Sunday, 17 July 2011

Jersey under the chequebook

The following letter by Sonia Nightingale appeared in the Jersey Evening Post on Friday 15th July under the title "Island Governed by the Rich, for the Rich".  When I saw the title I wondered if she had been inspired by some of my election material. The sentiment she expresses is a common refrain amongst the retired and working people of St Helier. They feel completely forgotten, abandoned and betrayed.

Sonia lives in  District No.1 St Helier, so I set off to meet her. I caught her going out the door. She confirmed she would be voting, but not be for the representatives of the rich. Prospective candidates in St Helier No1 please take note.

"ABOUT half a million has been spent so far this year on pay-offs for civil servants and £7.5 million last year. I no longer shout and scream at these headlines in your paper – I just cry.
Where is the fairness of it all? I am a 74 year old Jersey born single pensioner struggling to exist. I have worked all my life, but because my two small pensions (one of which isn’t index-linked, so is rapidly decreasing in value) just take me into the income tax bracket, I get no financial help whatsoever. The small amount I was allowed in rent rebate has now also been stopped.
I also read that the WEB chief executive’s total package for 2010 has fallen by £20,000, to £266,540. My heart bleeds for him, how can he manage?
I am trapped here in the Island of my birth. I love it, incidentally, but hate what is happening to it now.
Jersey is governed by the rich for the rich."

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