Guernsey's debate on pensions delayed until November

Guernsey States.
Credit: ITV Channel TV.

Guernsey's debate on pensions has been delayed until November with politicians accused of kicking the can down the road.

The States started the debate yesterday (Wednesday 25 May), but a Sursis motion was brought before the assembly to delay the debate until after the tax review. Today that was successful.

At the moment, some employers provide them but others do not. If the States agree to the secondary pensions scheme, all employers will need to make contributions for their staff into either a qualifying pension scheme or into the government scheme, called Your Island Pension or YIP for short

Deputy Carl Meerveld who brought the Sursis said he is worried about introducing a pension scheme at a time when islanders and businesses are already struggling with finances.

He said: "Implementing something that effectively takes money out of people's pockets and the pockets of employees and puts it into arguably a very good cause but at a time when the cost of living is rising dramatically. People's expendable income is reducing and we can't look at this in isolation, we need to combine it with the tax debate which will look also reach into people's pockets."

Deputy Peter Roffey, President, of the Committee for Employment and Social Security said the delay is "frustrating" as the sooner the scheme is passed in the states, the sooner it can start and the more money people will save for their old age.

He said : "Everyone in there knew that in the long term it is something that we have to do in order to make sure that pensioners in 10, 20, 30 years time have a decent retirement but just as importantly to save our children and grandchildren from spending a fortune on taxation to support elder people who don't have the proper provision."