Author Topic: Jersey on Newsnight  (Read 453 times)

Offline shortport

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Jersey on Newsnight
« on: February 19, 2017, 07:35:05 PM »
Here is a link to the newsnight article on Jerseys housing policy that was on the other night.As there was no mention this was going to be aired by the main stream media,i'm guessing they wanted us to miss it.Interestingly they seem to be under the illusion that its working.Maybe they should have interviewed some ordinary people instead of the deluded Gorst.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUbOlQ_izdI&index=1&list=PLJxnQXiytA_Qc0B57aViue2G3DPet1Z0L

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Jersey on Newsnight
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 11:40:31 PM »
I didn't know about this Newsnight report either and didn't know they posted clips on Youtube, so thanks for pointing it out.

My first impression, based on the content, is that the Jersey authorities had no obvious reason to try to suppress knowledge of this TV report as there is nothing particularly embarrassing in it. However, that is after viewing the end result. Perhaps Jersey was nervous before the report was aired because, unlike similar reports produced by local island media outlets, it could not be confident in advance of broadcast that the political aspects would be acceptable. After all, I seem to recall, unless my memory deceives me, that it was Newsnight which broadcast an interview with Senators Walker and Syvret at the start of the child abuse scandal that was a public relations disaster for the island's government. Furthermore, Evan is one of the BBC's most high profile newsmen. I doubt he's got revolutionary tendencies but someone that high up and respected must obviously have far more leeway to ignore official protocol if he chooses to and call a spade a spade when he recognises one.

Therefore given these two factors - Jersey's unhappy past history with Newsnight and Evan's independent reputation - I can see why none of the official propaganda outlets chose to highlight in advance that he had been over here. I don't recall seeing anything on BBC Jersey's social media accounts either, but then again they are so cosy in bed with the Jersey government that they should really be paid by the Jersey taxpayer rather than BBC licence payers - that way we would all know where we stand.

Unfortunately, 4 minutes of broadcast time is never enough to start delving into the hardships that bona fide locals are increasingly suffering trying to access affordable rental accommodation in this island. If such a report did set out with the intention of highlighting local examples of hardship, the political lobbyists would quickly muscle their way in and history shows us that the lobbyists who represent the unqualified residents, i.e. the Jersey Rights Association as it was two decades ago, are/were the most powerful and most able to get airtime. Our current Housing and Work Law is practically the result of JRA policy initiatives two decades ago, which perhaps helps to explain why the number of new arrivals from eastern Europe has rocketed out of control since it was introduced.

So you would probably end up with a TV report mainly highlighting the hardships of eastern Europeans living in lodging houses but failing to sufficiently recognise that there are also many qualified and Jersey-born residents, including youngsters in their early or mid-20's, who are suffering just as badly in the local housing market. One of the main factors for this is because single people's entitlement to the housing component of income support is restricted to bedsits even though the government stopped building bedsits itself years ago and the private sector doesn't build that many either.

That decision (to restrict the housing component entitlement of single people to bedsits only despite a shortage of new bedsits being built) never got the approval of the legislature. It was presumably an in house decision made by a past Social Security Minister. Despite extensive research over several years, I have never managed to trace which Minister took that decision and when it was taken. It simply doesn't exist in the public domain. It is an unstated government policy yet it adversely affects so many single people's attempts to secure suitable and affordable rental accommodation in the private sector. A government decision probably taken by just one person has had the effect of creating an artificial demand for bedsits that would not otherwise exist. Yet you will never hear any States Member asking proper questions in the States about the effects of this secret policy on the current record demand for rooms in hostels, shelters and other communal establishments. People are increasingly having no choice but to live in these institutions for the homeless because they cannot easily access the small amount of affordable bedsits on the market and they cannot afford to take one bedroom properties unless they pal up with others in a similar predicament or start a relationship.

If only we could get someone of Evan's stature to come back and do a further series of reports on the island's housing and social welfare problems. However, that would be of limited interest to a national audience. It is really a subject that local journalists should be addressing on local news. Unfortunately, all the local journalists are under the heavy sway of Jersey's political establishment and this means that certain political topics remain verboten.

The journalists who have set down permanent roots here obviously have one eye on their futures if and when they are no longer employed by the local media outlets. If any of their journalistic endeavors have managed to upset the Establishment then they can forget about ever being invited to join the likes of Kristina Moore, Peter Mac and Murray Norton in the House. They can forget about cushy Quango posts as well. I doubt the various private image and PR consultancies set up by past media personalities would welcome them either.

However, I can see small signs of hope at Channel TV in the past couple of years since it was taken over by the national ITV network. The great thing about their present set up is that some of their front line reporters don't appear to be living permanently in Jersey and are often being transferred to the mainland for short spells working in bigger ITV news regions, which is giving them experience of working in a journalistic environment that is far more professional, plural, open and impartial than Jersey's. Some of them must have ambitions well beyond Jersey and some of them who started as local reporters in the Channel Islands are already appearing on national ITV news. That means they are less likely to be worrying about being blacklisted for other Jersey jobs some time in the distant future if and when they leave ITV. Hopefully they will also be less willing to compromise their journalistic standards in order to avoid upsetting the Jersey establishment. It is all quite encouraging.
 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 11:58:40 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline shortport

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Re: Jersey on Newsnight
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 12:44:24 AM »
My problem is that this article sort of makes out Jersey's housing situation is working and could be an example to be used in St.Ives,Cornwall.
The reality is the island is facing a housing crisis like never before as majority of properties are being purchased by investors who have spare money and are not getting any interest at the bank on it.What will happen when interest rates rise?Mortgages will become even more unaffordable for homeowners and investors might be looking to put their money back in the bank.Could it result in a housing crash?If for example people were only allowed to buy property to live in,house prices would be far less than they are now,which would be a good thing.The newsnight article was showing that most properties in St'Ives are now bought by second home owwners,mainly wealthy Londoners and that locals can no longer afford to live there,they are being priced out of their own town.Is that not the same as Jersey?the only difference is in Cornwall they live further afield and can commute.We don't have that option so we continue to be ripped off by greedy landlords,probably the same people who are making houses unaffordable for us in the first place!

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Jersey on Newsnight
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 12:16:03 AM »
You have to distinguish between any perceived inequities and shortcomings in Jersey's housing market (which may or may not be directly related to the housing qualification system) and the actual need per se to have a system of housing qualifications itself. You can argue about the former but there is simply no alternative to the latter.

If housing qualifications were suddenly abolished tomorrow and arriving eastern Europeans found themselves with exactly the same housing rights as locals from day one, we would immediately have to introduce an emergency system of alternative housing qualifications to replace the ones that had just been abolished! A failure to do so would immediately make the income support housing component bill completely unsustainable and lead to its abolition. This in turn would lead to the biggest social crisis in the island's history as hundreds, possibly thousands of Jersey people, found themselves on the streets because they couldn't afford to pay their rents.

In my opinion, that is all Evan's report was studying - the actual need per se for a place like Jersey to use controls on the ownership and occupation of housing as a means of protecting the local population from the worst excesses of the demand for housing and whether they have the impact intended. There is simply no question that we need these residential controls. Life for thousands of Jersey-born people would be unbearable without them.

As for St Ives, I can totally understand why the locals have decided to pass laws restricting new developments to locals. However, St Ives does not have the same unique status in international law as Jersey and my concern for the full-time residents of St Ives is that any such laws they adopt at a purely local level will eventually be challenged at the highest level by some wealthy outsider, probably a city lawyer, who has a gripe about not being able to buy the exact property of his/her choice in St Ives. If the housing restrictions in St Ives were to survive all legal challenges then you have to wonder why on earth the London councils wouldn't also want to follow suit and start imposing long overdue restrictions on all those apartments being purchased by the Russian mafia, the Saudis, the Chinese, etc., for investment and tax avoidance purposes to name but two.

Quite frankly the plight of London's poorest residents in finding affordable accommodation at the moment makes our own problems here in Jersey look relatively minor in comparison. We have to study what has gone wrong there and be prepared to impose any further restrictions on foreign ownership if a similar situation starts to take off here.
 
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 12:20:22 AM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline boatyboy

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Re: Jersey on Newsnight
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 05:13:39 PM »

That may be the case regarding economic migration and housing stock but is not the full story in fact less than half.

If there were no housing qualification structure in Jersey and an open door policy was adopted then this would be a complete disaster for the local population trying to get on the housing ladder.

The people that own property but find Jersey to expensive / crowded / other would sell their flat / bungalow / house to the UK ( or EU ) middle rich who want to leave their inheritance to their families. Under UK law when you die you can pass on up to £340,000 not attracting inheritance tax. Any amount after this amount including the total value your  personal possessions ( add car, holiday flat, savings, lawnmower, furniture ) attracts tax by the UK inland revenue at 40%. It follows that buying a property on a pleasant island, which can be sold for the same price or a profit a few years later, not paying capital gains tax or any inheritance tax on monies you leave will be very attractive to well off UK or EU people that would claim Jersey offshore residence like a shot.

Before anyone blames people for not wanting to pay inheritance tax, working people have paid taxes all their lives ( including GST and VAT ) therefore taking 40% of whats in the will ( after 340,00 allowance ) is just plain legalised theft.

Property prices of course would rocket if an open door policy was adopted, and the new wealth coming in would trickle down, not really. An couple eat the same, sleep in one ( maybe two beds ) and catch one bus or drive a car like everyone else once the set up has taken place.

There are 65 million people in the UK if 1% of the wealthy purchased property on Jersey to escape inheritance tax it would be a complete disaster for the young of the island with regard to housing and younger generations.

Boatyboy.

 

Offline shortport

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Re: Jersey on Newsnight
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 12:50:50 AM »
Does anyone know if anyone can buy a Jersey property or does the quallies system just apply to living in the property.
For example can a UK investor buy Jersey property as an investment or buy to let either directly or setting up a Jersey company.
It seems the majority of buyers recently are investors not people who will actually live in the property.
It seems like the sole purpose of Jersey these days is as a place to buy and sell property for a profit.

Offline boatyboy

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Re: Jersey on Newsnight
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 12:59:23 AM »

It is my understanding that there is no problem purchasing certain properties like the flats built from an old hotel opposite the hospital.

The investors are not allowed to live in them though, as they do not hold resedential status. It all may have changed but that is how I think it stands at the moment.

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