Guernsey Press

‘We are still listening’ - P&R

FURTHER independent analysis is being launched into corporate tax options as part of the tax review.

Deputy Mark Helyar, treasury lead for Policy & Resources Committee. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30503998)

But Policy & Resources treasury lead Mark Helyar has warned that the corporate tax regime must remain competitive, or the island would risk losing business and jobs to other jurisdictions.

‘Guernsey already raises a similar proportion of its revenues in tax from businesses as other jurisdictions, but we know islanders and States members want to see more detail,’ he said.

‘We also know there are some claims out there that sound attractive at face value, but lack substance.

'Having some detailed independent work to separate out which options are plausible and which are not, can only help this crucial discussion about how we safeguard

the future of essential services.’

The committee has been engaging with States members, industry and the wider community on the tax review.

The engagement has resulted in many questions being raised on the role of corporate tax, the evolving offshore tax landscape, including global changes being driven by the OECD, and whether it can play a larger part in any solution while ensuring that Guernsey’s finance sector remains competitive and internationally compliant.

The committee is expecting additional revenues to come from taxes on business as part of the overall tax reforms that will be needed to meet the forecast shortfall of some £85m. per year.

But its current assumption is that an additional £10m.

will come from corporate taxes.

Deputy Helyar said all options were being thoroughly investigated, and he wanted to give the community confidence that this work was being done, though he continued to back a goods and services tax and social security reforms as the best solution.

‘I promised last year that we would leave no stone unturned before committing to any final recommendations in relation to tax changes,' he said.

‘We are still listening and examining every other possible option to see how we can minimise the impact of raising additional revenues on the public and the wider economy.'

Deputy Helyar said this included a review of population, seeking to maximise economic activity in the population, improving efficiency through public service reform, and looking at all other options for cutting costs across all States committees.