All Jersey's politicians will continue to receive the same salary, irrespective of their duties or responsibilities, after a proposal to up the pay for the Chief Minister ended in a dead heat.
A proposition brought by the Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) - which suggested that the Chief Minister should receive a supplement of 15%(£7,000) on top of his current £46,600 salary - got an equal number of votes for and against, which means it is defeated.
PPC proposed scrapping a section of the law prohibiting States members from receiving different levels of pay.
If successful, the increase would have been implemented in May 2018 - just after elections.
Members were divided on the issue as the votes split the Chamber almost equally, with 20 votes for, 20 votes against. Two Members, the Constable of St Helier, Simon Crowcroft, and current Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, abstained from the vote.
Pictured: Current Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, refrained from yesterday's vote, alongside St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft.
Speaking in favour of the proposition, Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier said: “This amount of 15% is a recognition of the importance of the role of Chief Minister. The Chief Minister represents us outside of the island and its more than what we all do here. It’s more than what Ministers do, it’s more than what backbenchers do, it’s more than what Scrutiny Chairmen do – it’s wider than that. It is an all-encompassing workload and it has to be done exceptionally well. It needs to be recognised that that role is rather special.”
During the debate, Deputy Tracy Vallois criticised the proposal, which she saw as bringing commercial logic to the private sector. She said: “The ultimate issue for me is the accountability side of things. This is not a business we run, this is a public sector. This is a public sector that we are elected to be in charge of... I’m reluctant to turn around and give the title more money, because I want the performance to be the best and not the title to be the best.”
The news follows a public survey in February, in which 40% of respondents backed giving the island’s most senior politician a pay rise.
Pictured: A proposal which suggesting giving the Chief Minister a pay rise divided Members in the States Chamber.
The survey saw 38% say that States pay was not too high, not too low, but ‘about right’, while 54% decided that it was ‘too high’ or ‘far too high’.
Meanwhile, two fifths of respondents thought that higher pay for politicians was necessary to attract a higher calibre of candidate.
Find the full breakdown of yesterday's vote here.
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