A reminder to employ locally - Housing admin fees increase

HOUSING control administration fees will rise in the new year.

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Director of Housing Control Esther Ingrouille

HOUSING control administration fees will rise in the new year.

The increases will affect the processing of employment-related right to work documents and open market dwelling inspections.

Director of housing control Esther Ingrouille said it would also be a reminder for employers to employ locally.

‘The increase for 2014 results from our annual review to ensure that the fees represent the true cost of processing those applications where a fee is levied.

‘It’s important to make clear, however, that there is still no charge for processing applications for right to work documents not linked to employment,’ she said.

‘Announcing the new fees also provides an opportunity to remind employers, particularly those bringing guest workers to the island under short-term housing licences, that they should continue to make every effort to employ locally, and that the States can offer help and support to make this happen.’

Comments for: "A reminder to employ locally - Housing admin fees increase"

Mr Smarty Pants

I wish local employers would; Then I wouldn't have to live next to noisy guest workers coming in at all hours of the night, having parties at outrageous times and leaving their yapping mongrels unattended for most of the day! Just an observation, not an opinion...

Darren

thus leaving Guernsey with just local people who never make any noise after 11pm, get drunk and cause problems etc, behave in such a manner that they think the sun shines out of their proverbial

yeah right

Victor Meldrew

..and without these guest workers who are willing to work all hours,you wouldn't have the opportunity to wine and dine in the manner to which you've become accustomed, retire to a nursing home,or a multitude of other aspects of life in this island...Get real !

Mr Smarty Pants

Strangely enough I never had anti-social problems before Housing, in their infinite wisdom, let guest workers live in the local market house attached to mine. 'Wine and dine' Victor? Chance would be a fine thing. All I ask is for a quiet'ish life for my wife and children. So unless you'd like to live next to loud, inconsiderate boorish people you'd think a little more before imparting your pearls of wisdom 'Darren' and 'Victor'.

Missed the point

They aren't disputing that the people who live next to you are loud, they're saying that the fact that they aren't local is entirely irrelevant. A noisy, alcoholic, local family could just have easily have moved in next to you. Would you be begging for a foreigner instead were that the case?

Moriarty

Surely you should complain to the owner of the property about their tenants, its not a licence issue

Mr Smarty Pants

Owner of the property lives somewhere in England (don't know where) and I've got no idea which letting agency manages the property on their behalf.

In general guest workers aren't allowed to inhabit local market property but there are various ways to get around it.

Blondie Brown

I suspect that the problem is because it is a multiple occupancy house. Lots of individuals thrown together. If they are younger, it will likely turn into a party house. It think that's what Mr Smarty Pants is trying to say.

My former employer had flats that bank employees from the UK lived in and it was "party central" for UK and local staff alike. Fortunately there were no neighbours.

Jon

The States should be looking at their own HR department then!

BadDonkey

The achilles heal for this States hypocrisy is there HSSD/Agency private coalition . They need to stop employing bad nurses from overseas and focus on training our younger generations in better duty of care. Combined with a push from education for grants to students that wish to partake in nursing, should be pushed.

James

I take it you are aware of the HSSD nursing training programme?

And you know how many suitable applications it receives for each place? And the drop-out rate? And the five year retention rate? And how this supply system compares to the overall nursing recruitment need per year?

Because if you don't, then your post comes across as a little bit ill-informed and prejudiced. Let's hope you don't get ill and need treatment from one of those dreadful foreigners who have come over here to look after our sick people.

BadDonkey

You are a litle behind the times. Local nurses are being offered redundancy packages , once accepted they are being replaced with "Agency" foreign nurses at double the pay rate. Ill informed , I think not. More like well informed I am afraid. Duty of care is currently suffering, or did you forget about the HSSD GP article on that this year.?

BadDonkey

By the way James, you obviously do not work in Healthcare, please do try to get a clue on facts , before addressing it with rhetoric.

James

You can't see my email address which makes my gravatar (the GP can, of course).

And you don't know where I work.

Let's just say that the GP realises which of the two of us works in health care.

nursie

Oh dear Bad Donkey, this Island has some very good overseas nurses - I have lived here for over 6 years looking after your Elderly and have met good nurses from all manner of places. Locally trained too!

Posting insults as you have is absolutely disgraceful.

We choose to come here, work hard, get paid and day after day we hear this godawful rant about us not being a ruddy local, by bigots.

There is an international shortage of nurses, get over it. And whilst you are at it get over yourself.

p4ul0

Nursie

Don't worry about Mad Donkey he/she is a bit of a racist judging by their previous posts.

However I am afraid he/she won't be able to get over it anytime soon.

When my partner was very ill and in PEH for 3 months the medical staff were brilliant.I would say 60% at least were incomers but all the staff at the PEH have my upmost respect and gratitude they do a great job.

cyril serbant

oh Bad Donkey do you work in healthcare?

I only ask because you are talking utter nonsense about HSSDs use of agency nurses.

geezerboy

how many non locals working in housing, miss ingrouille?, or could you answer this one mr jones

BadDonkey

Hypocrisy is the way of politics I am afraid. My question would be how many Foreigners have "Non essential" positions under the constraints of the housing mandate ?

the barron

ok so dose this mean that when I hear on the radio about buying local and shopping local that the same people should employ local because as far as I know these people do not employ local making them hypocrites and if you car save money using the net leaves you better in pocket to make donations so where dose that leave us ?

Oh dearie me

I just wonder in what pool are you going to trawl for "local" workers who actually want to turn up to do the job? From personal experience, I would much rather recruit someone who I know will give 100 per cent, rather than some slackers I have tried to help with jobs in the past. Yes, I want to give my fellow Guernsey people a go, but first they need to grow a decent work ethic, one which at the moment at least, is lacking,

knjgsy

I believe that there is probably a very big pool of locals out there who went away to find good job opportunities with decent employers, who probably would love to come back to Guernsey to work and live, if they could afford to. They would probably each bring back a partner who is a good worker, too!! After many years of working locally, I realised that this is a good pool of people that are our best potential resource, particularly University graduates. Yes we have a pool of lousy lazy workers here, but I guess, so do the places that the guest-workers come from, they are the ones who don't get off their butts and try to make their fortune elsewhere. I have been through a period where I worked for a few firms who were taking on skilled locals, making life difficult for them, then dumping them after a year. [This was when you had to work for two years before you could claim unfair dismissal]. I can well imagine that they went running to Housing begging for licences to bring outsiders in because they "couldn't find the locals". Why else do what they were doing? Fraudsters!! Also, so many incomers for "essential" jobs who have no local connections prove to be people who can't cut the mustard in the Big Wide World and hope for an easy life in a 'small pond'? How many employers who moan about 'lazy locals' are really the bad bosses that locals avoid? You can generalise all day, it solves nothing.

Not all slackers

There is a pool of local people that are not slackers - sadly in Guernsey it's who you know that gets you the job ... And minimum wage that is a joke £3 an hour currently being paid they get away with it as the weekly salary is set if this fair? hoping someone on here can advise

Observer

In the financial services sector, we should be looking at quality of staff rather than where they come from. This will, unfortunately, often mean that we do employ non locally qualified people, but that is because Guernsey needs to compete with other jurisdictions and it can only do so if the quality of its financial services professionals (and professionals in supporting roles such as lawyers and accountants) is at the very highest level. The Housing department, I think, recognises this to its credit, but I don't think it does enough to encourage the best quality people to stay. It encourages companies to train up locals but it is hard to justify the investment when there is no guarantee that those locals will remain loyal to the company who trained and invested in them.

This is also, although I am guessing to an extent, probably true for other professionals such as teachers, doctors and nurses - let's try and keep the best ones rather than only permitting them to stay 5 years and then kicking them out.

As for the service industry, whilst our Eastern European friends are very hardworking, their interpersonal skills aren't great and I don't understand why more young locals aren't taking jobs in this sector. However without the guest workers, I don't see how many of the jobs that we hate - cleaning for example - would get done and I am sure that many cleaning agencies rely on Latvian guest workers. This also keeps the bills down as I am sure their wages are less than the wages that a local would expect.

Election Issues

Observer @ 10.17

"As for the service industries....I don't understand why more young locals aren't taking jobs in this sector"

I am sure that many young locals are doing just that and should be encouraged to as well.

Surely local students can be trained to become teachers, nurses and doctors? Perhaps schools should encourage students to take up training in these professions so these young people could return to their island home to work.

"In the financial services sector, we should be looking at quality of staff....this will, unfortunately, often mean that we do employ non locally qualified people...Guernsey needs to compete...quality of it's financial service professionals (..and lawyers and accountants) is at the very highest level"

I wouldn't be to sure about writing off the talents of local young people on this island at all. They will be the employees needed in the future and many young people would rise to the challenge of having the opportunity to learn such skills.

Our young students at schools in Guernsey need the best possible education service they can get to start them on their way.....which ever route they take.

There are probably many local people who are working away from the island in all sorts of jobs who would jump at the chance to return home.

Can they afford to with house prices being so high? Would these local people be given a relocation package to help them return??

Blondie

I worked for one of the Big Four banks and non local staff would be shipped over because they are cheaper.

An officer grade staff member could be paid £20k and put in a bank flat rather than paying £28k. There was a social insurance and tax saving, as well as pension saving. The added bonus was that if the staff member wasn't up to standard, they could be sent home.

The three year licences would run out and then the next person would come over, earning slightly less than the last.

We also had the added problem that we couldnt get local staff - because the private banks would pay more.

islander

Lets be fair.Guernsey people do want to work.

Give them some incentive and drive to go to work.

There are local people out of work who earned a good wage until made redundant through firms financial problems and not the workers fault.

These people are looking for jobs to match their previous earnings and not minium wages.

Why go to work when unemployment benefits can be far better than the minium wages for some people.

Local people would love to work if the businesses on this island were more attractive and less attractive to cheap labour[imported].

More Taxation

Yet another Director of "this, that and the other" department, adding to the wage bill or indirect tax burden. Why do we need so many "directors" - we always used to manage without. It simply adds to the already top-heavy civil service!

Simon V

I would love to employ locals returning to the Island after having gained experience , knowledge and more importantly learned some top techniques world wide.

Unfortunately under Dave Jones et all new regime, locals who are away from the island for over five years are to be made stateless by the Government thus requiring a "permit" to return home.

So other professionals born in Guernsey like nurses ,teachers,bankers and Chefs would also have their birth rights rejected.

Who honestly has the right to preclude a Guernsey mans return and is it really in the best interest of the Island ? I think not.

Guest workers that work in Guernsey are not made stateless by their country of birth when they work abroad. We could learn a lot from those countries !

Dave Jones

Simon V

These are not my new rules, i just happen to be on the working party this new regime has been passed by the States, that is 47 elected members of the island parliament.

I opposed some of them but was unsusessful in that opposition, I will try again when they come back to the states in due course.

Simon V

David

Fair play to you,heard you on the radio this morning re TRP and am delighted to observe the Ronseal approach ! Ie you do what it says on the tin.

A man a man, a word a word - other Deputies would do well to follow your example.

Lost in translation

Simon V, not sure what you are on about that if someone goes away for five years they cannot come back? At the moment if you are local you can come and go as you please.

Not sure why you keen on about birth right, even the UK has said being born there is not a guarentee to stay there...it stops people coming over pregnant and then giving birth so that they can claim residency!

Simon V

Lost in translation

I'm on about loosing existing privileges under the new pop &mig regime .

Not just the time it takes to qualify as a local 14yrs apparently

Or that only a genuine holiday maker should be allowed to stay in an open Market hotel and then only for a period up to 3months

But also the fact after a period of over five years off the island you will loose that" qualification."or nationality you will be stateless and subject to a permit,get to the back of the line there ,it's taking nine months to issue all these bloney permits.

There's a number of rights we currently enjoy that are being taken away in other words.

Unless things change.

Now I don't mind things changing for the better as that would be a positive thing and an improvement on things. I sure as he'll do not want to see things change for the worse and Guernsey introduce legislation that discriminates against the locals.

Terry Le Monde

Simon where does the population regime proposal mention anything about being away for 5 years? If an individual has lived here for 14 years they can come back anytime. Yes they'll need a permit but so will all of us who are working- just like we have now in one form of other. No idea where the 'stateless' bit comes from?? Correct me if I've missed something.

Terry Langlois

Simon

There is nothing in the current law, nor the new proposals, which means that a locally qualified resident loses the right to return if they are away from the island for 5 years. Once you qualify, you remain qualified for life.

Cheese

Simon why would you only employ locals returning to the Island?

Why not employ locals already here?

Simon V

Well we do employ locals here and they have been brilliant and continue to be .we also employ guest workers and they are also bringing in invaluable high standards ,work practice and experience.

The point I was making was in response to the article where we are encouraged to employ locally by the housing authority.

It's ironic that under the new pop and mig regime a permit will have to be issued for a returning local if they have been off island for five years or more gaining invaluable worldwide knowledge.

For instance Chef Bougourd furthering his career and gaining invaluable experience hands on working in Thailand,Hong Kong,Australia,New Zealand would be subject to a permit which might be given ,but it might very well not.

Moriarty

The states should give out bursaries to people that go away to train in the jobs we have a shortages in, like teachers, finance etc, or companies could do the same when they train someone, and you can get them to sign to say that if they do not return in a certain period after Uni, or leave before certain period if its a company, then they have to pay the money back. I know some companies in Guernsey where people only go there to do the training and then move to another job as they get more money...now that first company should check why this is happening and look at their pay structure...but you can see why they would get fed up of training people that then leave

islander

A guernsey person should come and go when it pleases them.No restrictions to natives of this island.

Employ local wherever you can.

Open up a seperate office for job seekers instead of joining in with benefit seekers watching tv at wheadon house.

Simon V

Or at least return once qualified as a local.

Yes we do have to watch out for benefit tourism as well.

wish i was local

what I want to know, and perhaps Dave Jones can help with this: what happens to those people who have been here a number of years on licence (say over 7 but do not have a 15 year licence) who are building rights but not yet enough to qualify under the old law, whilst the new law has been voted upon but not drafted? The situation may occur where such people are being dealt with under the old law and made to leave whereas someone who is only 2 years into say a 7 year licence may then have more chance of staying because they will be so close to the magic 8 years when the new law comes in in a few years time. What happens to those in the "transitional phase"?!!!

Dave Jones

IWIWL

That is a good question.

The transitional period will throw up hundreds of different personal scenarios and they will have to be looked at on a case by case basis, many will be clear cut and as licence periods come to end those periods will be enforced.

It is important for everybody to remember that the current Housing Control Law will remain the law right up until the new permit regime receives Royal assent and we are still some way off from that being the case.

Clearly I cannot and will not get involved in lots of individual cases of what if? Or try and second guess what the possible outcome might be in any particular case. Other than to repeat that the transitional period will be a very difficult period where everybody’s legitimate rights will be respected under the law.

wish i was local

oh and just an observation, Esther looks like myla kunis in oz: the great and powerful!

Royston Gauno

How many non-essential politicians local or otherwise can we find jobs for. Local or open market apartheid has no place in Guernsey.

A.J.

Change for changes sake.Not good. Change to improve, yes I'll consider that.But then what is meant by 'to improve? The devil is always in the detail.This new law is unlikely to affect me at my age but,and it's a Big but,I am very concerned about the future of my Grandchildren and Great grandchildren,

Worms

I dont think the States realises that it could be biting off far more than it will be able to chew! If these proposals go through, I am sure that the law will be challenged through the European Court of Human Rights. Then we will really see the can full of worms blown completely open - that sounds messy, and it will be!

Dave Jones

All the new legislation will be Human Rights compliant.

However as section 2 of Article 8 points out, any Government /Authority does have a right to interfere with peoples article 8 rights for the following reasons.

SECTION 2 Article 8

There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right EXCEPT such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society.

In the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country,

For the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

zab

Seems to me that this "Population law" is deemed by some to need to be non discriminatory but what people want is a immigration law like everywhere else that does put the population first and by nature is discriminatory.

These proposals like the Housing laws are trying to tackle the problem from the wrong direction and therefore doomed to failure to the cost of Les Guernesiais and the Island environment.

Election Issues

Article 8 is very broad and has wide ranging implications. Public authorities may only interfere with someone's private life where they have the legal authority to do so.

Article 8 covers a vast range of issues and subjects...including telephone tapping, search warrants etc etc

A human right is a universal right ..of being a human being.

Fundamental rights are those rights of being a citizen. Fundamental rights are rights that differentiate a citizen from a resident or a visitor. They are the basic rights necessary for existence as a member of a particular place.

I am not comfortable with these proposals.

The Human Rights Law is about respecting and fostering the convention rights in everything a public authority does...it provides a new basis for the protection of fundamental rights of every citizen.

Article 8..every effort must be made to INTERPRET legislation in accordance with Convention rights. If there is more than one INTERPRETATION of a provision..the one that is compatible must be adopted.

Dave Jones

Election issues

It is the courts quite rightly who will decide when these rights are interfered with by the ruling authorities and the authority in question has to show valid reason why a persons Artical 8 rights should be set aside in the wider interests of he community or not.

So what you and I might think is irelavent and that is what the courts are for.

wish I was local

Dave Jones: the problem is, as ever, that the Housing Department will not state what their policies are in relation to anything which makes it extremely worrying for those who have been here a significant period on licence and thus have built their lives here and have a legitimate expectation of being able to remain.

There must be internal policies (whether delivered by way of email, memo, or orally) as to basic matters such as, as a broad brush approach, what percentage of the qualifying period on an essential or compassionate basis someone has to have completed given the voting in respect of the new law whereby the department will then be likely to grant a licence. However, they will not reveal what those policies are.

In this day and age where the department has to interpret the law in accordance with the ECHR, it is shameful and in my view not human rights compliant, that such policies are not made publicly available since how can anyone properly put their case for being able to remain if they do not know what the policies are?

I expect there will be many court challenges in the coming years given the lack of transparency in the 'transitional' phase since my understanding is that the Department will try to refuse as many applications as possible first time around in this period in the hope of getting rid of those who can't afford the complex legal challenge.

Hardly fair

Dave Jones

wish I was local

The policies as far as licence periods go are very clear and laid out in writing to the applicant at the time of granting the licence.

For instance it will tell the recipient the terms and conditions of the Housing Licence together with making it clear how long the licence is valid for.

In addition there will be a clear statement at the bottom of the correspondence accompanying the licence, stating that the Licence holder should have no expectation of the licence being extended or renewed beyond the licence period granted. So I don’t know how much clearer we can be in that regard.

As to other policies it is difficult when family circumstances change and appeals are made to have a single black and white policy, everybody’s individual circumstances are different and the department will review the case on it merits and hand down a decision that is defendable in law.

Compassionate licences are granted, again depending on the circumstances and the amount of time people need to qualify in any period under the licence is also clearly laid out.

As I have said in a previous post there will be no magic quick fix over the transition period, the licences periods granted will be observed right up until the new permit system becomes law, if people are hoping for some sort of blanket amnesty then I fear they will be disappointed.

It is not within our gift to give such a thing as that can only be a decision of the States and to my knowledge they have not done so.

It is not shameful as you put it, You are asking the department to do something that has not yet been finally agreed by the States, which is the detail of the transitional arrangements, so we have no idea until that detail has been finalised what periods might be waived as the new law comes into being.

Finally the department has always in recent times had to interpret the law in accordance with the ECHR.

So all our decisions are HR compliant, as we check with our legal advisors before decision letters are sent out, given that all Housing Control decisions are appealable under the law

Wish I was local

Thank you for the reply Mr Jones.

I am not talking about the terms on which the licence is granted but rather, the internal policies which exist (which are not made known because every time you ask the Department what their policy is on the telephone they won't reveal it - i.e. they won't even tell you as regards TRP what the salary band is for a 3 habitable room property!) in relation to the percentage of qualification period required before a licence will be given.

They have other internal policies in relation to various sections of the finance industry which again, they refuse to reveal. So how, I ask, can someone make an application fairly and put representations to the Department (other than on appeal) as to how they fit or do not fit (but the Department should discount that fact or give it less weight) into such policies?!

It will be very interesting to see, as matters progress and there are no doubt numerous legal challenges, if in fact such policies come out of the woodwork as and when the Court orders them to be disclosed given the your dodging the question as to whether or not such policies actually exist.

What the law requires in my view is transparency. Yes, each case will be looked at on its merits and I agree it's not a case of applying in blanket form a policy but as those policies exist and are viewed by the Department as guidelines or a starting point from which they make their (quite frankly life changing) decisions, they should be publicly available so there is an equality of arms rather than draconian powers in the hands of the Department. It's a real case of David and Goliath.

Dave Jones

WIWL

We have been clear from the outset that the new Population Management regime needs to be transparent and easy to understand, that is because we recognise that the Housing Control Law is a very complex piece of legislation and people’s lives, and how they fit under the Law, can be very complicated also!

In fact, the guiding principles of the new regime, as agreed by the States in June (which you can read in the resolutions here: http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=83453&p=0 ) include that the new regime should aim to be “transparent in its policies, procedures and rules in order that the public understands how and why decisions are made.”

There is more commentary about the difficulties that are encountered as a result of the complexity of the current Law in Section 2 of Billet XI (June 2013), and it is because of these very imperfections that change is needed.

Until then, the fundamental policies that underpin decisions on essential and compassionate licences taken under the Housing Control Law are designed to support the States’ Population Policy and are set out in the States Strategic Plan, which you can access here: http://www.gov.gg/ssp .

However I reiterate what I said earlier, and that is that every case is and has to be considered on its merits, and policies can and will be deviated from when there is legal justification for doing so.

Election Issues

Deputy Jones

Thanks for link.

The new population management regime should aim to be...enable the States to manage the size and 'makeup' of the island's population..What does makeup mean?

Why 8 years to have an Established Residence Permit?

Why 14 years for a Permanent Residence Permit?

Residence Permits (family connections) for spouse, parents, parents in law. children, grandchildren?

Local market accommodation...a residence permit?

The new regime will be driven by policies set by the States?

As soon as a 'non local' is allowed in, they can bring their whole family as well...so if we let one in ..we let dozens in?

Our island is a small size...continued population growth may promote economic growth but can this continue forever?

Article 8 needs to be looked at carefully as there are concerns about 'family life' that needs to be expressed in a more balanced way.

In the UK, Article 8 is creating serious problems. Decisions by the Courts can be unfortunate in their interpretation of Article 8(or other ECHR provisions).....but the real problem is the ECHR itself.

Whatever domestic law is in place to modify the effects of Article 8, it will always be subject to the over riding determination of the European Court itself. It will always be an avenue for a disgruntled individual to pursue an adverse finding by the courts...so will effectively counter any domestic legal provision found incompatible with the Convention.

The real problems I have with these proposals.... are the relocation packages(rent and mortgage subsidies)which will entice the 'non local' to work and live here. These relocation packages are from some of the taxes paid by the 'local' people.

I have a problem with the fact that a 'local' person will be in direct competition with 'non local' people for the same homes on Local Market but the ' non local' person has a relocation package to help them buy or rent this home paid for by some of the taxes paid for by the 'local' who is looking to buy the same home.

This is discrimination.

Will this fuel house prices making the situation on Guernsey worse for everybody but especially local first time buyers?

islander

I am a true Guernseyman.I am one of not to many left.

Maybe the last census will give an estimated count of imported migrants into the island.

How many 15 year licences have been issued and been allowed to become permament residents?

I would expect business owners who employ staff for the economy of the island would automatically qualify for permament residency.

If a business cannot opperate without local labour then these businesses should not be granted a licence to set up in this island.

I would expect our States to visit supermarkets and encourage management to employ local residents without bringing in unskilled imported labour.

Dave Jones

Islander

Census figures only give the estimated number of people in a certain place at a certain time on a certain date.

They do not give nationalities, only numbers.

15 year licences are given to those people who the island needs and they are those in professions that add real benefit either in the Islands public services or to the Islands economy.

In order to get a 15 year licence you have to be in a senior position in that profession. It also gives those granted a 15 year licence permanent residency in the island should they serve the full term of the licence.

You can also progress to a 15 year licence through promotion to a senior post but you will need to apply to the department

to vary the term of your orginal licence.

The number of long term licences given has increased over the years as the economy has grown. The numbers applied for has decreased of late as the economy has contracted and has always been thus.

Having said that, a remarkable number of people who had 15 ear licences leave Guernsey for other well paid jobs and at that point of course the licence falls and they have no automatic right to return.

Also people who loose their jobs, their licence will cease at that point. There have been several 15 year licence holders who have left in recent years and two that come immediately to mind were the heads of two schools in Guernsey for instance.

On your point of business setting up I agree with you in one regard, If we had some entrepreneur saying to us give me 10 Vergees of land and I will employ a 1,000 people we would have to say thanks but no thanks as the vast majority of those people would have to be imported as we have very low unemployment on the island.

On the other hand a couple settled in Guernsey and started a spectacle business 30 odd years ago and now employ nearly 600 people by far the vast majority being local people. As for the retail sector it simply could not function without imported labour you have seen recently C&E’s estimate that there are 4,000 jobs in retail in Guernsey and we have 400 people out of work, you do the maths yourself.

The supermarkets have set up training programmes in order to employ as many local people as they can get. I can tell you employing people under licence is not cheap and if they can get local people they will employ them.

Finally, the finance sector employ about 7,700 people and it has around 400 essential licences which help to generate over 40% of this islands income so in that regard those licences are fantastic value for money.