Tag "Chamber of Commerce"

What would opposition stand for?

IN A major speech – the first half of which was published in these pages yesterday – to the Chamber of Commerce the president of Policy & Resources concluded by issuing a call to arms. He said that the present system for electing 38 independent-minded States members inevitably led to a fragmented government and had to go. However, without party politics, any island-wide system would be a disaster, he said, as the electorate struggled to identify enough deputies they wanted to vote for.

Concerns should be answerable

A REAL nervousness is apparent in those behind the new population management regime. They fear it being hijacked at this late stage, six years after the work began on replacing what is a toothless system when it comes to population control. When professional bodies such as the Chamber of Commerce and Confederation of Guernsey Industry speak up, as they have done in the last week, deputies tend to take note.

Chamber under fire over population regime claims

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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE has been accused of making ‘inaccurate claims’ about the new population regime as the Home Affairs president warns about a ‘world where alternative facts are the norm’.

Population growth is a balancing act

IN NOVEMBER 2015 we wrote to the Guernsey Press outlining our concerns regarding calls from the IOD for the island’s population to be permitted to increase to around 70,000 people. Now we see the same arguments being made by the Chamber of Commerce, only now they want it to rise to perhaps 90,000. As the arguments remain the same, perhaps we might be forgiven if we remind members of both organisations of a few simple truths. We said then that trying to resolve the demographic ‘riddle’ by increasing population would be a mistake. We offered the view that this was comparable with those on a sinking ship inviting yet more passengers on board to make bailing that bit easier. We said we should not make the mistake of thinking one can alter part of the economic puzzle in isolation without creating a domino effect elsewhere.

Arrivals figures are actually worse than they appear

I REFER to the report in the Guernsey Press on 2 August concerning an 18% fall in sea passengers. Mike Hopkins and Paul Luxon will be thankful that the report did not focus on the differences in arrival numbers for 2016 compared with 2014 when the Weymouth route and two vessels were running. For example, if you compare 2014 and 2015 you will notice that there were 35,977 less sea arrivals year on year. If you now add today’s news of further falls, year to date, of 30,922, the real picture of what is happening to Guernsey’s sea arrivals (and Guernsey tourism) since the introduction of the Liberation becomes apparent.

Cutting the cost not the quality

THE size and cost of the public sector has long been a bugbear of States critics, including this newspaper. Despite assurances by government that it runs a tight ship compared to other jurisdictions the FTP savings process left staff costs, the States’ biggest expenditure, unscathed. Even in the last five years, as ministers repeatedly warned islanders that belts needed to be come in by several notches, States pay swelled from 51.7% of total revenue spend to the latest figure of 53.3%. In 2015, that amounted to £213.7m., up by £10.6m. or 5.2% year on year.