Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Restoring Hope

“Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples,” Pope Francis told a joint meeting of Congress in an address that cited American icons like Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.”

"Four spectres haunt the Poor — Old Age, Accident, Sickness and Unemployment." David Lloyd-George.

The spectres mentioned by David Llloyd-George have returned with a vengeance, and there is nothing in the speeches in Hansard which I can see in any way restores hope, or even speaks of hope.

The proposals before Jersey in the budget, and the further stealth taxes (health, sewage) are hitting and will impact on some of the most vulnerable in the community - the elderly, those disabled, the young, families on lower incomes. These are the easy targets.

That's not to say something must be done to curb States expenditure, but it is often easiest to take away from an easy target than to do the difficult thing, and as Tracey Vallois and Kevin Keen have both pointed out, there is a lack of political will to reform the public sector.

To a certain extent, it’s dysfunctional. You hear them talk about productivity all of the time, but they don’t actually do it themselves.-- Tracey Vallois

In the beginning it seemed to be a real urgency to get the change done, which is what we need. But as time has gone on that urgency has subsided as the whole thing has disappeared into the big process. I didn’t want to become the waste of money that I was trying to help them prevent. - Kevin Keen

Now I don't agree with all Reform's manifesto, and I think that some public sector reform is a necessity, but at least Reform are giving a voice to those who are not being heard, and I would encourage people who are effected by the cuts to go to this meeting.

I am the voice of the voiceless; Through me the dumb shall speak. Till the deaf world's ears be made to hear. The wrongs of the wordless weak. And I am my brothers keeper, And I will fight his fights; And speak the words for beast and bird. Till the world shall set things right.”

― Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American author and poet.


Stand up. Speak up. Fight Back.

A meeting has been called by Reform Jersey to hear from disabled residents who have recently been hit by cuts to their income support claims, following changes to the Long Term Incapacity Allowance.

Deputy Sam Mézec, the Party Chairman, has said they had been ‘inundated with calls and emails’ from individuals who will have their incomes reduced as of January 1st next year.

He said that, ‘These are people who are not rich and who already have little or no disposable income. The average figure that keeps coming up is a reduction of £12 per week, which is around £52 a month. This is a lot of money for people who are already struggling.

The question to ask is, why is this government intent on hitting the poor and the sick to pay in order to fill a £145m projected deficit that it created? What is needed is a new politics and a new economic plan, which works for the majority and not a select few.’

‘We would like to hear from people who have been affected, not only those on LTIA, but also pensioners, single parents, and young people, all of whom have been financially targeted disproportionately by recent government measures.’

The event entitled ‘Stand up. Speak up. Fight Back.’ will take place at the Town Hall, this Wednesday 4th November at 7pm.

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