‘I am disappointed Chief Pleas doesn’t engage with local businesses’
ENGAGEMENT between Sark Chief Pleas and the island’s businesses must improve, Seigneur Christopher Beaumont has said.
Last week the island’s economy and ways to rejuvenate it were discussed at an open event hosted by the island’s Chamber of Commerce. Members made suggestions for the future, including changes that could be made to make the island more economically independent.
‘I am disappointed that Chief Pleas doesn’t engage with the local business community,’ said Mr Beaumont.
‘People in business want to make money but the government has no interest in whether they make money because it has no material effect on whether they can provide their service.’
There is no income tax in Sark and the government is instead funded by property tax and
personal tax, as well as duty on tobacco and alcohol.
It was suggested that a business tax be introduced, as is the case in Guernsey and Jersey, although calls are currently being made for a reform of Guernsey’s corporate tax system.
‘It was just put forward as an idea. People don’t like to pay taxes but if the economy of Sark booms then Sark won’t benefit [from the tax take],’ said Mr Beaumont.
Sark does not have its own company register, which was suggested at the meeting as something worth exploring.
‘At the moment we pay money to the registry in Guernsey. Sark companies shouldn’t have to pay Guernsey to be registered.’
Improving the island’s online presence through an Amazon-like marketplace for individual traders and an island-wide clean-up to rid public spaces of abandoned vehicles was also among the possibilities discussed.