Seafront plan 'will ease crisis': A major building development in Jersey will help stimulate the island's economy, a financial expert has said. Chief executive of Jersey Finance Geoff Cook said a multi-million pound plan to develop the Esplanade could help Jersey through the financial crisis. He said it would create jobs and tax revenue and boost the wider economy. Mr Cook said when the project was completed in about three years' time, the crisis should be over, creating more demand for office space.
When you are in a hole, there is nothing quite like digging it deeper. That is what I thought on reading, with incredulity, Geoff Cook's recent sound bites in the BBC and JEP about how it is especially important to press ahead with the Waterfront development. This is a development that will - according to estimates at the time - cost a cool half a million pounds in maintenance costs for the sunken road infrastructure. Can we afford to just chuck away that money as if there is no tomorrow? According to Geoff Cook, yes!
If he was a passenger on the Titanic, I can imagine him not only as one of those who dressed for dinner as the ship was sinking, but someone who would go one stage better and order one of the most sumptuous five course meals, with champagne, as well. Buttressed by his no doubt inconsiderable salary, and part of a quango which as far as I can make out - unlike even WEB - has no published accounts easily available, he can afford to indulge in these costly flights of fancy.
Whether the States can afford to indulge - or finance - someone like him is another matter, and one I would like to see Ben Shenton and his scrutiny team investigate. Who is Geoff Cook accountable to? Who elects him? He seems to me to be a complete fantasist, living in his own private world, a parallel universe without any recession.
I can hear him saying, "Don't worry about the iceberg, by the time we reach it, it is certain to have melted anyway" - that appears to be the Jersey Finance / Harcourt line on the credit crunch from the JEP stories on them. I think instead the iceberg will still be there, and there will be a nasty crunch when we hit it, if they have their way.
If Mr Cook is a "financial expert", who "predicts" the crisis should be over, maybe he should write the horoscope columns for the JEP, because he is obviously an expert in that kind of prediction.
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