the case, which I debate after studying much broader population statistics, a simple solution would be to raise the Social Security ceiling or remove it completely, thus those who can least afford extra contributions avoid any extra cost.
We could also simply use the funds we have more effectively. On August 7 2006 Kevin Keen, the President of the Chamber of Commerce was reported in the JEP as stating that our pension fund was in deficit by billions of pounds yet Senator Routier found a significant "pot of money" and decided to use it to fund free prescriptions just before this election. Were we asked if we would prefer this money to be used to top up our pensions? Would it not have been commonsense to provide for our future? Although each Social Security fund is dedicated to a certain purpose, surely if the people agree, it should not be impossible to legislate to change this.
The fort cost the taxpayer many thousands of pounds to develop and make into a decent leisure centre in the 70s. Much of that money has been wasted through mismanagement and lack of investment so that it now has little to offer families other than sports facilities and the odd show. The fort was once a great place for families and young people and I believe it can be again. We need to get private enterprise to fund facilities that people will use – particularly young people to provide a safe and enjoyable environment in which they can socialise. In the past private investors were discouraged by the bureaucracy and cost of setting up something new at the Fort. If we just charged private enterprise enough to cover their share of the Fort's overheads much of the Fort could be revamped and we would once again make it the vibrant place it used to be without the taxpayer having to foot the bill.
There is very little for young families to do when the weather is bad and something like this is desperately needed. Some suggestions which have been made include internet gaming facilities – many young people have competitions between teams from their individual homes but would like somewhere to do this collectively so that they also get to socialise – this would not be expensive to set up. Other suggestions include bringing back quasar, the roller disco, the funfair and a permanent ice skating rink – a games arcade to replace Funland would also be welcome and perhaps a climbing wall or obstacle course for older children.We need to be open to suggestions, ask the local people what they want and find out what new things are available. The fort could become the social meeting place it once was but only if we allow investment by private enterprise and keep charges to a minimum.
I would fight for this tooth and nail.
The new charges for university courses at Highlands College are going to prevent students from gaining a university degree. We should support free University courses at Highlands as much as we can. For those who decide to study in the UK grants are available but many of our students still require additional loans and when you see the plight of UK students who are still struggling to pay these off many years after leaving university, this is something many Island students do not want to have to face. University fees have gone up it is true but if the Island is not prepared to invest in its own youth, then what hope is there for the future? Why should this generation of taxpayers' children and all future generations be penalised and not have the opportunity of gaining a degree, especially when there is so much competition for employment.
Control immigration & enforce job promotion from within the Island
The 5 year rule was supposed to limit immigrants to certain types of employment for the first five years of residency in Jersey, giving local people an edge when it came to getting a good job. This has not been enforced and we are now having to compete with people who have come straight off the boat. Our school-leavers struggle to find employment in an Island where there was never this problem previously. We need to enforce this rule once again. The legislation is already in place and we simply need to enforce it. Many of the immigrants to the Island would not come here if they were limited to certain types of work for 5 years, this is already a start to controlling immigration.
Where "J cats" are concerned, this was supposed to ensure that where no local person was capable of doing the job, a J cat could be brought in for a set number of years and during that time he/she was supposed to train their successor and then return home. On the whole, whilst there has been some training undertaken, this has usually not been sufficient to enable local people to qualify for these positions and the J cat licences have simply been extended. This means that local people are often not able to reach the top in their professions. A policy of "promoting from outside" has been the result, both in the Finance Industry and even worse, within the public sector. I want to see this stopped and we should begin by making it far more difficult to obtain J cat licences and charging a hefty fee for any that are granted. The equivalent of the recruitment fee would be a good starting point and funds gained in this way could be earmarked for paying the Highlands College university fees. We are told a financial degree will soon be available at Highlands – this would be an excellent way to fund it.
We need to instigate a "points" system similar to Australia and Canada so that we limit immigration to the skills we really need, not creating competition for our existing labour force where we already have enough to fill the need. At present local people with mortgages and families are competing with immigrants "straight off the boat" who have no such commitments and are willing to work for not much more than the minimum wage. Skilled local workers who have proven their commitment to the Island are finding it hard to find employment and qualified tradesmen are being priced out of the market. This can only lead to social unrest and even more call for income support. We need to address the problem of uncontrolled immigration with all its demands on the Island's infrastructure as a matter of urgency. The Island simply cannot continue to absorb everyone that wishes to come here indefinitely. Our current government has endorsed unrestricted immigration because it wishes to expand the financial industry beyond reason and simply does not care what longterm damage this causes. I want to see immigration controlled and carefully monitored.
Promote & encourage Jersey owned & small businesses
No to importing bull semen.
Isn't it ironic that after decades of neglect, just before the elections we learn that Economics has finally decided to do something for small Jersey industries, including agriculture? This is too little too late and most of our beautiful farms are now lost to the industry, with the importation of semen the final nail in the coffin of keeping our Island breed unique. Historically, my family were small dairy farmers and like many others they have been forced to give up farming and now the small herds are gone and large herds have taken over, thus reducing the genetic pool. Our cows are seldom seen in the fields any more. This is a sad time for Jersey.
I want to see all small businesses encouraged and assisted financially, perhaps by way of low interest start up loans and not just when an election is looming! States Departments require so much paperwork to be undertaken that the time and cost involved is crippling small businesses, not to mention the amount of Social Security that has to be paid and loss of income tax allowances. They are expected to compete with foreign owned companies who do not have to pay any taxes in Jersey – how can this be equitable? People complain about the cost of buying locally and they are quite right, it often is more expensive to do so but consider for a moment the extortionate rents retailers are paying in Jersey, the high cost of living – retailers and small businesses have to pay the same bills as everyone else and if they have to import or export goods, pay harbour fees which are often higher than those of the London docks. How can they compete with e-mail businesses who simply rent a warehouse and often employ casual or unskilled staff? We should look at ways to make running businesses in Jersey less expensive and then we can demand that prices come down.
Deemed Distributed Law
Jersey owned Jersey companies will be penalised next year by the introduction of this law which basically means that all profits made by their companies will be viewed as income to the shareholders for tax purposes, even if they do not receive a penny from the company. If you are self-employed, your Social Security payments will go up dramatically and there will be little purpose in having a Jersey company at all apart from the limited liability aspect which can be covered through insurance anyway. The shareholders of these companies are already making plans to transfer their shares to friends and relatives outside of the Island where they will not be taxed if they receive no payments. This is yet another ill-considered law that has been rushed through in the 0-10 panic and yet again penalises local businesses. The fact is that our government has little interest in anything other than Finance and is unconcerned at the difficulties being caused to Jersey owned businesses. These are simply viewed as yet another avenue to be exploited in the frantic search for funds to fill the "black hole".
When the "reclamation site" was promoted to local people, the concept was sold to us as the way to resolve the Island's housing problems once and for all. We were to have developments for first time buyers, a school, small shops for those living there and green zones for the children to play on. Instead we have an ugly eyesore of piecemeal development which has not provided us with what we most need and will soon no doubt have a "Financial District which is the dream of our Council of Ministers. I believe the waterfront should be used for affordable housing for local people and not greedy investors. We need to legislate to stop people buying new properties as an investment and keep them for local people, possibly by only allowing properties to go to people who are going to live in them, prevent their resale for a certain time and ensure they remain in the "first time buyer" pool. We should be promoting "homes for life" rather than "starter" homes if we ever hope to solve the housing crisis.
Safeguard our beautiful countryside
If we build more housing for local people on the waterfront then there will be that much less demand for rezoning green sites. We should fight to preserve each and every green field since as soon as an area begins being developed it seems to be Planning policy to link these developments together and it will not be long before even more green land is lost to development. I want to preserve our countryside for my children and their children. We have to make a stand now and refuse to lose any more of our precious fields.
When the innovative concept of a vodka factory was presented to Planning it was turned down as it was not suitable for the site chosen. This would have been a brilliant idea for La Collette and with the landscaping planned, it would have really been an asset to the area. It would also have been an excellent tourist attraction and with the technicians and skilled workers required, would have provided an opportunity for our young graduates to gain employment back in the Island doing jobs they normally have to stay in the UK to do. Brilliant ideas like these should be encouraged with low interest start-up loans and assistance in finding suitable sites rather than being knocked on the head. This is exactly the kind of diversification that the Island needs and I would certainly give such enterprises any support I could.
More efficient public transport
We should try US style small school buses with supervisors as well as drivers. Children would be signed onto the buses and taken into the school playground. They would be collected from the playground and only released into the care of pre-designated people. If there was no-one to collect them at the drop off point they would be taken to a supervised place until they could be collected. This would get a lot of traffic off the roads and perhaps retired people or those only wishing to work a few hours would like to be supervisors. There would be a yellow card system to enforce good behaviour and after "three strikes" (being awarded a third yellow card) a child would be banned from using the bus for a certain period of time.
To get to several of our schools, students have to firstly take a bus to Liberation Station and a second bus to the school, invariably arriving late. These small buses would make direct trips from collection points. This would be particularly good for schools on Wellington Road and in the Mont Millais area – all serious traffic congestion points, as well as the primary schools. Parents would of course have to pay reasonable bus fares but would be saving precious fuel, wear and tear on their vehicles and the roads as well as reducing their stress levels and carbon footprint. Jersey has always had a strong community spirit and perhaps retired people or those only wishing to work a few hours each day would be happy to act as supervisors on these buses.
If we have to have an incinerator, La Collette must be the worst possible site for it. It is going to be a monstrosity of a building which will be visible both from the sea and on land. La Collette is adjacent to the most built up area in the Island and the emissions will affect thousands of people. Ideally it should be built as far away from dwellings and on the highest point in the Island possible. I am opposed to the principle of an incinerator but unfortunately despite extensive research have been unable to find a viable alternative. The technology will be there in maybe 10 years time but we are in desperate need to do something about our current incinerator now and in fact it is long past its sell by date. I continue to investigate every suggestion that comes up with an open mind and will continue to do so. We do need to closely examine the cost and if the Island decides to proceed with a new incinerator, the contractor must be legally obligated to stick to a budget.
Safeguard free childcare
If we had assisted childcare from birth to 3 years old (free for 3-4 years olds but means tested for the under 3s) many parents would go back to work as it would be worthwhile. They would be happy to have a better income and the Island would benefit from having to pay less income relief whilst having more people paying Social Security and Income Tax. Free childcare would pay for itself essentially. Through implementing this system, until recession hit France they had an 80% working rate amongst women of child bearing age - pretty impressive!
Building extra units onto primary schools for 3-4 year olds is not the answer as private nursery schools do not make a profit in looking after babies and toddlers due to the higher child / carer ratio and if we take all the 3-4 year olds away from them, they will go out of business, which has already been the case with some private nursery schools. Also, the taxpayer has to foot the bill for the construction and maintenance of these new units, plus funding the entire staff salary package. It makes far more commercial sense to simply subsidise the private nursery schools for the under 3s and pay them for the 3-4 year olds.
Make States Members & civil servants accountable for their decisions
When employees in the private sector are found to have misled or blatantly lied to their employers they are sacked. When they are totally incompetent, they are sacked. When they do not cooperate they are sacked. How come we cannot divest ourselves of States members and civil servants who continue to make disastrous decisions and knowingly mislead the public? I would like to see this situation addressed, firstly in the contracts of civil servants and secondly by States members having an annual review. They should have to show that they have acted in accordance with their mandates at election. If they aren't voting in accordance with their mandates they should have to resign.
Transparency of Government
The electorate should be told what's going on and why and which States Member voted for what. Many decisions are made "in camera" by our ministers and this leads to mistrust and suspicion. We are not privy to the details we need in order to fully understand matters that are going to affect our lives. There is rarely a good reason why we cannot be fully informed and this breeds a feeling of frustration and dissatisfaction within us. Our government is spending our money, dealing with property that belongs to us and making decisions that have far reaching implications in our lives and those of our children. Why shouldn't we know how our money is being spent, why certain tenders were accepted and others rejected, what is being planned right from the outset? We have a wealth of experience and wisdom in this Island yet it is seldom drawn upon. I want to see more consultation with local people, not just experts and people who have no idea what it means to struggle to live in this Island.
I cannot promise that I can achieve any of the things I would like to but I can guarantee you that I will always vote in favour of the taxpayers and youth of this Island. If you honour me with your vote I will serve you honestly and to the best of my ability.
[ Source : Jeremy Macon ]
A video of Jeremy Macon's election manifesto is available on Channel Online
Place of birth: Jersey
Family: Son of Martin and Nellie Maçon; sisters, Philippa and Katie-Marie; brother, Alex
Education: La Pouquelaye, Haute Vallée and Hautlieu Schools; Plymouth University in partnership with Highlands College
Occupation: Project support co-ordinator
Hobbies/interests: Music (all kinds - occasional DJ), going out with my friends, theatre, the natural world, history and heritage, keeping up-to-date with current events, meeting new people (my friends are all different ages - some younger than me and some older than my parents)
[ Source : This Is Jersey ]