The Government of Jersey is a billion-pound organisation and the largest employer on the island. Its 6,700 public servants are responsible for the cradle-to-grave health, education, social care and social security of Jersey’s 100,000 islanders. This government is led by the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers, and is subject to oversight by the 49-member States Assembly – Jersey’s legislature – and a number of scrutiny panels.
The government develops and maintains the island’s infrastructure – from housing and roads, to water and sewage, public spaces to cultural venues. It also supports the island’s local and international economy through effective regulation and fiscal policy, overseas promotion and inward investment, business support and innovation.
In addition, the government collects the taxes that pay for public services, and pay the income support and pensions that help families and the elderly. The government keeps islanders safe from harm – policing Jersey’s streets, running its prisons, fire and ambulance services. It also protects the natural environment and biodiversity, supporting the island’s agriculture, fishing and tourism sectors.
Current challenges and opportunities
Jersey’s prosperity in recent decades has been anchored in a strong international financial services sector. Our island showed resilience in responding to the banking crisis a decade ago, and it has been in the vanguard of international governments in tightening financial regulation. In this way, Jersey has cemented its position as a responsible and compliant jurisdiction.
At the same time, the island has continued to support its traditional sectors, such as tourism, farming and fishing. Jersey has also invested in sectors such as digital, to exploit the benefits of its world-beating gigabit broadband infrastructure.
With very low unemployment, one of Jersey’s greatest challenges is securing the skills that its employers need, whether in the private sector or the public sector. There is a renewed focus on tackling structural weaknesses in productivity, as well as maintaining a balance between the pressures on infrastructure, especially housing, and the natural environment.