Deputies sign up to new charter that will guide their thinking
A GROUP of deputies have signed up to a set of principles - including a belief in small government - that will guide how they will approach politics for the rest of this term.
They say they have general concerns about the direction of the States and its priorities and so have worked on a charter laying out their objectives.
The 11 signed up to 'Charter 2018' so far are: Andrea Dudley-Owen, Peter Ferbrache, Neil Inder, Jan Kuttelwascher, Marc Leadbeater, Paul Le Pelley, Mary Lowe, Carl Meerveld, Joe Mooney, Barry Paint, and Rob Prow.
They have set out the following principles:
Economy - our priority is to support the Bailiwick’s principal industries of finance, construction, tourism, hospitality and retail, to grow their businesses for the benefit of our Bailiwick and its people. A strong, diverse economy and supporting infrastructure are key to the success of every islander. A depleted economy means depleted tax take; resulting in the depletion of public services.
Fiscal conservatism - our aim is for a smaller less intrusive, better organised, more cohesive government; thus reducing the burden of the state on the middle- and lower-income earners.
Enterprise - we acknowledge that enterprise is the back bone of the Bailiwick’s economy. A key area of the government’s role in support of small local businesses, start-ups and enterprise, lies with its buying power. Where possible, by policy and action, we commit to the spend of government resources within the Bailiwick. We have faith in Guernsey talent and want better use of island expertise. We reject the default position to employ “UK experts”. Every pound spent in the island benefits residents. Every pound spent in another country, benefits that country.
Taxation - to encourage individual responsibility in matters of personal wealth and to strive for the reduction of incremental tax increases to feed the size of government and its services. A balanced tax structure that does not squeeze the lower and middle-income earners but allows for comfortable living standards whilst encouraging and enabling business development.
Efficient Government - to seek out “non-governmental” delivery of services where better value can be identified and via commissioning models thus removing unnecessary expenditure. The current political structure of government impedes efficient progress. The operational side of government should be adopting an energised, effective, “can do” culture.
Direct Democracy - to acknowledge the diversity of opinion on important matters. To include and engage with the community on policies that fundamentally affect them. To commit to the use of Information Technology and/or referenda to seek out the views of our islanders on our greatest matters. We believe that democratic engagement with the electorate is a four-year process, not something we conduct four-weeks before the election when we want your vote
Family - to support the family in our modern Guernsey. To respect the rights of married couples whilst respecting the diverse range of personal human relationships.
Environment - to support a sustainable natural and built environment. Environmental responsibility comes at a cost to small islands and environmental efforts and policies need to recognise what we can and cannot do given our lack of scale.
Tradition and Culture - the Bailiwicks culture, our traditions and language have been eroded over the past century and we will commit to keeping alive and celebrating our history and values.