Peter Roffey - page 2

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

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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...

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

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

One out of three is bad

The first public meeting about pensions at the Grammar School, hosted by Gavin St Pier and Allister Langlois in February. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 7560601)

Weighing up the States’ tax, pensions and benefits plan against three simple criteria, Peter Roffey finds the final package severely wanting – especially given the time it has taken to draw up

Let’s talk rubbish

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Five years on, where are we with the waste strategy? Peter Roffey examines that particular States’ U-turn and, given the recent one over traffic, wonders how things will turn out long-term. His hunch? It’ll hit the ordinary taxpayer where it hurts.

Off the buses

(Picture by Peter Frankland, 1344509a)

For the last two years bus use has dropped by just under 10% in a 12-month period. Peter Roffey looks at the causes and, most importantly, the consequences.

It all comes down to teamwork

‘The biggest threat to the civil service in future comes from interfering politicians’. That was the valedictory comment from the former deputy chief executive of the States, Nigel Lewis. Was this an outrageously anti-democratic sign-off from a disillusioned career civil servant? Or a refreshing, frank, shackles off analysis from someone who knows what he’s talking about? It depends on what he meant.

Perceived wisdom isn't always right, by Peter Roffey

I’M REALLY not sure how it comes about, but there are some stances on political issues in Guernsey which become so universally and firmly accepted as correct that people parrot them endlessly, without feeling the least need to back up their opinion with reasoned argument.

A £2.4m. damp squib, by Peter Roffey

Two stories caught my eye this week – the planned introduction of kerbside recycling and the proposal for Blue Islands and Aurigny to ‘share’ the Guernsey-Jersey route.