Young people want protection from the 'time bomb'

YOUNG people locally are hoping more will be done to safeguard their futures against the rising cost of Guernsey's ageing population.

Guernsey Ladies' College sixth-formers Emily Trebert, 18, left, and Laura Bampton, 17. (Picture by Luke Richardson, 12350006)
Ladies' College sixth-formers Emily Trebert, 18, left, and Laura Bampton, 17. (Picture by Luke Richardson, 12350006)

YOUNG people locally are hoping more will be done to safeguard their futures against the rising cost of Guernsey's ageing population.

Latest figures show that in 2011 the overall dependency ratio was 0.48 - for every 100 people of working age, between 16 and 64, there were 48 people of retirement age.

If current trends continued the ratio would rise to 85 per 100 by 2070.

Ladies' College student Laura Bampton, 17, said the island needed to prepare for the future now.

Emily Trebert, 18, said she was more concerned about whether there would be enough to go around rather than having to pay more.

Comments for: "Young people want protection from the 'time bomb'"

Dee Sharisse

Surely, that should say 'If current trends continued, the ratio would rise to 85 TO 100 by 2070'? The wording in the article means that 17 out of 20 people would be retired.

notsostoopid

If house prices and Rent rates keep going like they are there will be no 18-65 year olds over here soon anyway, so it will be at least 98%, this island is doomed and will collapse if there are not drastic changes all over the board soon! Mark my words.

RockBound

It doesn't matter guys! We won't be able to afford to live here anyway! The only chance is if you inherit a nice house from family! Good luck to Guernsey!

milly

makes me feel guilty reaching 64 years of age

Guern abroad

The biggest cost will be health I think. A fit retired person is more likely to still be doing some form of work and wont be a drain on the health service. Where as an unhealthy/sick individual is going to be a drain for a lot more years then just retirement.

Changes need to be made across the board to help minimise any population demographic bulge drain. Anyway this retirement burden is expected to peta out again after a period anyway.

nocon

Oh, for crying out loud, when are the young going to stop whining and just support the elderly as the elderly have supported them as the grew up.

Just think of the millions of pounds that the older people have paid into the coffers to give them an education, sport facilities, healthy living and cash to spend on themselves.

There are families in third world countries that treat thier elders with more respect and they have very low living conditions.

DO YOU THINK IT`S BEEN EASY TO GIVE YOU A LIFE?

You are now learning just how hard it is so, PAY UP and while you`re doing it, SHUT UP WHINGING.

Scarlett

I couldn't have put it better myself, nocon.

I don't know if the tone of this article was supposed to be deliberately inflammatory, but it sure got my goat.

The current generation of young people are spoiled beyond repair, get everything now for no effort, and are so over indulged and self absorbed, it wouldn't surprise me if they introduce some form of OAP culling when they are old enough, so they don't have to deal with supporting those who've given them the moon on a stick throughout their formative years, without a second thought...

saddest, most ironic thing of all is, 'we' are the one's creating this Frankenstein generation.

St Marcouf

Step 1 in preparing for the future is for these children to propagate a maximum of one child each of their own to redress the balance.

Dani

Overall just another great reason to get rid of forced retirement as soon as someone hits 65 and age discrimination when hiring. We need the older generation to work longer when they want too. I find it bizarre that some companies want to boot out people with so much experience and know them and their customers inside out. I always think its how you feel on the inside that counts, you don't hit 65 and just turn into a liability that's going to keel over on your desk.

Noncon and Scarlett

I think your taking it very personally and noncon I find your rant pretty tasteless. Those kids have got a point. They are going to want the best for their own kids as well as for their older generation and there are going to be a lot less of them to support a greater number of dependents. They are going to be paying more than you ever did in that respect. Your right too there will be more social security claimants for them to support and the trend is there is more and more benefits that are going to be provided by the States through healthcare and caring policies (The social security reform proposed is just a starting point). Its a lot more expensive to get your own home and this is only going to increase as an issue. Its the truth so don't take it so personally when they say it. They have a lot of hard challenges to face in the future so don't slag them off so much while they productively attempt to deal with it. Make it just a little bit easier for them to care about you eh?

nocon

Dani,

As tasteless as my "rantings" are they are fact and life`s a bitch. These kids are going to have to face both the ups and downs and not rely on handouts when they are old enough to start work and start paying their dues.

There is nowhere in this article that says these two girls are trying to put forward suggestions of how to cure the problems. What I read into it is that they are saying that The Government has to sort it all out before they get old enough to earn and pay their dues.

EVERYONE has hard challenges to face in the future incuding pensioners who have to live on just a pension. Out of this pension they have to pay rent, buy food and clothing and get around, do you think that`s easy?

I, and many others, have had their working lives (and a lot harder than today`s generation) and paid our dues and supported our old age pensioners and hard done by people.

Whilst doing this we`ve raised a new generation to the best of our abilities, the kids get everything they want and I`ll bet these two young ladies want for nothing from their parents.

My dad used to say these things so it`s nothing new and I used to argue with him about why I should have to pay up for his pension. I now know what he was saying was right.

Well now it`s their generation who have to do the same, It`s called LIFE.

Dani

See Ellis below.

Also after reading your response I'm still comfortable with everything I've said and still think it adequately answers your response. These kids will be doing exactly the same you have done if not more financially to support the community as they grow . I'm not sure what you want from them now they are still school kids. They have not said they won't pay their dues either.

Neil Forman

Dani.

If only it were that easy, case in point. A friend of mine has recently retired. He has been in next to minimum wage for most of his life and has worked hard and paid his way. On retirement however he receives just under £180 per week. Having told The SSD his rent was £600 per month they gave him a rent allowance of £75. This means that he has to pay for half of his rent which leaves him about £105 a week to live on. When he told SSD that he would get a part time job they informed him that whatever he earns would be deducted from his pension. He decided not to work as it would not make him any better off. He started saving a little each week in case he had any emergency payments to make, when the SSD saw this in his bank they said they were going to lower his pension as he had savings. So, if he works part time, they take his pension and if he saves, they take his pension. I would love to see them live on what he does, on the other hand a person can leave school and go onto benefits and receive a lot more than he does, they also get medical and dental bills paid for and yet they have not paid anything into the 'kitty'. Something stinky there if you ask me. We need to get our priorities right and allow our older generation to live their twilight years in comfort. They have earnt it.

Dani

Neil

Ok. Would you read Ellis below as well then? lol.

Your reading into things that havn't even been said by these kids and by myself. No-one is saying it's not hard, we all know how life works but getting up on the soap box and having a misaimed rant isn't going to acheive anything.

FYI I'm St Peter Port South and I want a deputy that dosn't just pander to the grey vote and asume the younger generation are a load of "kitty" draining individuals. I'm all for the baby boomers to have health care and dental but why take cheap shots at the people that will continue funding it? Making blanket assumptions about an age group is not productive. Also if anyone is giving off an air of entitlement (rightly or wrongly) it isn't the kids is it?

Dani

Hey

Just thinking about it. If you lot respected your elders so much why didn't they have their medical and dental paid for? Why are they living in this manner? Surely you would have brought in more beneficial polucies yourselves as a generation if you cared so much instead of waiting to retire to suggest its a problem.... and then expect more from kids that can only just start to vote and to have a go at them?

Dani

Sorry still not done. Another thought.

I want to point out a difference between the generations too. The older ones all to a much higher degree will be relying on a public pension. This is what they have expected so fair enough.

Younger people are told in so many different ways that these are unsustainable and that a pension to live on when they retire (at probably much older age than you) will be a pittance (its expected) and they must save up a private pension from the year dot to take car of themselves (whilst trying to save for a mortgage or pay rent on this isalnd).

Thoughts?

Neil Forman

Dani.

I will speak to SSD tomorrow and see what the benefit / pension entitlements are. I am not going for the grey vote, i just think the pensioners are getting a raw deal. Will answer in more detail tomorrow.

Neil Forman

Dani.

I was not having a rant, I was highlighting a situation a friend and many older people are facing.

If you work out the pension rate as a forty hour week it amounts to £4.65 per hour. This is just above the minimun wage level for a 16-18 year old. If you work it out at minimum wage for an over 19 year old this would be £246. Not ideal but a lot better. My friend is on a reduced rate pension so recieves £178.68. As for the loss of pension quoted yesterday, I think he was a bit confused, it is the rent assistance they take away if he is earning. This would not make him any better off, he had found a part time job where he would work 10 hours. This would have just about covered his rent assistance.

With regards to benefits, this system is being abused. There must be a better means test system. We simply cannot afford to support people who do not want to work.

sarnia expat

Neil, are you sure you are right? According to recent conversations with the Pensions people I understand that you can carry on working and still get paid pension - but perhaps he needs someone to speak to the Social on his behalf.

Ray

Sarnia Expat

I think Neil is just making it up as he goes along just to be seen to be willing to give an answer

I am a pensioner who has continued to work.All that happens is that they hit you for more income tax and insurance which is fair enough.How many pensioners do we have as sitting Deputies? Do you really think they would continue if they were having their pocket picked?

Neil ... must do better!

Neil Forman

Sarnia expat / Ray.

This is what i'm being told by the person in question, i will phone the SSD tomorrow and see what they say.

Neil Forman

sarnia expat / Ray

You are right, my friend was confused. If he takes a part time job they will reduce the level of rent assistance.

Should have checked first, sorry.

Ellis

Scarlett

Yes, as you suspected, you and Nocon are jumping on an inflammatory headline which, to my eye, in no way reflects what the young people actually said.

Reading the full article I was really struck by how thoughtful and intelligent their answers were.

To quote:

Emily Trebert, 18, said she was more concerned about whether there would be enough to go around rather than having to pay more. "I worry about the care that will be available for my parents and the older generation," she said. "I wouldn't want them to receive a poorer level of support or quality of life."

Oscar Richardson, 18, said young people would not mind paying more to care for the island's elderly because they were also investing in their own future. "At the end of the day, we are going to be old as well and we want to receive the same level of care."

Hardly "spoiled beyond repair"....

crocodile

As an older person, I'm with nocon on this, though I possibly wouldn't have put the points so strongly. My generation paid for these kids' education and benefits so I expect them to subsidise my old age. Perhaps if they weren't so self-absorbed and lacking in empathy they'd understand that a caring society looks after ALL its members. The biggest drain on resources in the future is likely to be treating the younger generation that's currently overweight and setting themselves up for carcinoma-type illnesses due to lack of exercise, alcohol, cigarette and drug abuse.

Zab

The selfishness of the "babyboomers" generation is well known, they took what was theirs, stole the next generations wealth and are expecting another generation to fund their old age healthcare, tax em til they squeak if they can afford it!

Baby boomer basher

It's about time a lot of benefits were means tested, including the old age pension. There are thousands of pensioners who are in no need whatsoever of the state pension, take it away from them is my view. Many of them have benefited enormously from increases in property values, full tax relief on mortgage interest, free (or virtually free) higher education etc etc.

They've had more than their fair share out of the "pot" it's about time they realised how good they had it and that things won't be anywhere near as rosy for forthcoming generations.

Snooki

Zab (post 11). How much have you benefitted from your Grand Parents and Parents' wealth?

I hope you have shouted and complained about all the useless consumer goods they have bought you over the years (playstations, bikes, cars etc) which could have been used more purposely as a tax donation to help us all in old age.

We've all made hay when the sun shone. Some have benefitted more than others and in a few words "get over it mate". Tighten your belts, we're all in for a rough ride.

Banfest

There has been some utter drivel spouted on here about this story. A Press reporter had a topic in mind and wanted to create a story that yes, does have an inflammatory headline designed to elicit the type of response it has from several posters.

Nocon, these people were not whining, the Press went into the school looking for someone to say something to fill up their paper with, and to give people like you something to whine about on this forum. Your ‘rantings’ are not fact, except maybe in your own little world; they are merely your opinion. You have read the story completely wrong, as Dani has suggested, and what do you think gives you the right to make sweeping assumptions about whether these 2 ‘want for nothing from their parents’? Personally acquainted are you? How do you know what they do or don’t get from their parents? Scarlett, these people are not spoiled beyond repair, and do not get everything handed to them on a plate. That is a fact.

Ellis, you have made an accurate and studied observation, and Dani, you have hit the nail on the head when you say that this generation will actually have to do more to support the elderly than previous generations. It’s a simple matter of mathematics – people are now having smaller families later in life. Your point on pension provision going forward is also very true, previous generations have been able to rely on the fact there will be a State pension, as the population and economy has seen growth to support that. With a slower economy, less people of a working age to maintain it, and an increasing proportion of older people to support, it would hardly be a surprise if today’s young generation weren’t concerned. At least they’re not just sticking their heads in the sand!

Crocodile, yes you have paid taxes that have contributed towards the Education service, but so have generations before you, and so will many to come. Please don’t be so self-righteous when making statements about people you know nothing about. Your assertion that that these two are self-absorbed and lacking in empathy is so far off the mark that it’s laughable; and as for your frankly libellous statement about being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking etc. You obviously don’t realise that one of those girls has represented the Island at badminton, but then that wouldn’t suit your purpose would it? You haven’t paid for these kids’ education; you’ve simply paid your dues towards the running of government provided services, same as most other people have done, and will continue to do. Unfortunately, this generation are likely to have to pay more taxes to look after people like you and Nocon for even longer as you reap the benefits of improving healthcare and a longer life. Perhaps you two could meet up and be bitter and twisted together?

The demographics of how society will pay for older people in retirement is hardly a new issue, but it is one that is going to affect this generation more than any before it. Due to improvement in just about every area of life, but particularly healthcare, people are living longer and enjoying better health while they do so.

Average Joe

Banfest - Post of the Week, IMHO.

All the pensioners in here complaining that the next generation should be paying for them also need to realise that unless life in the Island does actually get a bit easier for the youngsters coming up in the world now, like those two young ladies for example, there won't be anyone left to pay for their old age, or their children’s for that matter.

Property is too expensive here, good jobs for well educated people are too scarce, and it's no wonder that so many of our youngest and brightest remain away from the Island after University. Many of those without the accreditations of a Higher Education simply just choose to leave as soon as they are able. And why is this? Because it's just too expensive to settle here, and their advanced education and resulting expertise will not repay their debt due to the lack of career paths open to them in the Island. The last few years have also seen vast swathes of the Islands' working population receive pay rises well under the Cost Of Living, if at all, yet inflation keeps rising as do Taxes, and everyone is feeling the pinch.

Generation X knows it, and realises that if they want to prosper and keep their own families and futures secure, they don't stand as realistic a chance of doing it in Guernsey as they do in other countries. My generation have been saying this will happen since we were at school, and we're all 30-somethings now, and sure enough, it's happening. We all have to have children later in life than previous generations, because we simply can't afford to put a roof over our heads capable of sheltering a fledgling family, soon enough in life. Many of us were paying personal pensions from the day we left school, because we feared for our futures 15-20 years ago, and are still paying them now to try and make sure we have something for our old age. We knew the Baby Boomers would have this effect. Luckily, population models and demographics were part of GSCE Geography when I was at school!

The figures are irrefutable - Guernsey is turning into a giant Retirement Home, and more and more of our youngsters are doing A Levels, then going on to do Degrees every year. And unless something is done very soon to provide them with the reassurance that they CAN found a life here, CAN get onto the property ladder earlier in life, and CAN raise their own children here with hopes for a sustainable future in Guernsey, then NONE of us will have much of a future here in 5 or 10 years’ time.

You wonder why Generation X spends its money on Xboxes, boozing, flash cars, holidays, etc..... it's because they've already given up hope of buying a house here, and they need to spend their money on something. Better they earn and spend it here than earn and spend it elsewhere, but it's only a matter of time before they stop doing that, and Taxation and Inflation drive them away too.

"It's the price you pay to live somewhere so beautiful, clean and crime-free" is one of the most popular lines I hear when this topic comes up in conversation, usually from people my parent's age, with their vast, cheap houses that they bought back in the 60's and 70's, and their post-millennium salaries that now vastly outstretch their outgoings each month. I'm sorry, but that excuse just doesn't cut it when you reach middle age and realise that your post-millennium salaries can barely cover the mortgage of a post-millennium priced bedsit, and you have now blown your chance at a house and a family of your own to put in it, and all because your native Island priced you out of the game before you had a chance to play.

It also doesn't cut it when they start moaning about how easy Generation X have it, and how will Generation X provide for them in Old Age, when they are sitting in houses worth small fortunes now. Properties of the scale that Generation X will have little or no chance of ever being able to afford, whilst paying enough taxes to keep said homeowners in a pension, and also paying pensions to those not as fortunate.

There's a lot more to this issue than "I'm old, I paid taxes for your education, so now you owe me!" and I hope that the majority of our Islands senior population are sensible enough to acknowledge this fact and become part of the solution, instead of sitting back complaining and being part of the problem.

I hate to break it to you, but we are all going to need to work this one out together, as members of the same society. Before there is no society to be a member of.

Ray

Average Joe and Banfest

Two excellent posts.It certainly looks like there will be trouble ahead

However I am sitting at my keyboard in my vast cheap house which I bought in the 1970's when my Friday pay packet (in cash) was in the region of £18 per week,the mortgage rate was 15% and inflation 13%

My 1970's vast house didn't have the fitted fridge/freezer,washing machine/tumble dryer,fitted carpets ( or is it all that horrible wood flooring nowadays)and the 50" plasma TV that this generation demands as a minimum standard

Times were difficult back then and the income tax rate was no different than it is now, although I concede that property prices nowadays are ridiculously high

Every generation has to go through difficulties.I remember that my parents took ages in the 1950's to decide if they could afford a cottage up the road on offer at £400.Luckily for me they took the plunge and I benefited from that decision when they passed away as will my children when I pop my clogs

Mind you,with the Mayan calendar ending in December 2012,Iran playing silly buggers and scientists trying to find the God particle with their Large Hardon Collider,perhaps we'll all be popping our clogs sooner than expected

CERN

Great typo Ray - or is it? Made me chuckle.

A.J.

Two things spring to mind.

1 Why can't a pension plan based on 'the civil service system be introduced, after all, they seem to have done 'very nicely thankyou'.

2 Why not make every one pay into the scheme, starting at the age of sixteen,( which was when I first started work)as I and many others did,instead of asking the 65 year-olds to carry on paying for what will be, a delayed pension?

Pete

Good post Ray from someone who knows what may look like extremely cheap house prices from yesteryear were in fact very expensive for those of us who received weekly wages which wouldn't even buy a round of drinks in the towns hostelry’s today.

This article looks like one of those deliberately aimed at inciting a debate, which it has, bringing out peoples personal prejudices.

Whatever the future holds the people who live in it will have to cope with it and do the best they can as we did, and do in our lifetime. Nobody protected us from the world we lived in, a world which had far, far less opportunity than there is today. We just got on with it.

Baby boomer basher

To those who believe it was as difficult in years gone by to buy a house I'll cite two examples. First, in 1966 my father, by the time he was 26, had saved a 50% deposit on a house that was then on the market for £4,000 (now worth up to £600k). His jobs up till then had primarily been a road digger and a milkman. My aunt and uncle, again in the late 1960s, bought a house that is now worth about £550k with the highest mortgage possible at the time (not sure what %). They both worked at Tektronix in fairly average paid jobs, and managed to pay off their mortgage in 5 years. It is absolutely impossible that either of those examples could be repeated in today's environment.

Ray

Baby boom basher

You're probably right re today's prices ( building upwards is the only answer to our land shortage) but whenever I pass Grandes Rocques/Cobo I look at one particular property which my wife and I,both in good employment,really had our hearts set on in the late 1960's,but at £4,000 it was absolutely out of our league

I wish I had risked it now as I would be in a position to help vote out that Vicar of Dibley shoein Deputy Paint

Baby boomer basher

That's a bit harsh Ray, Deputy Paint comes out with some very insightful comments. Why, only the other week I heard him say that he preferred HP sauce to Ketchup (whilst in the White Rock Cafe). Admittedly it was the only sensible comment I heard him say, but surely that's worth £40k a year of anyone's money????

Spike

Interesting comparisons.

Today, saving for a sizeable deposit just isn't contemplated. Everybody is more content to live at home with their parents and to spend £100 gettting bladdered on a Friday and Saturday night and go in holiday twice a year rather than save for a deposit. In the 60s and 70s saving up meant making sacrifices.

People today want the 90% mortgage but just won't make sacrifices to save up the 10% deposit.

Handlebarscovax

Average joe,

Great post, this is exactly how I feel.

I am a qualified tradesman and I earn a modest but fair wage yet I am completely priced out of the housing market.

I can just about afford a tiddly little one bedroom flat with no parking. I don't drink or smoke yet I am left with nothing at the end of the month. A lot of my friends earn less then I do and they will never enter the private sector. I meanwhile am mortgaged for life.

It sucks.

If only I had the cahonies to leave this overpriced island. I wish I'd never got a mortgage now and emigrated to another country.

Zab

In the 80's the 20% deposit 2:5 X husband and 1 X wife salary formula bought a lower end of the market 2 bedroom house, ie 3:5 annual saleries or about twice annual houshold income equalled the mortgage.

Last week in Jersey it was quoted as currently being 7 times annual HOUSEHOLD income I have not seen the Guernsey statistics but we won't be far behind.

People in jobs that in the past would have been homeowners cannot even afford to rent, the gulf between the haves and have nots is huge, why should the young be expected to prop up a system that gives them nothing for the benefit of those that profited in the first place and still gain from it ?

Our societey is not equitable and that is going to have to change or the young will vote with their feet.

Ray

A few conflicting opinions on this subject

This could be whipped up into an interesting printed story if the Press sent someone out to interview a well worn Estate Agent and mortgage lender about earnings ratios etc over the decades

simon

even though i rarely agree with dave jones i do resect his willingness to offer responses......i find his absence from this thread is pretty deafening!

Zab

Failure to maintain parity twix wages and home prices is why despite ever more social housing the demand is ever greater and the irony is most people do not want to rent. They are forced into it, are there stats on the decline or otherwise of owner occupiers?

What happened to affordable home ownership in Guernsey ?

The God of greed is worshiped by too many of our past and present politicians above the welfare of those they are supposed to represent.

What really sticks in my craw are the efforts to make this look acceptable and a job well done when we all know it's a crock of "fion". Insulting to peoples intelligence to compound their exploitation.

Pete

What has the current housing situation got to do with this story? As a so-called baby boomer I do not see how we can be held responsible for a situation which began in the mid-eighties when finance industry salaries started to impact on the housing market.

We read what these young ladies have said but we are not privy to what has been said to them to illicit their responses. The agenda behind this article is quite simply to undermine pensions. Well as far as I'm concerned we paid our dues so when we retire we should get what we are due.

Of course we are now in the age when people expect everything for nothing but are not willing to pay for anything. They just don't want to pay their taxes, full stop.

Average Joe

Even the most recent additiona to the Island's workforce quickly realise that only two things in life are certain, Pete.

Death, and Taxes.

This has nothing to do with people wanting to not pay taxes. Taxes are inevitable. Only a fool would presume otherwise in this age. As you paid your dues, so will we pay ours, and as will our children pay theirs.

This is about the Island's future, and making sure that it's protected.

Typical attitude of your era there, I'm afraid. "I paid mine, now you owe me." and "It's not our fault! Finince did it!" whilst knowing full well that by the time it becomes a real issue, it won't be your generation's problem anyway.

It is your generation's fault, I'm afraid. Your generation took, took, took. It allowed Finance to prosper here, it took the high Finance industry salaries and jobs, and it happily allowed the local sustainable industries to fall to the wayside whilst it grew richer. It took the reasonably priced housing, and when there weren't any more houses, it's tradesmen and developers took all the the land and money they could for building more. Before it caused the prices to rocket, of course.

It took, took, and took some more, and be blowed to all those who it left in the dust, because your Generation we're 'alright, Jack.'

But of course, you paid your dues. So now you can just sit back, fold your arms, put on your best Victor Meldrew expression, and let the rest of us deal with your generations mess. Oh, and tell you what, we'll pay your pensions whilst we're at it, why not?

Because after all, only Death and Taxes are certain.

The current generation will have to keep doing one, until the prior generation starts doing the other, ad nauseum, until either the end of time. Or until there's no one left to pay the taxes. THAT is the problem here.

Dave Jones

I have already commented on this issue some time ago on anther thread

Zab

Ref the poor people should cull their pets decree coming out of housing; maybe they should eat them too.

Ellis

He's on holiday. Mentioned he'd be going quiet in one of his last posts.

Dave Jones

Ellis

Thank you for that, I was off island for a few days but have since returned.

Dave Jones

Zab

Perhaps you could indicate to me the correspondence or policy statement that backs up your claim on pets "coming out of housing" or is it something else you have just dreamed up.

Zab

Twice on this thread you have accused me of dreaming things up, I spoke with G.H.A. today and it is indeed the case that people are not allowed on both the GHA and Housing rental waiting list at the same time. Although it is possible to be on the rental housing list and the partial ownership list. Therefore I am correct and it is also the case that someone on the mid to lower States list will see their children grow up and then lose their eligability to States Housing unless they actively worsen their situation to gain more points as they will be constantly leapfrogged by new applicants. Whilst this is going on they are prohibited entry to the GHA list.#

Second point the new pet rules have been notified to tenants.

Dave Jones

First of all Housing has sent NO letters out telling anyone that they should CULL any pets which is what you clearly suggested.

There are rules concerning the ownership of pets in States properties and they are clearly laid out in the tenancy agreement sent to all tenants. These rules have been updated recently and tenants have been properly notified.

There are also rules in the private rental sector and many landlords do not allow tenants to have pets at all.

On the issue of waiting lists.

There are two waiting lists for social housing, one is operated by the Housing Department, the other by the Guernsey Housing Association (GHA). The Housing departments list is for families and pensioners, and to qualify applicants must show that their income falls below a certain level. GHA’s list is for single people of working age and couples without children; but they also accept applications from families and pensioners who have income that is slightly too high for them to get onto the Housing departments list.

While Housing and the GHA operate two waiting lists, 75% of all tenants on every GHA development come directly from the Department’s waiting list. This is part of a nomination arrangement that’s been in place since Day 1.

The remaining 25% of GHA tenants come from their own list and by definition tend to be single people or couples without children, or families earning slightly above Housing’s own limit.

Of course you cannot appear on both lists at the same time but that is precisely because, thanks to the nomination arrangements I have laid out above. GHA properties because of the 75 -25 split can and are allocated to people on both lists. In that sense, the two lists are essentially joint.

With regards to your other point, unless their children were close to leaving school it is highly unlikely that someone could move onto Housing’s waiting list and then be taken off the list before they are housed because they no longer have any dependents. In any case, provided their income was below the relevant limits, a family in this situation would move across to the GHA list as a couple with non-dependent children.

You would need to clarify what you mean by “worsening your situation” before I could comment on the operation of the points system used to position applicants on the waiting list.

CO

Dave Jones

So are you saying that the GHA will house single people with no children?

simon

Dave Jones

Maybe you should consider that your perception is not reality!

Gsyman

Average Joe

Excellent posts, agree wholeheartedly. My three chldren all got MA's and one an additional MSc at Uni and have no thoughts of returing to the Island. Too expensive by far for them, and only finance as a possible job choice. Unfortunate, but that's the way it is...

Dave Jones

CO

I am saying that the GHA can allocate 25% of their properties to anyone they choose who meets their earnings criteria. So the answer is Yes

CO

Thanks Dave for taking the time and trouble to reply. I had incorrectly assumed that single childless people were not eligible. This is something I shall make further enquiries about.

simon

Dave jones

Surely GHA housing is just the consulation prize for those who can no longer afford housing because of the large number of licence holders they have to compete with on the local market?

Dave Jones

Simon

That is your view, it is not the view of the Housing Board or the States as a whole.

simon

Dave Jones

If you wanted my view you could have asked for it rather than assume you know what it is!

Equally have you asked the housing board or the States as a whole? Thought not, so again another assumption!

I put it to you that your perception does not match up to many peoples reality?

Dave Jones

Simon

What on earth are you talking about?

The States as a whole backed the Corporate Housing programme in full, in June last year, another 5 year plan, which included the partnership with the GHA. The Housing department Board put the next five year plan together and support it unanimously. In addition to that I asked the States for a further extension to the Housing Control Law, which allows some of those under licence to occupy local market property for the period of their licence and the States agreed to that extension. That is how I know.

As for asking for your view, I don’t have to, this blog is littered with your views, you gave us your penultimate opinion which I responded to on March 30th at 4:04

In case you have forgotten what it was, I have reproduced it below.

Dave jones

"Surely GHA housing is just the consulation prize for those who can no longer afford housing because of the large number of licence holders they have to compete with on the local market"?

Finally, I am unclear what your comment on perception refers to.

simon

Dave Jones

I asked you a question (the clue was in the questionmark) although i accept it could have been percieved as a statement of my opinion.

Thank you for answering, I dont however accept you can answer for others but that is not really relevant to my isssue more a seperate irritation.

My view is indeed that GHA housing is effect a consolation prize and further to that I believe many states members would accept that (maybe not out loud though a!).In some ways better a consolation than nothing I guess, which may well explain why so many members support it.

On the very needy amongst us I think we as a comunity should be doing far more and that includes on housing too.

Im concerned that housing and the GHA dilute the resourses available to help the most needy amongst us and secondly that people not meeting certain criteria are being failed by our society, our government and your department.

The frustration you sense in my posts Dave comes from what I see as your failure to see the reality of the situation on Guernsey for what it actually is, hence the perception remark!

I think you are guilty of believing you own spin which with your responsibilities is a huge concern for me.

Dave Jones

Simon

Perhaps you could explain how the GHA “dilute resources available to help the most needy”? I don’t understand that comment. Also you are also assuming that you know what States members think. I can only go on the way they vote.

People who don’t meet the criteria for social housing have to access accommodation in the private rental sector I accept that as being the case. Which is why Housing worked closely together with the Social Security department on a policy report that went to the States in February this year? Which had within it a strategy to give more financial help to those on low incomes living in private rental?

So we are well aware at Housing that there are a significant number of people (the needy) who require help with living and accommodation expenses.

We also recognised by supporting SSD’s proposals, that the States needs to do much more for those on low and fixed incomes. So I do see the reality of the situation and I made a very strong speech in support of more help for this section of our community.

The States unfortunately turned it down in the end because they were frightened by the massive costs.

However it will come back to the new States and I am confident it will get a better hearing once States members can see where the funding is coming from.

As for Housing failing these people, I keep repeating and it will be for the last time, that I and my board can only do what we can with the resources available, we would need many tens of millions to house everybody who wanted a property and lots more land. Are you prepared to pay two or three times the levels of taxes you pay now to fund these millions?

Finally it is because I refuse to spin the true situation that you get so angry, I tell it like it is, as I said I have fully supported more being done but whatever the States does, it has to be paid for and it can only come from one source which is the taxpayer.

Pete

Average Joe, your comments about my generation took the high Finance industry salaries and jobs, and happily allowing the local sustainable industries to fall to the wayside shows your age which explains your ignorance of the facts.

The Finance Industry arrived in Guernsey in the wake of the collapse of the Growing industry which was due to Britain entering the EEC. The tourist industry had also suffered a sharp decline a major contributory factor being the privatisation of Sealink which deprived the island of the many British Rail employees who used to take advantage of their cheap fares to come on holiday.

What you call local sustainable industries were at that time with the exception of Tectronics conspicuous by their absence.

At that time we baby boomers were in our mid-thirties and with the exception of those with previous experience in office work were totally unsuitable to work in the Finance Industry. To put it in nutshell Average Joe we were too old with skills which were of no use to the Finance Industry.

Until then the housing market was structured on two levels, the first time buyer’s houses and the second time and final buyers markets.

The first time were of course the cheaper house's then after about 7 to 10 years when you'd paid off so much of your mortgage you could then move to buy a house in the second house market.

This disappeared virtually overnight in the mid-eighties when as I said the Finance Industry salaries impacted on the housing market. And how can I say this, because we were selling our first house for our second at that time.

We'd had one abortive attempt in the early eighties, and then a year later decided to try again. When we went to the Estate Agents we were told to our surprise that they were very few houses in the category we were after as they were being sold as soon as they came onto the market.

When was asked why we were told that they were being sold to all these young people who worked in the Finance Industry, some of whom could go up to a 100,000( we could barely afford a mortgage of 60 after selling our house)the Estate Agent told us with an incredulous look on his face.

You've got the wrong generation Average Joe, the people who got the benefit of the Finance Industry came after us. Use your eyes and look at the people who work in that industry how many sixty year old males will you see.

I have every sympathy for young people today who want to buy their own homes and Dave Jones who is trying to do a good job in a very difficult situation, but don't blame us for it.

kevin

dave jones has helped create his own little demographic time bomb.

hes gleefully booted hundreds of people out of states houses most of whom are on low wages each armed with a letter saying that the states will house them when they retire. Perhaps that's why he wishes to stuff tax payers money into the pockets of fat cat landlords now .

Dave Jones

Kevin

Do you never give up making these inane comments?

First of all several of those who were high earners in States housing have gone into Partial Ownership schemes, or have already secured mortgages for their own properties, so I doubt they will ever see the need to return to Social housing again.

Secondly it will be several years before those people may need to return and in the meantime those homes can be used by people on much lower incomes than those who were asked to move on.

Social Housing is for those in social need and the Housing department does not accept that it is for people who had joint incomes well over £40,000 per year, some even higher.

It has to be remembered we have a finite number of properties, although we are building as many additional homes as we can via the GHA and these homes must be allocated to those on incomes below the threshold set by housing.

Finally there was absolutely no glee in this for anyone and I resent the inference that our staff or the housing board found any glee in any of it, by asking people to vacate this social housing.

We cannot work miracles and we are trying to do a very demanding job in a world where people want the states to provide everything for everybody who wants it.

It simply cannot be done, so it is our task to make sure that those in most need get the most help.

I wish you could have my job for a month and see how you would cope with the same problems we face everyday.

As for the demographic problem being my creation, this is such a stupid comment, all these people will get old wherever they live and there is precious littlie I can do about that.

kevin

deputy jones

simple question what can a couple earn if they have no kids before you ask them to leave thier states house home?

CO

I thought you had to have kids in order to be housed by the States Housing dept?

Dave Jones

Kevin

£524 per week for a couple = £27,284 per year

£785 per week for a family = £ 40,820 per year

These thresholds will rise this year by a sum yet to be determined by the Housing board.

Dave Jones

Co

Not if you are over 65, or have speacial needs.

CO

Ok Dave, thanks for your usual quick reponse. I'm easily confused!

simon

Dave Jones

If we are helping people who can afford to buy part of a property but not helping those who cant afford even to rent a place then in my view we are misdirecting our resources.

Do you agree?

kevin

Deputy Dave Jones,

My earlier post was over the top. I meant no disrespect to the the staff at housing and i do accept that you are carrying out the mandate of the states as a whole when removing people from thier states house homes. i apologise for my earlier post. but...

a couple with an income of £24,255 after tax or £466 pounds per week in Guernsey have got no chance (£200 per week is nothing for rent over here) and i am concerned that we are storing up problems for the future. What controls will be put in place if the states do rent rebates for private tennants?

Dave Jones

Kevin

I understand your frustration, as I said earlier the threshold is being reviewed this year to make sure they keep up with the current housing market. As for the private rental sector, a cap will be put on the allowances for rent. The point is that there will be help available in the future that wasn’t there in the past and as I have said before it should not matter which roof you live under, if you need financial help to live because of your income, then you should get it.

Simon

No I don’t agree, we are at present backing plans put forward by SSD to help those on low incomes wherever they live with income support. It should not matter which housing sector you are in, the help you receive if you need it should be available to everyone, not just those in the social rental sector. The Partial ownership scheme is aimed at anybody who wants to build up some equity in a property that they can use later on to help purchase a property of their own. They pay some in rent and some towards the equity, it is not suitable for everybody but it is another housing option.