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Happiest place on earth plans ‘rotten at their core’

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OVER-ARCHING policy plans to make Guernsey ‘one of the happiest places to live’ are rotten at their core if they only apply if you have enough money, the chairman of the in-work poverty panel has warned.

In-work poverty panel chairman Deputy Peter Roffey. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 19750500)

Peter Roffey is heading the Scrutiny Management Committee panel, which has been investigating the causes of in-work poverty in recent months.

Having completed a consultation process that has included the Guernsey Housing Association, the Citizens Advice Bureau, douzaines and individuals, the panel has released its interim report today.

The need for more affordable housing, health and childcare is at the centre of its report, as is the call to government to give in-work poverty the priority it deserves.

‘The focus on in-work poverty concentrates attention on people who are doing all the things society asks of them but are still poor,’ he said.

This States has been widely criticised for a lack of action in key areas, and Deputy Roffey said government needed to step up and fulfill its commitment to improving the standard of life for everyone.

‘We all know Guernsey’s financial situation. There is not a lot of money but I think we want to know if the States is serious about tackling in-work poverty,’ he said.

‘We have the Policy & Resource Plan, which has the ambition of making Guernsey the happiest place in the world to live. I don’t remember brackets saying “only if you have the money”.’

‘We will go to the States in the second quarter of next year with specific proposals that we hope will lead to some kind of action.’

Full story in today's Guernsey Press

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