Institute of Directors debate to explore Jersey’s approach to population control

| July 15, 2014 | 0 Comments
Wendy Dorman

An expert panel of speakers at this year’s Jersey Institute of Directors’ Annual Debate will discuss how Jersey should approach managing population levels and immigration in order to remain a successful international business centre and an attractive place to live.

Entitled ‘Should Jersey Relax Its Immigration Policy?’, the event, sponsored by law firm Carey Olsen, will take place on 25th September at the RJA&HS. It will examine an issue that is certain to feature high on the pre-election agenda, looking at the issues involved in establishing a population cap, what sort of impact a relaxation of immigration volumes would have on island life, and how a policy might be articulated that balances the needs of businesses, economic growth and islanders.

A high calibre line-up of panellists from Jersey and further afield has been assembled for the annual event, including Mark Boléat (Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, City of London Corporation), Geoff Cook (CEO, Jersey Finance), Kristina Le Feuvre (Owner, aMaizin! Adventure Park and Vice President, Chamber of Commerce) and Senator Paul Routier MBE (Assistant Chief Minister). A keynote speaker will also help set the scene with a look at how other jurisdictions manage their population policy.

As well as exploring the needs of local businesses in all sectors, which are increasingly immersed in a global marketplace, the panellists will also look at the challenges in managing population levels with reference to practicalities such as legislative change, economic policy, pensions, tax revenue, health services and education.

The event will once again be moderated by news broadcaster Alastair Stewart OBE, who is now very familiar with Jersey. He is a presenter of a range of news and current affairs programmes including the ITV Evening News, Lunchtime News and News at Ten. In 2005, Alastair was The Royal Television Society’s Presenter of the Year, and in 2006 he was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his work in broadcasting and for charity.

Commenting on the topic for this year’s Debate, IoD Jersey Chairman Wendy Dorman, said:

“The importance of striking a balance between meeting the increasingly sophisticated needs of businesses whilst at the same time retaining the quality of life that makes Jersey so special will be absolutely key in the run up to the elections in October. That’s why our debate this year focuses on this very issue, which is inherently complex, affects all of us, and involves some fundamental questions about our island and how we live and work here. Our line-up of speakers features a broad range of experience and I expect it to be another lively debate of real significance for Jersey’s future.”

Alex Ohlsson, Managing Partner of sponsor Carey Olsen, commented:

“Jersey has real ambitions to cement its position as a leading international finance centre, grow its tourism industry, diversify into new areas and attract new businesses here, so having clarity about the extent to which Jersey is truly open for business is absolutely vital. There needs to be a serious debate about whether Jersey’s population policy appropriately balances these objectives with maintaining or even improving the quality of life for which Jersey is so well known. Hearing the views of islanders as well as being aware of population policies applied elsewhere will be hugely valuable to enable government to make informed decisions.”

The Institute of Directors Annual Debate, which normally attracts an audience of over 500 people, will take place on Thursday 25 September 2014 at the RJA&HS from 5.30pm – 9.45pm. The IoD encourages politicians and islanders who have a view to attend. Tickets are £75 per person for both IoD members and non-members, including a drink on arrival and two course supper, and tables of ten are also available. Seats on a coach from and to Liberation Station can also be booked for £2.50 per trip. Places can be reserved by contacting the IoD Jersey Branch Officer on 610799 or e-mail jedirector@localdial.com.

The public can get involved in the debate via the IoD Jersey 2014 Debate Group on LinkedIn and by following @iodjersey on Twitter and using the hashtag #iodjsydebate.

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Category: Finance & Business

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