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Top Economists Proposed For Jersey Fiscal Policy Panel

by Jason Gorringe,, London

13 September 2007

Jersey's Treasury and Resources Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, is proposing that three prominent European economists form the panel which will advise the Minister and the States on the Island’s future tax and spending policy.

The economists' advice will play an important part in keeping the States of Jersey's economic policy focused on its objectives of economic growth, providing employment opportunities for local people and low inflation, the government stated.

Members of the panel were selected by an objective assessment process overseen by the Jersey Appointments Commission, following the placement of a national advertisement aimed at attracting candidates of international stature.

The Fiscal Policy Panel, which is part of the new fiscal framework designed to maximise Jersey’s future economic prosperity, will advise on medium to long term tax and spending policies. Their role is to gauge the strength of the Island’s economy; its position in the economic cycle; and the outlook for both Jersey and the world’s economies. Specifically, they will advise on whether economic conditions justify the States running surpluses or deficits and to what extent, and whether funds should be transferred to or from the new Stabilisation Fund.

Senator Le Sueur is lodging a proposition seeking States approval for their appointment. The States has already agreed that a Fiscal Policy Panel should be established, made up of leading independent economists.

Senator Le Sueur stated that: “The appointment of a Fiscal Policy Panel is a bold and innovative new approach to economic policy and I am delighted that we have been able to propose the appointment of these three highly qualified and well respected individuals.”

The three proposed panel members are Christopher Allsopp CBE, a fellow of New College and reader in Economic Policy at the University of Oxford and former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England; Marian Bell CBE, also a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee and previous head of Treasury and Capital Markets Research at The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Joly Dixon CMG, a former Director of International Economic Affairs for the European Commission Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs.

Senator Le Sueur added: “These economists’ international experience and knowledge of fiscal policy will provide the insight which Jersey needs to reinforce far sighted, disciplined fiscal policy. We now have the important building blocks for a successful future in place. We have revised our tax framework, we have created an environment for economic growth, and we are delivering services more efficiently. The appointment of the Fiscal Policy Panel is another important aspect of this work, which I believe will ensure Jersey’s future prosperity.”

The panel will deliver an annual report in or around September each year for the Treasury and Resources Minister to present to the States.

Following the appointment process overseen by the Jersey Appointments Commission and chaired by Mike Liston, the interview panel was unanimous in its recommendation to the Minister that the three candidates should be appointed to the Fiscal Policy Panel, and that Mr Dixon be appointed Chairman.

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