One island. One community. One government. One future.
Our ambition for all islanders is that they enjoy a good quality of life, in a fair and balanced society, sustained by a prosperous economy and outstanding, modern public services. Delivering this vision means setting and pursuing a long-term strategic approach for Jersey that stretches 30 years into the future.
Jersey has many of the advantages of a much bigger developed country, concentrated into our small island: an advanced economy, low taxes and high average standards of living, a safe and stable society, and a clean and protected environment. But we also face similar challenges to bigger countries.
Global financial risks, declining productivity and the uncertainties of Brexit threaten our continuing economic prosperity. Inequality in wealth, income and opportunity mean that not everyone enjoys the same good standards of living. Inefficient and out-dated practices and infrastructure undermine our public services, at a time when an ageing and growing population puts more demands on them. In addition, the balance between our natural and built environment faces pressure from growth.
As a small island, we do not have unlimited capacity to absorb these threats. We have limited physical space, limited financial reserves, a limited tax base, limits to the economies of scale we can achieve, and a shortage of both workers and skills in some sectors, which is forecast to become more pressing as Jersey’s working population shrinks.
If we are to continue to enjoy the advantages that we have gained over the decades – protect ourselves against the shocks and threats to our island’s prosperity and way of life – we need to modernise and rapidly evolve the way we do things. We cannot rely on past successes to guarantee the unique dividend that living in our small island offers us.
What we propose, to support not only the ambitions of ministers but also the expectations of islanders, is a new, long-term strategic framework for Jersey. This will ensure a sustainable society, underpinned by a sustainable economy, and delivered by a strong partnership between a modern government, responsible business and our islanders.
As the administrative arm of government, we must now organise ourselves and our activities, so that we can fulfil our duties effectively – to Ministers, to the States Assembly and to the public we serve.