GP Opinion

Mortgage payers yet to find a voice

WHAT a difference a few years makes. Late in 2012, suggestions that mortgage interest tax relief should be phased out brought howls of protest from homeowners and Facebook protest groups were set up to oppose any cuts.

Challenging waters lie ahead

TODAY marks the launch of a new era in Guernsey’s maritime travel as Condor’s shiny new flagship trimaran starts serving the Channel Islands and the UK.

2016 election threatens HSSD stability

STABILITY, the second of the Health minister’s priorities, has been in short supply in recent years. Four chief executives in as many years have been held to account by a revolving door of ministers and board members.

Transparent government is an education

TRANSPARENT government is not always a comfortable ride. It is easy, for example, to see why some deputies were reluctant to release the independent review of the La Mare de Carteret rebuild.

Costs of tax move hidden in the stats

A WELCOME light has been shone on the Personal tax, pensions and benefits review on the eve of a debate that could set in motion a series of changes that will affect everyone.

Stakes are high as court battle looms

ANYONE doubting how far apart the Policy Council and its employees are on pensions and how high are the stakes need not read every word of the 150-page report.

Tax cap will always fit too tightly

A PROPOSED cap on the amount of money that the States can take from islanders is one of the cornerstones of the personal tax review, yet has attracted little comment.

Town traffic a road to chaos

IF EVER Environment wanted a sneak preview of how its trial traffic plan for Town’s seafront might go spectacularly wrong, then Saturday’s gridlock at North Beach surely provided a ringside seat.

Time for dispensing efficiency

IT’S hard to miss the excruciating tone of discomfort permeating Social Security’s recent statement, admitting that tens of thousands of pounds-worth of free prescriptions could have been given out wrongly.

Mobile row sets an uneasy tone

WHEN is a tax not a tax – apparently when it’s a ‘charge’, as highlighted by the increasingly bitter open row between the island’s biggest telco operator and our Commerce and Employment minister.

Taking delay to a whole new level

DESPITE the air of inevitability about today’s announcement that the La Mare de Carteret schools building project is delayed the news is, sadly, no less frustrating.

Jobs go as economy catches a chill

IN THE boom years, before waves from the global recession washed up on these shores, concern focused on the ‘overheating’ of the economy. Government spending was high, paid for by buoyant company profits and soaring wages, and building firms across the island were struggling to keep up with demand. The price of construction projects – major and minor, public and private – inevitably rocketed and more heat was added to the economy.

Home buying charged with problems

DETAILS are in short supply at this early stage but it seems that long-standing issues with neighbours of the power station could face the ultimate solution. The latest proposal is that the States will simply buy the houses of its neighbours and move residents away from the area.

Letter puts pressure on Environment

MUCH of the interest in this week’s States debate on parochial church property stems not from the proposed law – which was studiously unambitious – but from the amendments it faces. To have as many as four amendments to a projet at this stage is unusual and an indication that the long period of consultation, consideration and legal drafting has failed to satisfy some members that it has all been worth it. The latest amendment is a fundamental shift not just to this law but could be said have far-reaching implications for one of the central principles of taxation.

Letter puts pressure on Environment

WHILE done with the best of intentions, there is something uncomfortable about a large group of deputies writing to the Environment Department asking for it to grant permission for Green Acres Hotel to convert to a dementia care home. The deputies, led by Matt Fallaize, argue that it is ‘entirely appropriate’ for representatives of the people to speak out collectively and unequivocally on a subject about which they feel strongly. And yet. Should politicians seek to interfere with a quasi-judicial process which they have delegated to one department?