GP Opinion - page 2

Alternative to MSG must be more than bluff

FOR the States’ negotiating position over specialist healthcare to be successful it has to be credible. The Medical Specialist Group has to believe that HSSD and Social Security are serious in their suggestion that they would be prepared to rip up the contract with MSG and employ consultants directly.

Guernsey and Alderney face economic test

IT MAY well turn out to be one of the crunch political issues next term – how do you solve a problem like Alderney? The Annual Fiscal Policy Review spells out the impending economic crisis there, suggesting that solutions to those problems could well be a precursor for Guernsey to follow.

Sign of our changing financial times

CONSIDERATION of the Amendment of the Financial Services Commission (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1987, at November’s States meeting, is unlikely to take more than a few minutes. The joint proposals from Policy Council and Commerce and Employment are expected to be seen as non-contentious by deputies. But those at the sharp end of financial services in the island will recall a somewhat bitter history behind the project.

The fight for rights continues

AS campaigners calling for more progress with the island’s disability and inclusion strategy put it, ‘something very special happened in 2013’. That was the moment the States officially acknowledged the right of everyone in the Bailiwick to participate in our society.

Shotgun marriage ends badly

IT IS safe to say that Education and Treasury will not be holding a joint Christmas party this year. Having clashed badly over building new schools at La Mare de Carteret the two departments were tasked 17 months ago with finding some way of funding free pre-school education.

Who are the champions?

WHEN it comes to the big fights, it’s good to have a fearless, straight-talker in your corner. Times are tough for our economy and we need all the impassioned back-up we can get.

Patience over austerity is not a given

AUSTERITY is not a word that is bandied around much in these islands. Greece, Portugal and Spain perhaps, but not in the relative comfort of sunny, prosperous Guernsey.

Legal advice too late to hit the target

YOU know you are in trouble when two lawyers, Crown Advocates no less, are each asked for their opinions on the same matter. And when the advice they give is couched in double negatives, caveats and conditional ‘best advice’ any sense of confidence quickly disappears.

Hotels that are left to rot help no one

‘HOPELESSLY aspirational’ is how some have branded Tourism’s vision for the island’s visitor economy, and its ultimate impact on the hotel industry. And while those slamming the department’s bid to tighten restrictions to protect bed stock will have their own agendas, it’s hard to make a case that derelict hotels help anyone.

Diverted by the state of the roads

PUBLIC Services’ report on charging utilities for digging up roads is packed with statistical delights. Who knew, for example, that despite Jersey being 15 square miles bigger than Guernsey it has almost 100 fewer miles of road?

Now is the time to fight for schools

IN A few short months Education will return to the States with the results of its Your Schools Your Choice consultation. It is not difficult to imagine proposals which would revolutionise the education service and provoke anger, division and strong emotions.

Democracy cut short by guillotine

REGARDLESS of the result, no one should be happy with how the Sunday trading debate ended. For decades the States has battled to find a solution to one of its most divisive issues. Last week’s debate was the 12th time that deputies have argued back and forth over keeping Sunday special versus a simple system of choice.

Uncertain future for all retailers

IT WILL be a long time before the full impact of last week’s States meeting becomes clear. The deregulation of Sunday trading and the open gate approach to milk retailing are decisions which will take months to implement and years to fully understand.

The moment Sunday changed

FINALLY the great debate on Sunday opening has closed, following this week’s landmark States vote for total deregulation. Despite decades of controversy, seven-days-a-week unrestricted retail trading was carried 25-19.

IDP fallout from house target move

IT was a tough ride for the Housing Department in the States this week. Politics aside, the decision of the Assembly to order it to carry out a new, improved housing needs survey has consequences elsewhere.

Ballot result bound to split union voters

IN MANY ways the only good thing about the ballot vote for public sector pensions is the result. Everything else could not be worse. Not only was it a narrow overall majority rather than a resounding victory but individual unions voted either heavily in favour or heavily against.