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Guernsey's 2016 Budget begins today

Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Guernsey's States will begin to debate the 2016 Budget today.

A 6.7p per litre increase on fuel duty is one of a number of controversial measures Guernsey deputies will be asked to vote on this week.

The Treasury has seen their tax take fall well below predictions, and is hoping to increase spending for Health and Social Services by an extra £8 million.

But to cope with both of those it needs to raise taxes.

Alongside the fuel duty increase, large retailers face a new 20% corporate tax rate, a measure that has been met with 'shock and horror' by business leaders in the retail sector.

A raft of amendments have been placed against the budget and they will form part of this week's debate.

Amongst them are calls from Alderney representatives to exempt the smaller island from increases in both fuel duty and property tax.

Discussions are expected to last until Thursday.

Alderney States raise awareness of dependence on Merchant Navy

The States of Alderney are flying the Red Ensign flag today to raise awareness of the UK's ongoing dependence on the Merchant Navy.

The flag represents the them and is flown on non-military ships.

It was raised outside The Island Hall this morning, for Merchant Navy Day.

Seafarers UK are campaigning for public awareness of the vital industry. Nowhere is it more vital than somewhere like Alderney, a place that relies on the service to bring goods to the island.

Today is a day to remember the sacrifices of the Merchant Navy and to support the future of the "often unsung personnel" that work in the industry.

Victor Brownlees, Chief Executive of Alderney States, commented on the day.

Joint effort wins Alderney election

Two candidates who stood on a joint ticket to represent Alderney at the States of Guernsey enjoyed a resounding victory at this weekend’s poll.

Old friends Louis Jean and Graham McKinley joined forces in their election campaign saying they would present a united front in Guernsey to make sure the island's voice could be better heard.

Louis Jean is one of the Island’s two current serving Alderney Representatives, whilst Graham McKinley is a newly elected Guernsey States Member.

The decision to stand on a joint ticket was an unusual thing to do and the idea behind it was to gently make the point that I would prefer to work with Graham in the Guernsey States and that I think I could work effectively with him. I think that has been very well received.

– Louis Jean

I’m very grateful for the faith that voters have placed in me,’ he said. ‘I believe that the vote means that the electorate wants a joint approach to solving the problems that we experience here and try to deal with in Guernsey – I don’t think they always feel that they have had that in the past. I hope that together we may advance Alderney’s cause in Guernsey.

– Graham McKinley

The pair say the issue at the top of their agenda is securing and improving the Island’s air links.

We should agree a plan, a service level agreement and strive for representation on the board of Aurigny. Ensuring regular, affordable routes between here and the UK and Guernsey will greatly improve life in Alderney and that could help us tackle some of the other issues we have here, like attracting more residents to come and live on the Island.’

– Graham McKinley

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Alderney chooses Guernsey States representatives

Voters in Alderney are today choosing who will represent them in Guernsey's States.

Four Alderney States members are up for the two seats. They are Matt Birmingham, Louis Jean, Chris Rowley and Graham McKinley.

Neil Harvey who is currently a representative in Guernsey did not put himself forward for re-election.

Voting takes place at the Island Hall today and votes will be counted this evening.

Damaged fuel tank could delay flights

Aurigny has said a decaying fuel tank in Alderney may mean delays to flights and a reduced passenger capacity.

It is because the airport's current tank is too damaged to be used safely.

Supplies could be used up within weeks and once gone, they won't be replaced.

Alderney Electricity Ltd (AEL) currently supplies the AvGas needed on the island. They are meeting with States members tomorrow to discuss alternative options.

Both private aviators and Aurigny have expressed concerns about the impact of losing the AvGas supply, even if it is temporary.

David Chiswell, Chairman, Alderney Flying Club

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