Peter Roffey

The States have their work cut out balancing spending and saving. (pogonici/Shutterstock)

Trade-offs before borrowing

The answer to our fiscal problems is neither borrowing nor austerity. Rather Peter Roffey would have the States make tough decisions over the best way to spend our money – and that will mean trading off good plans for better ones

No right to be rude

Deputies Yvonne Burford and Peter Harwood passing the Enough is enough protest outside The Royal Court last year. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 9395298)

Public criticism is guaranteed in politics, but rudeness and abuse are a step too far in Peter Roffey’s opinion. He has first-hand experience of the island’s unique proximity to its politicians and believes it would be a disaster if online abuse led to a lack of candidates and less access to those willing to stand

The buffet approach

(Stefano Viola/Shutterstock)

Too many dishes can make it harder to choose, and with a smorgasbord-style situation facing the States on the traffic strategy, Peter Roffey is worried that an impasse will be the only thing on members’ plates

Prepare for the worst

Should the UK decide to leave the EU, the impact would be clearly felt here in Guernsey. But does that give us the right to be involved in the decision?

In light of our recent addition to the European Union‘s blacklist, Peter Roffey considers our position in the run-up to the UK referendum on EU membership – and what the impact on us would be...

Should Sundays still be sacred?

The Sunday trading debate, due to take place later this year, could go either way – again. (Gajus/Shutterstock)

It’s been raked over too many times to count, yet since Sunday trading is back on the debate list Peter Roffey sticks his head above the parapet and takes on the hoary old issue for what he hopes will be the last time

Courtesy better than road rage

Guernsey has been gripped by collective road rage and the Town Quay courtesy crossing is to blame. Confusion over the ‘courtesy’ element is at the heart of the delays it’s causing and one way or another it needs a rethink. But engaging all 47 States members in debate on the matter? Excuse me, says Peter Roffey. That’s just not on...

When the chips are down...

The chip parable echoes the unfairness of the union civile proposal.

In an effort to clarify his position on unions civile, Peter Roffey treats us to ‘the parable of the chips’. Keep things simple, he advises, and points out that rather than being against equality, he is very much for it...

Review report is positively excellent... almost

Peter Roffey welcomes the Review Committee’s approach to scrutiny.

The policy letter on government review is excellent, says Peter Roffey. Set out in plain English and easy to read, its logic on most issues can’t be faulted. But there are one or two issues that merit a quibble...

Not so civil proposal

If the House chooses the Policy Council’s preferred option, then Greffe weddings will not be an option for straight or same-sex couples.

He might not be the marrying type, but Peter Roffey is shocked at the proposal to stop the non-religious from choosing a secular wedding. Surely we should follow Ireland and embrace equal marriage rights for all?

Ferry fiasco may scupper islands’ good reputation

Arrival of Condor LiberationPicture: PETER MOURANT

It was hailed as a craft that would signal a brave new world in ferry travel between the islands and the UK, yet Condor’s £50m. Liberation has so far failed to live up to the hype – so much so that, if not sorted out shortly, there’s a danger that it will damage our reputation as a tourist destination. Time for Deputy Kevin Stewart to step in, reckons Peter Roffey

A strategy going to waste

Public Services minister Scott Ogier at Mayside Recycling. Kerbside has increased the amount of recycling islanders do – but not as much as was hoped, writes Peter Roffey. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 8560272)

It might seem like his pet subject at the moment, but Peter Roffey is concerned that for the waste strategy, time is of the essence. Costs keep rising and strong debate is vital, he believes, if we are to get an affordable, sustainable and suitable solution to our rubbish problem

Waste: the slow-motion car crash

What to do with Guernsey’s household rubbish? It’s is a topic that rumbles on and on, says Peter Roffey. (8330139)

People have been warning for years that our risky waste strategy could be jeopardised by escalating costs. Judging by yesterday’s States revelations, they were right. At what point do we take a fresh look at the whole shooting match and ask if there is a cheaper and more sustainable way of dealing with our rubbish, wonders Peter Roffey

Bigger problems than ‘Plantergate’

Peter Roffey questions the priorities of Deputy Paul Le Pelley, who is calling for a joint emergency investigation by the Scrutiny and Public Accounts Committees into ‘plantergate’. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 8223251)

They might be ugly and overpriced, Peter Roffey doesn’t know. But to turn Plantergate into the year’s big issue by starting a Scrutiny and Public Accounts joint review would, he feels, make a laughing stock of both committees

A numbers issue

Do we have enough pupils to warrant four state senior schools? The debate over La Mare de Carteret School’s redevelopment continues. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 8200531)

Whether or not to rebuild La Mare de Carteret is almost a two-part question, according to Peter Roffey – are there enough pupils now and in the future for the current number of schools and should they be selected? Regardless of the emotional issues, he suggests the problem of changing demographics demands debate 

Car crash proposals were almost designed to fail

Allister Langlois and Gavin St Pier: their tax and benefits package was bound to create a major outcry. (8079562)

The proposed tax and benefits package hammered the poor and elderly and was bound to create a major outcry, says Peter Roffey. Clearly half thought through, it didn’t provide States members with the information they’d need before stripping islanders of hard-won benefits. And where were the ordinary committee members of T&R and Social Security during this car crash, he wonders? Not doing their jobs properly...

Bailiff Richard Collas is a member of the public sector pension scheme and there is apparently concern in some quarters that he might therefore have a vested interest in the forthcoming debate. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 8087897)

The debate on public sector pensions is hugely important and likely to be devilishly tricky. Thousands of people’s livelihoods may be affected by the outcome. So word that one of the deputies may take the chair instead of the Bailiff – perceived to have a vested interest – puzzles and horrifies Peter Roffey. Have those in the corridors of power taken leave of their senses, he wonders?

Time for politicians to take control


The civil service is moving in the opposite direction from the political structure which it exists to serve. While our deputies go back to the future with autonomous committees overseeing States departments, the civil service is moving towards an ever more centralised system. And the two won’t work in tandem, warns Peter Roffey. The only way to harmonise these structures is for our deputies to put their foot down...

Reviewing the situation

Treasury minister Gavin St Pier’s GST proposal has been seen off – for now. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 5268597)

So what do we know? GST is gone for now, income tax won’t easily go up and ‘high net worth individuals’ could see their personal allowance removed but social insurance go down. Peter Roffey goes over the choices made and ponders how this leaves things for future debates

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 ...

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...