On the Tom Gruchy blog there is a rather interesting post regarding the Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 201- and the Register of Names and Addresses (Jersey) Law 201-.
Two rather interesting points are raised; firstly that it is possible to petition the Privy Council directly on legislation passed by the States of Jersey which I only discovered thanks to Tom Gruchy the second being exactly how one should feel about these laws coming in.
Firstly we should examine the purpose of this legislation - there is the publicly stated purpose (which can be discovered from reading the Hansard of the debates which have taken place in the States) and there is the underlying purpose, the real purpose, the hidden purpose which can only be inferred but is the real reason that the Civil Service want the laws enacted.
The stated purpose is to protect the local community from migrants who put pressure on housing and may undercut the wage levels of local workers. I think of this as being little different to 'Union membership', if you are in the Union then you will be defended, your work practises and rewards will be defended and through 'collective bargaining' your wages will increase, irrespective of whether you personally merit such an increase or not. I have always felt that unions reward mediocrity and poor performance whilst punishing the most productive and best performing workers.
I have to disagree with Tom in that there are no human rights implications as far as the European Convention on Human Rights as there is a clear judgement in McGonnell vs. United Kingdom that states that the Channel Islands have every right to limit the use of their limited resources being such physically small areas.
But let us look to the real reason for these laws to be implemented - as usual you have to follow the money!
The principal income streams (other than the alms and bribes given to the beggars in the States by the finance industry) are from payroll taxes (Social Security and ITIS) and of course from taxes on rents but in recent years there has been some major concern that people were coming over and working and then leaving without paying taxes, ITIS itself was introduced to prevent people from just working a season tax free, then leaving the island.
Once these laws are in place then every worker can be taxed on their earnings at source and then the approximately 50% of their earnings which are paid in rents can also be taxed on the landlords.
26% of earned income will be taken in taxation, a further 10% of that will be taken in taxation from the landlord to whom rent is paid, that leaves 24% to live on.
The real purpose of this legislation is quite clearly to enable the States of Jersey to readily identify who owes them tax and how much tax they owe them.
So the net effect will be - to make it completely pointless to work unless the £92 you will be given by the government for doing nothing, I mean filling in a form once a week proving you are looking for work, (it is hardly your fault that when you mention your ongoing struggle with long term heroin addiction that most employers don't seem to want you), is less than 24% of the wage you qualify for and then there are the extra costs of working to consider. This means that unless you are earning £25,000 per year it is not worth your while bothering to seriously look for work.