St Peter Port North by-election candidates' manifestos
The by-election for a St Peter Port North deputy takes place tomorrow. Here, the three candidates – standing for a position made vacant after the death of Deputy Martin Storey in July – set out their objectives. Voting is from 8am-8pm at Beau Sejour and Waitrose Skills Centre at Admiral Park
I AM seeking re-election because I believe I have the experience and skills to help improve the performance of the States.
I was a deputy from 2004 to 2012 and minister of Treasury and Resources from 2008 to 2012.
I was also chairman of the States Strategic Plan Team from 2008 to 2011. My key policies are:
Diversify our economy. We must expand our opportunities outside the finance industry to grow and stabilise our economy and we should start by establishing a university in Guernsey and Alderney. This would be a centre of economic activity in itself, but also a pole for the development of other industries, a provider of educational opportunities for local people and a support for our air and sea links.
Reform our corporate tax system. Zero-10 has left the island with a structural deficit and has not produced the economic growth that its supporters predicted. Most companies doing business here are not paying any local income tax and this is throwing an unfair burden onto the shoulders of the individuals resident in these islands.
Solve the affordable housing crisis. Many people earning an average income in Guernsey would be better off, after tax and social insurance, if they took a similarly paid job in the UK. And that is before the high cost of living in Guernsey is taken into account. While reform of our corporate tax system will enable us to address part of this problem, a major issue is the cost of housing, which is much higher here than the UK average.
This means that some young families are leaving the island to gain the opportunity to buy a home. This trend not only exacerbates the demographic problem facing the island, it is a threat to the survival of our community.
MY NAME is Mike Henderson, I've lived in St Peter Port most of my life. I have no hidden agenda for standing, my main purpose is to look after the residents of St Peter Port and their quality of life.
Given the pressure of greater development and the inevitable increased traffic, pedestrian safety and lack of parking are of great concern; these things really do affect people's lives.
Other priorities are Education, Health, affordable housing and the diversification of our economy and tax base. I would support the retention of four high schools, one being the Grammar School.
I strongly support all efforts to help first-time buyers and the creation of a new Guernsey bank which would help Guernsey people get on to the property ladder.
I would seek to encourage the development of new and existing businesses such as a renewable energy industry to create more employment opportunities that are essential to keep our young people on island.
It is imperative that we must maintain stability and confidence within our finance industry.
I would be against changes in our tax system that would destabilise this vital part of our economy. We must encourage all opportunities to regain, maintain and expand our place in international finance markets.
We know that the demands for health services and care of the elderly will require more resources. To meet these demands without increasing taxes on the individual, the expansion of our economy is essential. Although some increase in population may be necessary, we must use our existing population better, for instance, funding pre-school education so that mothers may be able to return to work earlier. Further assist those, like myself, who wish to work on after retirement, to continue to make a valuable contribution to island life.
I'M STANDING because it's people that matter and we need a Guernsey constitution that puts people first.
Guernsey became wealthy because it kept the States small, which kept taxes low. That attracted business and investment.
The States – the civil service – is now throwing all that away. It has become too big, too powerful, too costly and is out of control. As a result they are doing the wrong thing – taxing everything that moves, instead of aiming to halve their size and reducing taxes.
Investment is moving away, middle- to lower-income people now pay more tax here than they do in England. Many Guernsey people are now getting poorer as a result. The campaign Enough is Enough was formed in protest and the States ignored it.
So the States has become unaccountable, undemocratic, wasteful and, some add, dictatorial.
One of our chief ministers told me that he has no power. For our chief elected deputy to admit this again shows democracy does not work in Guernsey. The tail is wagging the dog.
All of this can easily be solved by a constitution that precisely defines what the States can and can't do.
Guernsey has no constitution, so we, its people, have no defined legal rights. Nearly all civilised countries have constitutions.
A draft Guernsey constitution for discussion has been put through most electors' letter boxes and is also at www.const.gg.
If you read the constitution you'll see so far 51 of Guernsey's problems can be solved permanently this way. And you can add your solutions by emailing email@example.com with improvements.
Then we need Guernsey's voters to vote for it and impose it on the States.
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