Latest Blog News

Review of Competition and Regulatory Policy

I am this morning publishing a major independent review of Jersey’s competition and regulatory framework. The economics consultancy Oxera was commissioned to undertake a review that would identify whether there are changes that could be made to the Island’s competition and regulatory framework. The review took into account the context within which the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA) operates, and focussed on securing better outcomes for local consumers and the Jersey economy. The JCRA was initially established by the States of Jersey in 2001 as an independent regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry. Postal services then became a regulated sector in 2004, and the States enacted the Competition (Jersey) Law in 2005. Professor Sir John Vickers, who acted as an adviser to Oxera on this review, has expressed the view that it is just as important for markets in a small island economy to work well as it is for markets in larger economies. He added that, to achieve this, it is necessary to recognise that competition policy is not just the task of the competition authority but also that of Government. He also observed that, while it is hard to conduct competition and regulatory policy well and that there are particular challenges in a small jurisdiction, the economic benefits can be substantial. The report identifies that, while there are benefits in maintaining the current structure, there is a perception that the JCRA is not as effective as it should be. Themes emerging from stakeholders include the need for there to be better communication from the Authority, better coordination on policy between the States and the JCRA, and a... read more

Low inflation is further positive new about our economy

Latest Inflation figures published by Stats office are 0.1% is lower than expected. Underlying inflation as measured by RPIX is the lowest on record (since 2000). This is encouraging. Fuel bills, fares/travel, motoring, household goods, clothing and food prices all lower than in June and all (except fares and travel) below what they were in September 2014. Lower commodity prices leading to lower food and energy prices help boost consumers purchasing power and support economic activity, particularly in a growing economy like that in Jersey. RPI in Jersey is the same as that in the UK on a comparable measure. Jersey RPI is below that in Guernsey in terms of all measures. Consumers are continuing to see the benefits of lower food and energy costs driven down by lower commodity prices drive. There are lower prices in a number of other areas in Jersey too. It’s important inflation remains as low as possible. Government policy is that we want to ensure that inflation has helped to reverse the situation in the post financial crisis years where inflation outstripped earnings to one where earnings increased by more than inflation in the last 3 years. Low inflation is good for competitiveness at a time when the emphasis is on increasing economic growth/creating new employment opportunities. RPI low income and RPI pensioners are 0.0% and -0.6% respectively, showing that all groups are benefitting from low inflation. Continued low inflation compliments other positive economic data releases recently – strong GVA growth in 2014, – strong employment growth in 2015, – real earnings growth in 2015, – confidence is still much improved from the... read more

The importance of Innovation

          I have already thanked Tera Allas for what is a comprehensive piece of work which is already proving to be highly influential as we start to significantly ramp up our policy efforts in this area. The report can be a game-changer for Jersey but success – which is about raising our economic growth – lies in the implementation. We must start now if we are serious about releasing Jersey’s innovative potential. The report has clearly received a warm reception from the local business community across all sectors – including Finance and growing Jersey Technology sector and have been greatly encouraged by the many messages received welcoming of the report and clear support for all the recommendations. No time is now being wasted in progressing the recommendations. With Innovation Policy being transferred to the very heart of Government this will ensure that implementation of the report has a clear political focus at the centre of government. With the the full support of the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers we can achieve great things for Innovation. I am working to immediately bolster the structures and resources available within government to take forward this vital area of policy, in line with the recommendations in the report. Implementation of the report will require coordination across a number of States departments, with delivery partners and with the private sector. I have already been assured of the support of a number of these important players. Last Friday afternoon I met with the new Chief Executive of Digital Jersey, Tony Moretta, and feel confident I can rely on Digital Jersey... read more

Feel free to contact me, I welcome your feedback and comments.

Email Me Here