Comment - page 2

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.

Population fall – a blip or not?

The drop in Sark’s population to fewer than 500, a fall of 10% in a year, is a real wake-up call. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 7811942)

First it was Alderney and now Sark’s population has taken a tumble. Peter Roffey wonders what next week’s States of Guernsey population bulletin will reveal ...

Tax package is out for the count

LIKE a boxer on the ropes, the personal tax review rumbled on yesterday taking heavy punishment from a series of well-aimed blows.

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.

Halfway house should be Health’s aim

New Health minister Paul Luxon has warned that the current HSSD budget is inadequate. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 7793929)

Enforcing the same spending constraints on HSSD as other departments was always unrealistic, but the needs-driven budget its minister now seeks is equally so. Let’s get some balance, says former health minister Peter Roffey, who detects a whiff of hypocrisy...

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.

Exposing the ‘devil in the detail’ of benefits review

cost of housing

As the States prepares to tackle the Personal Tax, Pensions and Benefits Review, evidence has begun to emerge that it is not a balanced package and will leave a lot of families worse off, with nothing as yet in sight to counter its financial impact. Nick Mann argues that the plans do not seem fair as they stand and wonders whether the Assembly will be convinced to take a leap in the dark

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.

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.

We need to rationalise

La Mare de Carteret High School is ‘the most flexible site and one in a highly populated area’. (Picture by Brian Green, 7747371)

Having one fewer States-run secondary school makes financial and educational sense to Peter Roffey. He puts forward his case 14 years after backing Education’s 2001 proposal – a plan that he suggests has been proven right

Whatever happened to the Sarnian Spring?

Peewee cartoon for Neil Ross column Letter from Emile.

Neil Ross’s Emile has so much to tell his cousin, it’s hard to know where to start – between the toing and froing of the traffic strategy, the fears over importing food, closing the Albert Pier and a single-lane Quay, Eugene’s going to wonder what’s going on in Guernsey… 

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.

A tale of two hats

Deputy Heidi Soulsby’s dual roles as chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee and deputy minister of Health and Social Services are a conflict, says Peter Roffey.

Peter Roffey is a big fan of States members taking on roles in more than one department, but being the head of Public Accounts and second in command at Health and Social Services, he argues, forces a deputy to wear two hats that just don’t fit together

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.