Details and manifesto of Senatorial candidate Mike Higgins.
Mike Higgins is perhaps best known as the organiser of the Jersey International Air Display, an event he believes probably brings more tourists to the island than any other.
He believes there is a need for change in the government because while the States pass some good things and some bad, there is also a lot that never gets done.
My name is Mike Higgins. Some of you may recognise it and be aware that I am the organiser of the Jersey International Air Display, but you’ll probably know nothing else about me.
I came to Jersey 31 years ago and am married with two Jersey-born children. I was educated in England and Canada and hold an Economics degree from the University of London.
During my working life I’ve worked in the aerospace and construction industries and in education, youth work and financial regulation.
Between 1977 and 1995 I lectured in economics, law and banking at Highlands College, and between 1995 and 2007 I worked for the Jersey Financial Services Commission, primarily working in the legal policy and research and development fields.
I am standing for Senator because I’m disillusioned with the States, with the performance of many States members and many States policies. I also fear for the future of Jersey and our children and senior citizens.
I am an independent candidate who does not represent any vested interest, political party, pressure group or the Jersey establishment.
I am a candidate who is concerned that they direction in which Jersey is going, and at the divisions which are opening up in our society. Divisions between the haves and have-nots, which are being made worse with the adoption of highly-regressive taxes like GST that unfairly hit low and middle-income families.
I am concerned at the insensitivity of States members to the plight of the population as demonstrated by the decision not to exempt food and energy costs from GST at a time when we are all facing unprecedented increases in our food, fuel and energy bills.
I am concerned by the fact that our children cannot afford to buy a house or flat and are thus being forced to live at home with their parents or to have to pay excessively high rents, often to overseas investors who own the property, or are being driven from the island.
I am concerned at the failure of the States to introduce legislation drafted in 2003 that would protect islanders’ bank deposits up to £33,000, or for an ombudsmen scheme that would enable disputes of up to £100,000 to be heard without the need to go to court or use expensive lawyers.
If elected I will seek a fairer alternative to GST, and if it cannot be repealed fight for exemptions on food, energy and children’s clothing.
I will also fight any attempt to increase it from the 3% figure, something we all believe is inevitable if many of those currently sitting in the States remain in office.
I will also oppose wasteful and fanciful spending by ministers and civil servants which encourage them to drive up or invent new taxes.
I will also fight to stop those retailers who are charging us VAT on their goods, and the bureaucracy which permeates the civil service, and their wholesale adoption of UK or European measures or policies whether they are appropriate to Jersey or not.
I will fight to diversify Jersey’s economy, not because I don’t support the finance industry but because I think our dependency on one industry is dangerous, and that having all our eggs in one basket is asking for trouble. Tourism, for example, needs to be revitalised.
I don’t profess to know the answers to all our problems, but I do have the experience and skill to research and analyse and to find possible solutions.
I will make you only one promise, and that is to work tirelessly on your behalf.
last updated: 03/10/2008 at 15:54