Jersey

Jersey Chief Minister Le Sueur faces no confidence vote

Terry Le Sueur

Jersey's Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur is to face a vote of no confidence over plans for £50m of public spending cuts.

The motion has been proposed by Deputy Geoff Southern, who questioned what he called the "irrational judgement" behind the proposals.

He also claimed the cuts, which include reduced income support, would "damage the most vulnerable people in Jersey".

The plans were announced on Wednesday as part of a three-year Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

While the review is being undertaken by the States' Treasury and Resources department, all proposals for cuts must be approved by the Council of Ministers.

However, Mr Southern feels that decisions have been reached "in secret", saying: "There has been no consultation with the public sector. It completely undermines government by consent.

"In particular, the scrapping of the Goods and Service Tax bonus, which we have had for less than three years, is a cynical ploy."

The CSR also proposed 70 job cuts in the first phase of the scheme, which Mr Southern calls a "crazy reduction".

He said: "The first rule of a recession is not to make cuts until recovery is established. If this is translated [to the full cost of cuts], it could mean 350 job losses on top of the 1,200 people already unemployed in Jersey.

"There needs to be a public debate on where we are going... we are expected to make up our minds by July when we are completely in the dark."

However, Mr Southern said that if the motion was successful in removing the chief minister, he has no plans to stand for the position himself.

Instead, he hopes for a "major reform" of Jersey's government, claiming that the current government is "very right wing... with no interest in consensus politics".

Chief Minister Le Sueur, who has held the position since 2008, said he had "no comment at this stage".

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