Deputies call for GST to be ‘taken off the table for ever’

FURTHER doubts about whether a goods and services tax will ever be introduced in Guernsey have been raised by some deputies.

Deputy Liam McKenna. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30690221)
Deputy Liam McKenna. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30690221)

The Policy & Resources Committee is already considering delaying the big tax debate to complete a review of corporate tax options.

But following research carried out by the Guernsey Press on the views of all deputies on the issue, a number of noted opponents of GST have questioned further whether a GST should now be taken off the table.

‘Honestly, it was as dead as a dodo when they first brought it to the States,’ said Deputy Marc Leadbeater.

‘Nothing has changed since then.

‘What they have tried to do is target the population with this lacklustre media campaign. The argument has not been made for GST.’

He pointed to a recent Guernsey Press survey of deputies that registered little political support for GST as an example of the case not being made.

He said the ball was now in P&R’s court to decide its next big move.

Deputy David De Lisle said GST was ‘dead on arrival’.

‘But I don’t know if P&R would want to resuscitate that and probably place a few amendments to what they had before – perhaps reducing the GST on certain products.

‘I don’t know, but that is possible to perhaps sweeten the deal for some deputies.’

The local retail sector was not buoyant enough to cope with a GST, he added, not least because of training and systems that would need to be put in place.

Stressing his opposition to tax rises, he said people had ‘had it in the neck’ and that cutting costs across government, addressing the zero-10 regime in light of proposed global tax changes and building new economic growth offered the right path ahead.

Deputy Liam McKenna said Guernsey was a low-tax jurisdiction and any increase would make the island look uncompetitive in the eyes of the world.

He posted a video on Facebook arguing against a GST and said that nearly 20,000 views proved Guernsey did not want the tax.

He said it was time for its supporters to admit defeat and ‘take GST off the table for ever’.

Deputy McKenna called for a trilateral agreement with Jersey and the Isle of Man to cancel the zero-10 tax regime and look again at corporation tax.

‘We are a great island, a tough, resilient community that cannot bear any more “stealth taxes”,’ he said.

‘Let’s now open dialogue with the people of Guernsey and put the cards on the table.

‘I believe we will come up with a great solution, as we have proven over many centuries.’

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