Guernsey Press

Election call if P&R’s tax plan rejected

One of the deputies who is trying to amend Policy & Resources’ tax proposals wants a snap general election this summer if the States fail to agree a plan at this week’s meeting.

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Deputy Charles Parkinson outside the Royal Court ahead of the start of the tax debate. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31728765)

Charles Parkinson said the next election, currently scheduled for June 2025, should be brought forward by two years to give voters the chance to elect an Assembly capable of dealing with a projected deficit of around £100m. a year.

‘It’s my belief that the States will throw out all the amendments and then vote out the original propositions from the Policy & Resources Committee. So we’ll end up with nothing,’ said Deputy Parkinson.

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‘In those circumstances, I’ll be calling for the general election to be brought forward to this summer.’

P&R president Deputy Peter Ferbrache has also speculated about the possibility of the States emerging from days of debate with no agreed tax plan.

Deputy Parkinson said this would indicate the States’ failure to lead the island through significant political challenges.

‘The problem is crystallised by this issue of tax,’ he said.

‘Clearly, this issue is crucial to the future direction of States’ policy. The States is clearly going to be unable to make a decision on this. I’m sure we’ll discover that over the next few days.

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‘In those circumstances, I think we have to trust the public to make a decision on this through a general election.’

Deputy Parkinson said that the next general election would inevitably be dominated by tax and spending, especially if the States fail to agree a plan this week. He added that a plan could not wait until 2025 or beyond, and that an election this year may be the only way to avoid that.

The States can set the date of a general election by simple majority vote, although bringing the election forward would require amending primary legislation through the Privy Council.

Deputy Parkinson has previously called for P&R to resign if it fails to get its tax plan – including 5% GST – approved by the States.