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Politicians' pay reviewers respond to "incompetence" accusations

Politicians' pay reviewers respond to

Thursday 18 April 2019

Politicians' pay reviewers respond to "incompetence" accusations

Thursday 18 April 2019

The board responsible for assessing politicians' pay has vowed to "resist any attempts by politicians to steer our process" amid calls for their sacking by a Deputy who accused them of "incompetence".

Responding to criticism from Deputy Jeremy Maçon, the independent States Members’ Remuneration Review Body (SMRRB) maintained that they were carrying out their role in a professional and independent manner.

Deputy Maçon, who is trained in social research, had expressed concerns about the methodology used by the group.

He blasted the SMRRB for launching a survey amid a tense public sector pay dispute, which he feels is likely to skew results, and was similarly critical of the fact that politicians were not asked about what their role entails in advance, meaning that members of the public may not be provided with accurate information to help form their views.

His frustrations emerged in a series of emails released under the Freedom of Information Law. In these, the Deputy suggested that the Privileges and Procedures Committee - a group that oversees matters relating to politicians’ work conditions – “sack them” and replace them with a HR professional, “as clearly this board are not up to scratch”.


Pictured: One of Deputy Jérémy Maçon's emails.

In a letter responding to Deputy Maçon's concerns sent to Express, the SMRRB - which launched a review in February, contracting 4Insight to conduct focus groups with members of the public in March over their opinion on States Members’ £46,600 annual salary - issued a reminder that it is an independent body, that carries out its work "impartially and independently of States’ Members".

Gerald White, Chairman of the group, said it will carry out its role in a "professional" manner. "This means that we will discount any lobbying from States Members that we judge inappropriate, and resist any attempts by politicians to steer our process," he explained.

He added that the members of the SMRRB were "content to be judged as competent or otherwise" based on the content of their next report, due to be presented later this year.

Jersey Royal Court and States Chamber sign

Pictured: The SMRRB will issue their report later this year.

The document will make a recommendation for States Members’ pay following the elections in 2022.

Its proposals - which the States can accept or reject - will be based on "a detailed analysis of a number of factors including local rates of pay, the economic and fiscal situation in Jersey, politicians pay in comparable jurisdictions, and both the public’s and States Members’ views on relevant issues," Mr White said.

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Posted by John Henwood on
Well said Mr White. There’s nothing some politicians would like more than to determine their own remuneration.
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