Jersey chief minister wants cut in States sittings

A suggestion by Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur that members should spend less time in the States in the run-up to Jersey's elections has been described as an "insult to the electorate".

Senator Le Sueur has asked the greffier to move ministers' business on the week of the 20 September to another time.

But Deputy Trevor Pitman said that as full-time politicians they should attend scheduled States sittings.

Items for debate include the goods and services tax and gambling fines.

In a letter to States members, Senator Le Sueur said: "In the light of the nominations for the forthcoming elections, it is clear that many current members will be heavily involved in the electoral process over the next few weeks leading up to election day."

The chief minister has suggested the debate on the zero-rating of healthy foods from Jersey's sales tax could be moved to 12 September.

He also said that a debate by Deputy Pitman over a referendum on whether Jersey's wealthiest residents should pay the same rate of tax as everyone else could be moved forward by a week.

Deputy Pitman said: "This really is an insult to the electorate, backbenchers and democracy generally.

"I am involved in an election myself. However, this is a scheduled States sitting."

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