Policy & Resources continues to engage and listen to all contributions on Tax Review

Tuesday, 08 March 2022

The Committee has discussed the recent letters from political colleagues, media comments, comments made to the https://ourfuture.gg/ website, input from those who attended the first drop-in and other feedback.  It welcomes all of these and would encourage everyone to continue engaging constructively in this public debate on how the Bailiwick addresses the critical issue of funding for essential services in the future, with the make-up of our population facing big changes.

One of the suggestions raised is delaying the States debate, currently scheduled for July, to allow for certain other reports and reviews to be completed.  These including the population review and the independent review on corporate tax options which are both due to report back in the coming weeks.  The Committee is not opposed to delaying the debate if that proves helpful, and it will make a decision on that in May, if not earlier, depending on the information that comes from these reviews.

Deputy Peter Ferbrache, President of the Policy & Resources Committee said

‘The Committee has never pretended this would be easy, it is instead an almighty challenge.  But finding a solution is critical to ensuring future generations have access to essential public services, so the stakes are high.  We are exploring every plausible option we can, and by that we mean options that can realistically raise the significant revenues needed, keep us competitive as a jurisdiction and be internationally compliant. 

So far, the most plausible, coherent, package put forward that can do that and also deliver a more progressive overall tax system that protects the least well-off is the package of measures that include reforms to Social Security, some additional corporate income tax revenue, as well as a Goods and Services Tax, increased allowances and other mitigations.  Mindful of that, we have worked to improve the understanding of that model in these past few weeks as part of our engagement with the community.  But that engagement is first and foremost about listening, and we will keep doing that, before we present any recommendations to the States, in whatever timeframe is most appropriate.’

Deputy Mark Helyar, Treasury lead for the Policy & Resources Committee said

‘We are listening to Islanders, to businesses and to States colleagues in both Guernsey and Alderney.  We will keep engaging and keep listening.  The Committee is not ideologically wed to a Goods and Services Tax, or any other tax for that matter.  It is simply looking for the best, workable solution to a very difficult problem.  We want to find that solution in an open and constructive way. 

All suggestions are welcome, but we need to be realistic that whatever solution we finally go for will not be popular with everyone.  We should not worry about how popular it is, our concerns should be about how it will really affect the lives of Islanders, the availability of basic public services, the viability of businesses and the success of the economy.’ 

The Committee does intend to continue with its planned Tax Review Roadshow events.  The next event is at the Vale Douzaine Room on Saturday morning, from 10 until 12, and we look forward to seeing everyone there.