Nick Mann - page 2

Misplaced secrecy a stumbling block to effective government

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Two critical, if dissimilar, issues were propelled into States debate last week – the matter of herbicide glyphosate in local streams and the reciprocal health agreement, both topics where greater clarity would have led to a far quicker and better-understood conclusion

Lack of scrutiny only adds to housing policy failure

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With the average property costing 15 times the average salary and a housing market that has all but completely stalled, Nick Mann says a body independent of the Treasury and Housing departments is needed to scrutinise the issue of housing and what has become a failed States policy

Spending scrutiny should extend to States partners

Politics. Scrutiny.Generic money under the magnifying glass.

Public spending is always under the taxpayers’ magnifier, but scrutiny of expenditure can hit a wall when money is paid out to government partners which do not publish public accounts. Nick Mann argues that if money is going to be spent outside States departments, taxpayers should still be able to know their contribution is being used in the right way

It is not just approving new laws that needs speeding up

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A suggestion that new laws should be ratified on-island and be sent to the UK Privy Council only for review sounds like an attractive proposition from the point of view of getting these laws approved quickly. But Nick Mann wonders if doing this really will speed things up and points out that the States’ record is far from good in getting new laws drafted in the first place

Lobbying shows power of liberating the people’s voice

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Lobby groups have proved very effective in influencing debate during this political term – from Enough is Enough’s demonstrations on taxes to Liberate’s successful efforts on same-sex marriage. But with the island having no referendum legislation, Nick Mann argues that there is still a democratic deficit when it comes to everyone having their say

States meeting set to make big changes to island life

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Decisions made by the States this week are set to have a major and almost immediate effect on life in Guernsey. With the return of the subject of Sunday trading deregulation and proposals to legalise same-sex marriage, members are facing issues that have galvanised some sections of the island and ignited heated social media discussion. But, writes Nick Mann, it’s healthy to have pluralist arguments and differing viewpoints

Population report says little about growth consequences

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While removing any actual numbers from their talk of population growth might leave ministers thinking they’re onto a winner, Nick Mann suggests that this will leave the next Assembly with an abstract policy with no idea of exactly how many people the island needs to keep it running. But perhaps they could look back at the 2007 population report to get an idea...

States policies subject to fraught money wrangle

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With the Treasury department effectively saying no to any new funding requests in an attempt to balance the books, and likely to continue with that stance through to the end of the political term, States members have been left in the unenviable position of putting favourable proposals on the back burner

Population demographics must accommodate youth

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In light of recent debate on population targets and what shape the island should take demographically, Nick Mann writes that although the States has signalled the need for a vital and productive working population, it may be striking the wrong balance when it comes to policy consideration and not focusing on the aspirations of younger generations

A time of contradictions as spin cycle kicks in

Everyone gets along and looks for new friends and allies at the start of a States term, but after a couple of years these alliances may end up broken – and there may even be calls for resignations from boards at the heart of controversial policies.

With the next general election a mere six months away, Nick Mann takes a look at the life cycle of the Guernsey States, starting with the honeymoon period where everyone is getting along but not much happens, through to the time after the first big embarrassment and people have declared it the ‘worst States ever’ – and then the Assembly enters maximum spin cycle...

States’ sweeping statements are too often set on sand

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A quick glance at the annual business trends survey released in the summer reveals a drop in confidence in the economy, one that is at odds with Treasury minister Gavin St Pier’s view that general business optimism has become increasingly positive

No magic bullet for the demographic time bomb

Alderney is the subject of a specific policy in this year’s Budget, in an effort to help it during a time of economic decline.

The Annual Fiscal Policy Review is out today, and while these things are not known for making gripping reading, there are some sobering comments between its pages, warning of the economic impacts of an ageing population. This, writes Nick Mann, will not be offset by simply increasing the pension age and is likely to involve cuts to services

Budget failures show a legacy of broken promises

Politics money shot

A detailed look at the latest Budget makes for grim reading – and the string of failures and Treasury’s intention to stall voting on £120m. of projects until next term is a big blow to public confidence. People who had hoped that this would be a ‘States of Change’ probably didn’t expect those changes to be for the worse...

Budget’s sting will need good arguments behind it

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With the release of the 2016 budget today, the island will begin to get an inkling of whether or not the States has made all the savings it promised during the last year. Nick Mann predicts that the minister is going to face a lot of questions over plans to raise extra funds through new taxes, even if the controversial GST is off the table...