Deputies want freeze on waste charge increases

GUERNSEY’S waste charges will be frozen while a full review of the funding model is undertaken, if a move led by Deputy Gavin St Pier succeeds.

Deputy Gavin St Pier. (28926287)
Deputy Gavin St Pier. (28926287)

The former chief minister, along with Deputy Lyndon Trott, has submitted an annulment motion to be debated by the States in December.

It comes after an announcement last week that waste prices would rise in January, with the fixed rate charge going up £5 to £90, while 90 litre black bag stickers will rise from £2.50 to £2.70 and 50 litre bag stickers go up from £1.40 to £1.50 each.

Deputy St Pier said the current scheme was not working, because although a home recycled more and cut down their waste, their charges were still going up. He called for a fresh approach to funding: ‘The modelling for the scheme has clearly proved to be wrong, as people are not producing as much waste as anticipated,’ he said.

‘The government needs to go away and rethink the model.’

In 2019, the waste strategy recorded an operating deficit of £1.4m. as the amount of rubbish produced was much lower than expected. The States’ Trading and Supervisory Board has said it wanted to avoid sharp price rises and it would break-even over a 20-year period.

Deputy St Pier noted that the Budget, released on Monday, had taken into account that people were struggling, so indirect tax increases had been kept in line with inflation. ‘But this sticks out like a sore thumb, with a greater increase of 8%,’ he said.

‘That seems to be not the same as Policy & Resources’ approach to other burdens.’

He said allowing the increase to go ahead would not even solve the existing problem for the waste funding model. ‘In reality this is a sticking plaster,’ he said.

Given the position by many recently-elected deputies that they did not want to see tax increases, he was hopeful that the annulment would get widespread support.

Deputy St Pier stood for the position of president of The States’ Trading Supervisory Board last month, but lost out to Deputy Peter Roffey.

STSB has been contacted for comment.

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