Guernsey Press

Tax debate 'an opportunity to give Guernsey the future it deserves', says chief minister

Policy & Resources president Peter Ferbrache admitted yesterday ‘we’re desperate’ as his committee’s tax-raising plans face what appears to be inevitable defeat in the States over the next few days.

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Policy & Resources president Deputy Peter Ferbrache. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31718385)

But Deputy Ferbrache said he and political colleagues were not ‘desperate’ to win the day, instead desperate to secure a future for the island.

‘We’re not desperate to win this debate for the sake of it,’ he writes in today’s newspaper on page 14.

‘We’re not desperate to sacrifice our political reputations for an unpopular new tax. We are however desperate to avoid a future where the government, which provides some of the most fundamental services that many of us couldn’t do without, can no longer afford to fulfil its purpose. We’re desperate not to leave the next generation with unsolvable financial problems, both on an individual level and as a community.’

  • Listen: Simon De La Rue and Matt Fallaize take a final look at what we can expect from the tax debate in our 'Shorthand States' preview

Deputy Ferbrache said his committee wanted the island to continue to be the uniquely special place to live and work that it has been throughout the past decades.

‘So I will go into this debate standing by the plan that I believe gives us the best chance of doing that,’ he said, and hoped that all political colleagues would do the same, however they voted.

‘This feels like a political battle that we enter today, but really it is an opportunity to give Guernsey the future it deserves. That’s what we were elected to do.’

The P&R tax plan involves reform of the social security and income tax systems, and seeks to raise revenue from introducing a 5% goods and services tax to fill a black hole in States finances estimated to reach £100m. within a few years. It has been strongly opposed by the public and it seems that very few deputies will support it this week.

  • Read Deputy Peter Ferbrache's letter in full — alongside more coverage of the GST debate — in Wednesday's Guernsey Press