Guernsey politicians rebel against GST proposals

Guernsey notes and coins.
GST is one of the options that is being explored to fill the blackhole in the public purse. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Some politicians in Guernsey are already rejecting proposals to introduce a Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the island.

It comes after the government warned earlier this week that they needed to find an extra £85 million a year to meet the demands of the ageing population.

They predict the working population to shrink and the number of over-65s to increase by several thousand over the next 20 years.

Deputy Peter Roffey, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security and member of the Tax Review Steering Group said "We’ve already waited too long to do something about our ageing population, despite knowing full well that it’s coming."

"The longer we leave it, the more drastic the action we’ll need to take. We must do the responsible thing, and the right thing, and ensure these services can continue to be funded."

However, Deputy Victoria Oliver thinks the States should look at alternatives as the island already "wastes money".

Businesses hit out over the possibility of GST last September, believing it would drive up the cost of living at a time when Guernsey needs to attract younger workers to fill vacancies in care and hospitality.

The government will hold a media briefing and Q&A this evening (10 February) for islanders to have their say.

It will be live-streamed on the States of Guernsey's social media accounts from the Candie Museum.

Deputy Mark Helyar, Teasury lead for the Policy & Resources Committee, said: "We’ve talked about the seismic shift that is our changing population make-up. This is not the fault of any generation of Islanders, but it is a reality and must be addressed."

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