Guernsey Press

Amendments call for food, charities to be GST-exempt

MAKING food and charities exempt from GST and introducing a new proportional property tax are among the three new amendments to the Tax Review.

Deputy John Gollop has put forward two amendments seeking to exempt food and charities if the States votes in favour of a goods and services tax.. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31690926)

While not necessary supporting the implementation of GST, Deputies John Gollop and Aidan Matthews have proposed amendments which they would like to see go through in case the States approves it.

Deputy Gollop has submitted two amendments, which include making GST exempt on all food, and to make food, clothes and books sold by locally-registered charities exempt from additional taxes.

He said that this would help public acceptance of tax reform, protect food shops and pressurised household incomes, and protect the third sector.

Deputy Gollop has also proposed an increase in personal income tax allowance of £5,525. That would put it at the same level of allowance as Jersey, which also collects a 5% GST rate and gives a personal allowance in £18,550 in compensation.

Deputy Matthews has seconded both of Deputy Gollop’s amendments.

‘I am not supporting GST, but even if it goes in, it would mean it doesn’t go on food,’ he said.

‘In a time of an increasing cost-of-living, it is wrong to charge more for food.

‘Increasing personal allowance is another potential way to help those of lower income and I am happy to support Deputy Gollop’s amendments.’

His own amendment, seconded by Deputy Gollop, proposes to exchange tax on real property with a proportional property tax, which he believes would tax property assets held by individuals more fairly and would introduce greater potential for revenue collection.

There would be higher property tax rates for homes that are unoccupied or used as second homes that could increase the available supply of housing units to the market for primary residences, increasing the number of residents and taxpayers on the island.

The larger property tax values could be far more effective at discouraging owners from leaving homes empty or derelict.

‘The current TRP is based on area of a property, but that may not always reflect correctly,’ said Deputy Matthews.

‘It would answer the question about how else we can raise revenue. I’m not convinced we need to raise as much as P&R say we do, but it is a much fairer way of taxing.’