Concern about the long term focus of the population policy
7th January 2022
Scrutiny's Migration and Population Review Panel questioned the Assistant Chief Minister, Deputy Rowland Huelin, at a public hearing held yesterday on the Government's proposed Common Population Policy. During the hearing, the Panel was informed that:
- The proposed population policy focuses on the long-term future of the Island, rather than short to medium term issues affecting Jersey.
- The policy is a "the starter for ten'' rather than the end solution and it has been "impossible" to deliver anything more concrete at this stage.
- A forecast figure for net inward migration will be released in 2025, once up-to-date data on migration has become available.
- A full-time officer was not appointed by the Government to help develop a population policy until May 2021.
- More work is needed to make Jersey a more welcoming place and highlight the importance of migrants to the Island.
- The Control of Housing and Work Law (CHWL) amendments, due to be lodged today, have been delayed again until next week.
- Islanders may be asked to work longer before retiring to reduce the need for inward migration.
- There is currently no timeline in place for a full e-census programme.
Chair of the Migration and Population Review Panel, Senator Steve Pallett, said "Our hearing with the Assistant Chief Minister highlighted that the proposed population policy is particularly focused on the longer-term future of Jersey and the actions to be taken by next Government. The Panel recognises that further data is required to make informed decisions about levels of inward migration, however, it is also keen to establish, as part of this review, how the policy will impact Islanders in the shorter to medium term and whether sufficient actions are being taken by the current Government to address this."
The Migration and Population Review Panel is currently seeking the views of the public on the proposed population policy for its review, which can be shared with the Panel via email@example.com.
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