Immigration policy ‘is killing economy’

TOUGH immigration controls in Guernsey have been blamed by multi-millionaire Guy Hands for the island’s struggling economy with a warning that the ‘downward spiral’ would continue.

guyhands

He contrasted the situation with Jersey, whose economy, he said, had rebounded strongly, as a warning for what lies ahead for the UK after Brexit.

Writing in The Independent, the Terra Firma boss, who lives locally, urged ministers to look at Jersey and Guernsey if they want to see the wider economic impact of controls to limit foreign workers to short periods.

But Policy & Resources member Jonathan Le Tocq defended the island’s policies, saying that with limited physical space and resources, a carefully considered approach to population management was absolutely necessary.

Mr Hands said the two Channel Islands had a great deal in common, but it was the big differences in their approach to immigration in recent years which should give UK ministers pause for thought.

‘Guernsey, where I live, has adopted a tough stance. Those coming to work in lower-skilled jobs face very tight restrictions – curbs which are being further toughened. In future, even those who have worked regularly here in the past will find it hard to return,’ he said.

‘These tight controls are already having an impact. Figures published last month confirm the island’s population was lower in March 2016 than three years before with net migration over the past 12 months reaching only 121 after three years of being in the red. It is an outcome to delight those pressing for similar controls in the UK.

‘But the result is that the number of people of working age has fallen and firms are struggling to fill vacancies. Businesses have reduced opening hours and some are being forced to close. New curbs preventing regular workers returning will mean a further loss in skills and experience with the downward spiral looking set to continue.’

He said Jersey had a more open approach.

‘Far from pulling up the drawbridge, net migration in 2015, at 1,500, was at record levels. This follows three years when it added 1,900 to the island’s population. And this is not just about attracting high-worth individuals or those in the professions.

‘Jersey has made it easier, too, for those who work hard and progress at whatever level they start to build a life on the island. They see the benefits of encouraging those with drive and talent to stay rather than having to rely on a very transient workforce.’

There were many different reason why economies grow, he said.

‘But there is nothing I have heard or seen which makes me doubt that immigration has helped Jersey’s recent growth outstrip that of its neighbour. Jersey’s economy has rebounded strongly with GDP growth of two per cent in 2015 following an exceptional four per cent rise – among the very best in Europe – the year before. Guernsey, in comparison, saw its economy grow by 0.4 per cent in 2015 after flat-lining in 2014.

‘Both islands face major problems including how to fill a worrying shortfall in government revenues. But I believe Jersey has a better chance of overcoming these challenges by encouraging those who can contribute to their economy and island life to stay.’

Deputy Le Tocq said that, like many other jurisdictions, Guernsey is facing an ageing demographic. ‘We recognise that these challenges need to be addressed, but just because we might be taking a more cautious approach than some would wish, it doesn’t mean we have got it wrong.  The island has limited physical space and resources, and therefore a carefully considered approach to population management is necessary.

‘With that in mind, the States of Deliberation approved in December 2015 new strategic population policy objectives, more flexible and focused than in the past, which clearly established that the island must have a strong and skilled workforce.

‘The States’ policy is therefore not anti-population growth. The 2015 population objectives, combined with the new population management system, enables strategic growth in the right areas – those which will help strengthen the economy and serve the community.

‘Working with the business community to ensure the population grows in the right areas is crucial to that, and I understand that the population employment advisory panel has been undertaking significant work in that regard, ahead of the new system starting in April.’

Comments for: "Immigration policy ‘is killing economy’"

markB

Maybe Mr Hands is struggling to find decent gardeners to mow his lawns, or the wife's Hotel Group needs more chamber maids. Either way I tend to agree with Deputy Le Toqu, and err on the side of caution.

Chris

I'll translate.

Big business will see their profits fall

Millionaires won't make so much money.

The local plebs should really put up with overpopulation like Hong Kong for his benefit

Hands is ok, he is one of the liberal elite that benefits. He can more anywhere in the world. The locals can't.

Alvin

Oh boy oh boy !!

How absolutely absurd is that !

A few months ago the St Pierre Park advertised for a new General Manager, ( and, as you all know, it belongs to Guy Hands and his wife ), and I applied. The advertisement, which appeared in the GEP, albeit only twice, ( and, to my knowledge, no where else in the hospitality trade media ), specified that preference was to be given to a local, and, of course, for that I qualify.

Having 40 years experience in the hospitality trade, being born and brought up on the island, and having managed hotels in various corners of the world, I thought I would have a pretty good shout at this opportunity. But no... I was given the run around, actually having to phone their UK office for an interview and I realized that the whole thing was a stitch up just so they could appoint someone from the UK and from within their own company !

Which they did.

Mr Hands... you are talking a load of tosh !!!

Island Wide Voting

You know what they say Mr H

There's always a luxury yacht in the morning

Prospero

Evening IWV (and Donkey Boiler)

Quite - seconded !

This chap is exactly the sort of chap that Locate Guernsey get all moist over.

And his views are exactly the sort of views they bring with them - I should know...because I have met and dealt with some. Shudder.

Runs with Scissors

Prospero

Post of the day! Well done sir.

The contempt that the likes of Mr Hands and his ilk hold for us 'locals' is barely concealed most of the time.

Who of us has not been branded a lazy local, thick, inbred, and any manner of other derogatory terms. They just PREFER to recruit from the non-local population for the following reasons:

In lower paid work such as retail, hospitality etc. they can pay minimum wage, or below that if they have staff accommodation to deduct from wages, and if they can get overseas workers here, away from friends or families, well what else are they going to do other than work all the shifts they can get their hands on?

Ditto the above with the building trade. Cheap labour only guys coming over to work on sites, paying no stamp if they can get away with it, and certainly no tax as they likely avoid being here too long, or don't register.

Even in professional environments with locally qualified staff, they would still prefer to recruit from outside of the Island. Sometimes for the same reasons as above, they'll do nothing but work until there 3 / 5 / 7 year licence is up - often with no family or friends to distract them.

The other main reason is that they are constantly looking for those with skills and experience that can only be obtained from outside the Island. Oh, we'd really like someone from our London office who has been working with the software for a few months already. We can't be bothered training any of you locals up.

And the very top jobs, only seem to ever go to those from outside of the Island, at all levels and in all walks of life. Go figure eh. Not one of us Guerns smashes through the Guernsey glass ceiling eh. Must be cos we're all too lazy to break through. Or too thick. I forget. Now, where's my ormering hook, I'm taking the afternoon off because it's a low tide today.

Donkey Boiler

The wealthy, who wsh to import an endess supply of cheap labour, frequently compare Guernsey to Jersey, as do some of our dimmer politicians. They all omit to remember that Guernsey's density of population is already much higher than Jersey. It is easy, when living in fabulous luxury in the islands' most expensive homes in areas that will never see further development, to pontificate that the plebs should endure further erosion of their quality life in order to make Mr Hands richer still.

Runs with Scissors

Very well said DB.

The draft island development plan only reinforces the idea that us plebs can live down in the town, and the north, rammed into our few square miles... whilst Mr Hands and his cohort enjoy peace, space and tranquility in their over sized over hyped over developed mansions.

I can't wait until Leale's Yard goes in. Why stop at eight stories, let's start with a Hong Kong style mega scraper right away. Start as we mean to go on...

LisaV

To play devil's advocate....

The new Population Management policy will have a big effect on the lower paid roles within tourism, residential and nursing care.

These are roles that, generally, local people do not want to take as they are not particularly well paid.

It will be hard to attract new people to these roles with the new conditions.

Runs with Scissors

No LisaV

This is a myth that has been pedalled for a few decades now, and lapped up by those who don't really see what happened to locals in lower paid jobs.

Locals happily working in growing, tourism, retail and hospitality were eased out of these jobs due to the wages not keeping up with the cost of living on the Island when it boomed in the 70's, 80's and beyond. They simply could not afford to carry on doing them, even if they enjoyed them.

When a finance industry is inflicted on an Island of limited resources and limited land it isn't long before the local population realise they too need to work in a bank if they stand any chance of their family finances keeping up with the cost of living and cost of housing.

Also, if you think that local people were not passed over for lower paid work in favour of overseas workers then you are incorrect. In the 1980's my mother was turned down for a job because she wouldn't be able to speak Portuguese with her colleagues. Fast forward to the year 2000 and I myself was turned down for a job because I don't speak Latvian.

Rokayne

Good reply - I remember many locals taking the silver service waiting course at the college for their hotel careers.

My parents were growers and I only ever remember their employing locals.

There are some locals who are "employment challenged" but they are in the tiny minority.

Beanjar

The more millionaire businessmen bleat about this, the happier I am. These people are only interested in stuffing the island with cheap labour for them to exploit. They don't give a damn about the fall-out in terms of overpopulation, social consequences, strain on services, cost of housing etc. I have no problem with immigration from genuinely skilled people whose services we need. But we need to set the bar a lot higher than it is currently.

We have enough unskilled people, so much so that we have hundreds on long-term unemployment and 'sickness' benefits. Yes, I know many of them supposedly "don't want to work" and employers would prefer keen foreigners. That may be true, but it is a separate issue which needs to be addressed by creating a clear gap between maximum benefits and minimum wages.

Guernseymale

If we are comparing Guernsey to Jersey ,lets remember , Jersey has a lot more unemployment and a far bigger black hole,also Jersey has a bigger problem with traffic and is on its way to overpopulation due to giving in to people like that man above.

Rokayne

I am so disappointed in Mr Hands.

He has really let the outsiders' side down by not understanding the island he calls home - it's not its home because he doesn't understand who he's sharing it with.

I was proud he'd chosen to live here - not anymore. I'd rather he learned and integrated or leave.

Yes, he's been a successful (and sometimes unsuccessful) businessman and he uses this island for tax advantages- his wife and children, as far as I am are aware, refuse to come here and are still U.K. resident - correct me if I am wrong. But what he hasn't done - which is clear from this arroagant and ignorant letter to the Independent- is integrated. He doesn't understand the islanders he has come to love amongst. From this silly letter I have come to the conclusion that he has kept himself apart, and probably in his eyes "above". If so he's made a huge mistake and won't be made to feel welcome for much longer unless he integrates.

GM

Some good and valid comments on here, but all are correct, including Guy Hands.

Yes, there are very valid reasons why locals have not taken jobs in the currently lower paid industry sectors, but if they had done so then we would have still needed imported labour to fill the other jobs that locals have taken instead (mostly in finance).

If, for example, the hospitality sector had employed locals on a higher wage than cheaper imported labour, then it is very likely that we would have an even smaller tourism industry than we do now because the profit margins would be a lot lower, and prices couldn't be raised without island holidays being even more unaffordable than they are.

It's the same the world over. Cheaper inmigrant labour fills the jobs which demand long and unsociable working hours because locals often don't need to do that work because there are higher paid jobs with less sociable hours available to locals.

But Guy Hands is right. The island is facing a problem. Numerous hotels and restaurants and really going to struggle with the new population rules, as is nursing and retail, and we will all notice the difference. Never mind being fearful about a rise in population - even retaining what we have now is going to be a big challenge.

We need more immigration by people of working age over the next 10-20 years just do that there is enough social insurance contributions being generated to pay our State pensions as the demographic timebomb takes its inevitable course. Otherwise we will get our State pensions but will be suffering probably 50% tax in what we receive. There is no other way to beat the demographic timebomb. In 20 years time each and every one of us, if still alive, will obviously be 20 years older than we are today!

Instead of moaning about the past, let's look at the future. We have to embrace limited and well-controlled immigration growth. I go to Jersey a lot and I would say that Jersey has got it wrong by going too far. Nearly 10,000 Eastern Europeans are now there, that's 10% of the population, and they don't have the same housing market control system as us, meaning that the immigrants can all live in bedsit and boarding houses if they are willing to do so. Net result? Lots of immigrant workers but a huge social security bill which has spiralled out of control, and they can't be turfed out (until Brexit takes effect at least) because they are EU citizens.

In 20 years time our current 60-70 year olds (around 15% of the current population!) will be living in retirement homes, and will be barely seen outside. They won't be clogging our roads or filling our schools or spending in our shops. They will be living 90% of their lives behind closed doors. If we import 5,000 younger workers (and please try to think how many will be needed to staff the retirement homes to look after our then elderly population!) then we will barely notice the difference. Geriatric care will be a huge "industry sector" for the island. It's absolutely guaranteed. I would suggest that investing in retirement homes will be a very attractive investment opportunity here.

The big challenge is when to turn on the big immigration tap. Right here and right now it needs to be quite modest immigration. In another 5 years time it will need to be a fair bit higher and then it will really have to grow to make sure that the island retains its functionality. We can bleat and moan that we don't want it, but it's unavoidable and we need to accept that. We just have to manage the pace of it and put adequate controls in (which Jersey has not done - the impact on their schools currently with very large numbers of pupils for whom English is not their first language) is staggering. That problem barely exists here. So no, Jersey hasn't got it right either. There's a happy medium which we haven't found yet here, and nor have Jersey, but they are now far better placed than us to deal with their own demographic timebomb - albeit it they are having to pay quite a price for it.

Understandably, we are worried here about large scale immigration. We fear extra traffic on our roads, pressure on our school capacity, house prices rising further due to increased demand, and all we can think of is increased demand and strain on what already exists. But nobody is taking into account that our ageing population just won't be putting pressure on these resources. Once that concept is grasped, then controlled immigration growth becomes a far more palatable scenario.

markB

Thanks GM a level headed post again, maybe some of the fears or images w of immigration, is of people coming here with no job, no where to live, no money, Sitting around, gangs on corners as in Europe etc. Do it needs vetting.

Donkey Boiler

GM

You give a reasoned reply to other posts above. However, don't you also agree that the problem of demographics will always exist, and get progressively and proportionately larger as the population increases? The younger immigrants that we allow in, slowly at first and then in larger numbers as you suggest will all become the older generation that need supporting, and they will no doubt have even longer life spans. By trying to solve the problem as you suggest, surely we just augment the problem further down the line? I don't claim to know the answer, but flooding this already over populated island with people, just to end up with the same problems we have now, and many more caused by that over population, seems to be a reckless path to follow. Maybe we should all be looking at how other parts of the world deal with their ageing population, and take more responsibility for the senior members of our own families ourselves?

Wings

Excellent, well-balanced post GM.

Refreshing to see in these columns

Rokayne

I agree with much of what GM says - but as a local I am worried about the overpopulation in the island. Since I was born the size of the population has increased by over 30% and by GM's argument that increase should mean we now have sufficient numbers to maintain services on the island. All I can see that a further increase in population will do is to create a bigger problem than we have now - as Roffey says, it will be kicking the can down the road for the next generation to deal with.

Perhaps we need to change our values and consider that the younger generations need to accept that it is their responsibility to look after their elderly relatives as those relatives looked after them in their youth (other than, perhaps, the severely ill who need specialist support 24hours a day). Yes, times have changed and as there are childminders there may need to be those who support the careers but I do think society needs to be a little less self centered and take more responsibility for itself.

GM

What everybody here is completely

overlooking is the dependency ratio. This is the ratio of working population to non-working population. Why is this relevant? It's because the social insurance contributions of the working population currently pay for the social insurance benefits, including the state pension, for everyone who is not working and therefore not contributing.

This ratio is going to go through the floor in 20 years time because of the impact of the baby boomer generation from just after World War 2. Our population is very heavily made up of people born between 1945 and 1960. They are currently between 57 and 72. In 20 years time all of them will be retired and non-contributing. They will be "takers" from the social insurance pot and, based on the current population and population trends, the number of people contributing to the social insurance pot will have halved. Put simply, the social insurance pot will be receiving nowhere near enough from workers to pay the state pensions and other benefits of those drawing from the pot. It is completely unsustainable. We simply have to import more people to balance that equation, otherwise the working population will see 50% of their wages disappear in social insurance costs to pay for everyone else.

We have no choice but to have some controlled immigration of working age people. The island will fall apart without it.

Beanjar

This is dangerous nonsense. What happens when all those low paid foreign workers settle here and have children? They start to move from being benefits generators to being benefits receivers. Who do you think is in receipt of a huge chunk of the UK's benefits bill? Children and grandchildren of previous immigrants, that's who. And the only solution wealthy business people can think of is to keep stuffing in more to (maybe) help pay for it all. It's like a pyramid selling scam - sheer madness which is not sustainable.

GM

Beanjar

Unless we can convince locals to procreate at around treble the rate of the past 25 years we will never sustain our elderly population going forward.

But you have made a very valid point. The aim must be to have a high percentage of future immigrants coming here for no more than 5 years at a time, creating a steady turnover. Ideally we would attract young, single or married-with-no-children couples who will be happy to move on after 5 years. Yes, we must also continue to attract the sort of young professional who we will always need, and have always needed, and we will always be exposed to young, single workers meeting and settling down with local partners, which we clearly will not, cannot and indeed should not ever stop.

Nobody should be suggesting an open door "come without restriction" policy, but at the same time we cannot ban immigration altogether. If we tried to do that then Guernsey will spiral towards being completely screwed within 25 years with no hope of funding its future. Think of Alderney's problems today and magnify them 50-fold. Those who would like Guernsey to return to how it was before the Second World War would soon get their wish. No jobs for our children and grandchildren and the exodus becomes a stampede.

Terry Le Monde

What happens when the foreign workers have children? They grow up, hopefully stay, work and pay enough tax for my pension.

Beanjar

So you're never going to allow them, or their dependents, to ever claim any benefits, just to contribute? Utterly ludicrous. You and GM are living in La La land.

GM

Beanjar

I've covered this in my post lower down in this thread. You're not grasping the benefits of the safety valves that the housing laws bring. They need a job to stay here - and that's how it should be.

Beanjar

I see, you're not going to allow any of them to marry a local and/or have kids then?

I belong to a local club with around 35 members aged 20-70. 6 of them are men who are married to non-local women who came here to work and never went back. Obviously most have now stopped work to have children and have, presumably, been replaced by others.

All those men are working and to the best of my knowledge are supporting their families. But how is this a net contribution to the tax and DSS take? In fact, the women will now be making virtually no contribution, the men are paying less, child benefits have kicked in and obviously they will receive a wide range of benefits for probably the next 18 years.

Beanjar

Sorry, above posted in wrong place.

Wings

If you take a look at the new Population Management Law you will find that that is exactly what it sets out to achieve.

Short-term permits are only renewable up to 5 years

Rokayne

GM - if the population has increased by over 30% since I was born why aren't there enough immigrants to look after the population from the period when I was born?

GM

Rockayne

That's due to the age demographics. Population may have risen over 30% but lots of younger islanders have left and very few older islanders have left. As a result, the dependency ratio has swung badly against us and it's got a lot further to go.

The number of young families who have left, and the percentage of university graduates who don't return to the island has been soaring over the past decade. By contrast, the baby boomer generation who have benefited massively from the surge in house price values over the past 40 years can cash in and live very comfortably in their retirement with no need to leave. They will remain and they will stop contributing to the economy (the income tax revenue from the low interest rates on their savings is negligible).

100% Donkey

Guy hands

Comparing this Island to Jersey is ridiculous - almost as ridiculous as writing a letter to The Independent criticising your home island.

The reasons for Brexit were not financial, they were political, but like many he just doesn't get it. I don't often support Jonathan Le Tocq but he as my support on this one. Guernsey is an Island home, not a business park. All these moaners are only interested in one thing, their own wallets !!

This Island is over populated as it is and faces Brexit challenges regardless of our population policies. If you don't like our way of doing things Mr. Hands, best you move to Jersey eh ???

alexandra

This statement shows that he is not interested in the local people and how relaxing the rules loses control that you need.

Rumours keep circulating that wealthy millionaire's are being given licences when they should be buying open market properties.

Housing did a great job in stoping people bucking the system.

alexandra

It is good to see so many people that would not be fooled by somebody that wants to shaft a good system that did work.

The late Dave Jones was wonderful in making people stick to the rules and disappointed many companies trying to pull the wool over the departments eyes.

Alvin's post should be investigated as things seem to be lax in policing a perfectly good system.

GSYcow

I don't really care if they are making money or not.. I care about GUERNSEY and my rights that are being removed by the Population Management Law. Read it and you will see that as of April the Civil servants will be able to CONTROL us and our lives all even more... through housing control. In the Soviet era the Communists did the same! The Civil Servants want to control IMMIGRATION by restricting our Property Rights and appointing more civil servant as "housing inspectors" no doubt on 100k each to make sure we are complying! Welcome to the Police State of Guernsey.

Are any of you aware of who can live in your house and who now will NOT...

YOUR BROTHER or Sister will not be able to live with you if they don't have a local licence!!! So you had better help them book their ticket on Condor... if it is running..

https://gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=105186&p=0

As Locals we only have the blue boxes in the diagram.. not much is it.

Wings

Cobblers. Get someone who can read to read it for you.

Don Tramp

Whilst we wish to attract wealth here via our Open Market we do not want cheap labour from abroad. Lets have a liveable decent minimum wage of £15 per hour.

Esprit

The problem is not the current system, although not perfect, it is the new system coming in later this year.

Instead of working here for 9 months then going home for 3, they will be able to work here for 12 months but then will not be able to return for 12 months. This will make us unattractive to guest workers and will also make it difficult for employers as it takes a fair time to train up a good staff member. Very few will want to return after going home for a year, so the turnover will be high. There will also be accommodation problems for the guest workers for the same reasons.

Those who say "good riddance" have not considered who will replace them. There are no unemployed locals to fill the 2000+ vacancies that will be left, so many businesses could end up going to the wall.

If nothing is done, this will not be a good place to be retired in a decade or two. We are already considering the possibility of having to sell up and leave when I am no longer able to work.

RAG

What is it with the GP. Today's headline is not posted here.

To summarise, two deputies, Roffey and Fallaise disagree with Mr Hands.

Two Deputies who have never had a proper job. Draw your own conclusions.

Donkey Boiler

What about the extended families of immigrant workers? Don't the new rules allow non economically active parents and grandparents to join their offspring? This increases the population for no economic benefit to the island, but does put significant extra strain on services. A young couple could in theory bring both sets of parents (4), and all surviving grandparents with them.

GM

Donkey Boiler

This is indeed an absurd implication of the new laws.

Island Wide Voting

I haven't been keeping up with the latest changes on this subject but isn't Donkey Boiler's post exactly what got retired deputies Guille and Dudley-Owen so animated?

Certainly the early draft of the so called 'Uncle Tom Cobley and all' immigration law suggested that any member of a licence holder's extended family would be made welcome

Castelian

For essential workers hat is the same in the current law, nothing has changed there. People on short term licences cannot have their family, which is the same in the new Law too, so not sure what you are getting at there.

@Wings - no-one actually reads what the proposals are, they just like to moan!

Beanjar

If this ludicrous idea of stuffing the island with cheap labour as a means of solving the pensions crisis works, why does it not work in the UK? Estimates there show that unbridled EU migration is costing £30 Billion per year. The reason is that overall, they are in low paid jobs which are effectively subsidised by the tax-payer one way or another. Even when working, the amount of tax and SS contributions they contribute is negligible. Once they settle and have families they become major beneficiaries of the system.

This idea the Guernsey can buck that trend because the guest workers might work a fixed term contract and meekly return to Romania, Latvia, Ukraine or wherever is absolute nonsense. I know a vast many people who came here for a fixed term but are now here permanently, so do you. When I asked the late lamented Dave Jones what the actual statistics were, he said the States don't even keep figures!! Is this a government you can trust to 'mastermind' such a risky immigration strategy? I certainly don't.

markB

Good point beanjar, and with some wet lefties in goverment wanting to give social security benefits out like sweets to new comers it would get out of hand.

We need to consider the immigration policy carefully.

GM

Beanjar

Are you quite sure? Without doubt there are lots of EU immigrants who have turned up in the UK without a job (because they don't need one to come in), and without anywhere to stay (ditto), but the vast majority actually come to work and do work which people in the UK don't want to do. Been to London lately? What percentage of staff in hotels and restaurants are from the UK? Less than 5%. How important is the visitor economy to London? Massive. And it's not just London. Immigrant workers are essential to hotels and restaurants all over the UK, albeit not to the sane extent as in London.

Here in Guernsey we should only be allowing in guest workers if they have a job, and for which they either need a local housing licence tied to the job or open market accommodation supplied by the employer or subsidised by their employer. If their job

goes then they would be either living illegally in local market accommodation or would have to find another job to enable them to afford alternative open market accommodation. We have extra control mechanisms which simply don't exist in the UK.

Don't forget also that the EU immigration problem in the UK was driven by Blair and Brown attracting immigrants to live in Tory marginal voting districts and to pay them generous benefits to be sure of their votes at the election. Well that worked out well, didn't it?!

Our situation is very different to the UK. It is also very different to Jersey where 10,000 Eastern Europeans are able to stay there and claim benefits precisely BECAUSE they don't have a housing law control system like ours. Their immigrants are therefore able to stay without a job, and they can't be thrown out because they are EU citizens. Ours are EU citizens but our housing laws, tied to jobs, prevent them from staying here to claim it.

Beanjar

I see, you're not going to allow any of them to marry a local and/or have kids then?

I belong to a local club with around 35 members aged 20-70. 6 of them are men who are married to non-local women who came here to work and never went back. Obviously most have now stopped work to have children and have, presumably, been replaced by others.

All those men are working and to the best of my knowledge are supporting their families. But how is this a net contribution to the tax and DSS take? In fact, the women will now be making virtually no contribution, the men are paying less, child benefits have kicked in and obviously they will receive a wide range of benefits for probably the next 18 years.

GM

Beanjar

Where have I said that I wouldn't allow them to marry a local and have kids? Of course they can. We couldn't and certainly shouldn't stop or discourage that. Why do you think I'm suggesting that? But if they didn't partner with locals then they wouldn't be able to stay beyond 5 years unless they could somehow afford open market, which few if any would be able to do.

The families that you refer to - why would they all be on benefits? Child benefit allowances are surely a very different issue to unemployment and other benefits. And we need children to keep being produced - they are our future workforce who will fill jobs and earn wages from which future taxes and future social insurance contributions will be earned. Or are you somehow insinuating that they will all be benefit scroungers?

Prospero

Good morning GM

I have been following your various posts upon this thread and have to say that they are spot on, especially the crucial point regarding dependency ratio.

Apart from cost imperatives, there will also the very real problem regarding how many of us in our dotage are able to cope physically.

A good friend of mine had until recently, a father in his mid 90's who needed a cohort of carers, he has a mother in her early 90's who now needs similar, a mother-in-law in her 90's also similar and an Aunt also.

Maybe 15 or so persons engaged in looking after these valiant souls,

An extreme situation at the moment granted - but scope forward 20 years and we will have 1,000's of persons in their 70's 80's and 90's and who on earth is going to look after them ?

It is being reported (BBC) that in the wake of Brexit, immigration from the EU is slowing / declining which for Brexiteers (at the moment at least ) is good news. So in the near future it can hardly be described as "unbridled" and £30bn ? hmmm.

However - the agricultural sector (you make important reference to the hospitality sector) in the UK is hugely dependant on migrant workers who now (it seems) will avoid the UK as they feel that they are unwanted now let alone the future. This is going to have huge consequences for foodstuff costs, foodstuff quality, food security and food choices.

If the UK is now at "full employment" (government sources) who will pick the sprouts ?

My worry is that that situation could be replicated here - just substitute us for the sprouts (though if the UK supply chain costs for food spiral upwards just add "transport costs" to those costs we currently pay and then see what a packet of sprouts cost). Plus GST by then of course.

If Brexit inhibits / halts migration into the UK might it then bleed across to here ? If so who will perform the inelegant requirements associated with looking after elderly people ?

Are we expecting 100's of locals to study and then seek careers in social care ? I can't see the appeal myself.

As you say (GM) residential care will be a boom sector - but who will be ensuring that the care is of the highest quality ? We hear regular horror stories concerning the abuse and ill-treatment of elderly persons in private (UK) residential homes.

Controlled and vetted immigration (if we can attract it !) can be the only solution - but who will control and vet it ?

More Civil Servants ?

So Brexiteers - when some burly Turkish gentleman is bundling you into a cold shower at 3pm prior to putting you to bed for the next 16 hours at least you will have the comfort of knowing you were Right.

markB

Prospero - but don't forget to add into the equation that people will not only be living longer but will also be working longer too, which will contribute more to their pension pot.

GM

Prospero

Thanks for your comments. You make some very valid points and I will respond in detail this evening.

MarkB

A good point. I suspect that 65-70 year olds in 20 years time could well be employed looking after the 80+ year olds.

GM

Prospero

As well as lots of extra retirement homes (which must indeed be properly regulated and monitored), we will of course require lots of immigrant nurses unless we can "grow our own". Whether we try to grow our own or to import them, the nursing profession will need to be made more attractive by paying enough wages to make it a viable career. Without it we really will be in trouble.

There is no reason why we wouldn't be able to grant work permits to EU citizens post-Brexit, in the same way that we do already for non-EU immigrants from the U.S., South Africa, Australia, Philippines etc.

Prospero

Good morning

Mark B - yes, you are correct but you are assuming there will be enough work around for all 70 year olds.

Many in the building trade will not be able to work even if there is a building trade.

Presumably the finance sector would have to GROW in order to accommodate persons working until they are 70 PLUS people joining the work stream.

With Brexit likely to syphon of 100's of current FS jobs and Fintech also likely to eradicate much more of the back office employment I do not see much being contributed by the 65-70 year olds in earnings / tax terms.

GM

Agree re nurses but...can you really see the mediocrity within the Assembly and CS getting their bottoms in gear to organise this ?

Same with the notion of the unemployed 50-60 year olds being trained to look after the 60-90 year olds - great in theory but ...again can you see that being deployed by the chancers currently tasked with any form of solution(s) ?

Likewise, non-EU citizen nurses - possible language / cultural differences plus a whole new raft of CS's to administer ?

And of course it is not simply old age - it is the dementia, flu outbreaks, the lasting effects of prostrate cancer etc

Residential homes should be built NOW - just as important as schools when you think about it.

It would give a much needed fillip to the building trade.

But we know what will be done......nothing....except build a runway !!!!!

markB

well if there's no work, and the law is you have to work till you are 70 than Social Security will be busy .... I think I will go buy myself 6" of rope.

reading your posts the future doesn't look very bright

Prospero

Good Morning Mark B

I'm afraid that the future does look bleak - this effectively is why populism has taken hold in the US and probably will in Europe.

I am hoping to work until I am 70 (I am in my late 50's)

However - 3 of my 4 children have left home leaving one late teen - I am now agonising whether to down shift which means selling the house we renovated, love and brought our children up in.

The idea being we would have cash put aside to enable us to pay for residential care in our old age.

What will the kids inherit - what indeed !

These are the decisions facing 100's of families that do not have CS pensions or live in social housing.

Not to sell the family home shortly will could mean being asset rich, cash poor - and with house prices likely to fall (and they are doing so - I see that from my desk) how much value will the asset sustain.

And what about those hard working 20 and 30 year olds trying desperately to get on the ladder. Heart breaking.

We have to try be more optimistic but tough times ahead I fear.

But not for Mr Hands, I dare say. He will even have a new runway bought for him (by us) soon.

markB

Prospero -Yes what you say is very true, its crossed my mind a lot recently. It makes me want to get hold of Gavin and Crew and put a rocket where the "sun don't shine" . .. that's if rockets and fireworks haven't been band already!!

Prospero

Afternoon Mark

To be fair a lot of what will happen to this island will be a result of external factors.

But, like you I expect, I do not have any faith in P&R at all and not much more in the Assembly as a whole.

Chin up though !

McTavish

Beanjar, where do you get your figure of EU migrants costing £30Bn a year? UKIP's website?

Most credible sources agree that EU migrants contribute more to the U.K. Exchequer than they take out.

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21631076-rather-lot-according-new-piece-research-what-have-immigrants-ever-done-us

Beanjar

No, not from UKIP or Neo-Nazi Weekly, Daily Express actually:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/771863/Pensions-EU-migration-economic-catastrophe-cost-Brexit

Runs with Scissors

Am surprised you spotted that article among all the Princess Di coverage.

:)

markB

Or the "worst weather ever on the way". reports

McTavish

Beanjar,

I said "credible sources". Neither hysterically anti-EU Daily Express nor the hysterically anti-EU "think tank" Global Britain qualify on that score.

Beanjar

Well, I'm not going to start reading The Guardian or Socialist Worker just to please you.

McTavish

Wouldn't read that rubbish. I was thinking more like the FT or the Economist.

Insider

Is Mr. Hands prepared to give up some of his vast property to build extra homes that will be needed for all these extra people?

Intelligent Local

If we need to do a radical re-think on Guernsey's working population (NOT on the ageing problem), then we also need to think about the WAY we employ people.

I am exceptionally frustrated in my efforts to find work that fits within the specific "needs" I have. I am a true local i.e. can trace ancestry back hundreds of years. I am also decently educated and with a professional qualification. However, I also have fairly serious health problems and ageing parents.

Try finding a job where I can guarantee I will work a certain number of hours each month, but with complete flexibility on how they are achieved? No way. I also know several other locals with similar situations - with caring for grandchildren, and/or elderly parents/other commitments.

There are PLENTY of people already HERE in Guernsey, that CAN work - and work well - but employers won't offer flexibility in HOW they take on employees. If somehow, some way, companies were to be encouraged in this regard there would be a much larger "pool" of prospective talent, without having to bring more people in to this overcrowded island.

Rupert Walthumstow

But businesses have needs as well as you do. You need complete flexibility to do x hours work per month. They need someone who they know if they ask to do something within the next three days then it will get done. Or if there is a meeting that needs to be attended, you will attend. It doesn't sound like you're offering that.

I agree there are many jobs that could be a lot more flexible than they are, but it's unlikely they are going to go from "you need to work 9-5 five days a week" to "yeah whatever as long as you work 160 hours a month do it whenever" in one step, if at all.

Have you thought about starting your own business? You could do whatever it is that you do at your own pace and be contracted in by other businesses?