An Economy That Works For All
- Secure our future economic prosperity by taking advantage of opportunities to promote digital innovation and green finance.
- Keep Jersey's legislation under review to quickly update our regulatory frameworks as new technologies emerge.
- Ensure appropriate governance is in place for the Technology Innovation Fund.
- Work with Jersey Finance and other bodies to develop our 'green finance' industry.
- Apply environmental impact assessments to the government's own investments.
Jersey’s economy is the source of our financial prosperity and should serve to make life better for all Islanders. Yet over the last decade we have become a more unequal Island with growing poverty. Productivity has fallen and much of the economic growth we have had has been driven by unsustainable population growth.
Reform Jersey believes that the next government must shape our economy to be ready to take advantage of the changes which are on the horizon and ensure that the benefit of it is felt by everyone. With technological advances and a growing international desire to combat climate change, Jersey could find itself well placed to position itself as a world leader in digital services and ‘green finance’.
To stay at the forefront of the development of the digital economy, we must constantly keep our local legislation under review and be ready to update our regulatory frameworks to accommodate new technology.
The States recently agreed to set up a Technology Innovation Fund to support new businesses in this area. We must not waste this opportunity or enable the money to be used as a slush fund for vanity projects. We will ensure that governance arrangements are put in place to ensure that this funding goes towards initiatives which will support other areas of our economy (such as agriculture and hospitality) and our overarching priority of sustainable economic growth. We will also ensure that there is a transparent application process for entities receiving funds, and that any funding allocation is done on the basis that there is a clear business case which outlines what the return on our investment will be. We can further support the digital economy by committing to more local procurement for digital services and resolving our long running digital government programme, which has seen its budget grow but provided very little tangible progress.
As countries around the world are waking up to the threat of climate change and more governments are requiring tougher action on this, there is now an exciting opportunity to direct our finance industry towards ‘Green Finance’.
Jersey Finance produced an excellent report “Jersey for Good – a Sustainable Future” which proposes rewiring the industry towards more sustainable goals, including reducing inequality and combating climate change. Reform Jersey commits to working with Jersey Finance and other industry bodies to ensure government support and the provision of appropriate legal frameworks to support this agenda.
We can start by applying much of this to our government, by increasing the requirements for environmental and sustainability assessments on our own investments, including the Strategic Reserve. Where the government provides direct support to businesses, it should align with our commitments to support our aims on sustainability, training and pay and conditions.