Focus on the key issues – St Pier
GUERNSEY’S senior politician yesterday urged his political colleagues to focus on the key issues as they enter their final year of this term in order to make the most positive impact.
As the States prepares to hand over the reins to a new Assembly, the president of the Policy & Resources Committee, Gavin St Pier, said members had to concentrate on the important matters.
‘This Assembly has one last chance to influence the allocation of policy resources,’ he said.
Deputy St Pier’s speech focused on two priorities – in-work poverty and climate change.
On in-work poverty he outlined how the Guernsey Community Foundation would be commissioning research on people living in financial hardship in Guernsey.
The focus would be on ‘generational poverty’, which is defined as a family having lived in poverty for at least two generations, as opposed to situational poverty which is regarded more as a temporary setback.
Before a raft of amendments were debated on the matter of climate change, Deputy St Pier said the States was alive to the pressing need to minimise carbon emissions and reduce environmental impact.
He said the island was already ahead on the important issue, and he proposed that a climate action plan should be drawn up as the proper way to tackle it.
‘If the island is to respond responsibly to the existential crisis that is climate change, it must plan to do so and prioritise the allocation of its resources accordingly.
‘The Future Guernsey Plan gives the Assembly that opportunity.’
Reflecting on the previous 12 months, Deputy St Pier was upbeat about the progress made.
‘This has included Brexit planning and legislation, the extension of Guernsey’s territorial seas, progressing the extension of the UK’s membership to the World Trade Organisation to Guernsey, the States of Guernsey economic strategy, the proposals to modernise the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, transport connectivity and contingency planning, the submission to the UK on the extension of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the carers’ action plan, the review of the marriage law, and a considerable number of other pieces of other legislation have also been passed.’
The speech also contained a warning that financial pressures would continue in 2020 and that there would be no ‘easy choices’ in finding the balance between revenue and funding for public services.