Guernsey Press

‘Motoring taxes idea to make GST look better’

A ‘SMOKESCREEN to make GST look better’ is how Guernsey’s Motor Trades Association president Robert Cornelius has described new motoring taxes being suggested as part of an alternative to Policy & Resources’ tax plans.

GMTA president Robert Cornelius. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31785950)

The suggestion is published in what P&R has called option B, which it said is a credible solution to raising revenue if its original tax reforms, including GST, are rejected.

As well as motoring taxes, potential increases in property taxes and further cuts to States spending are being put forward.

‘I think it’s a clever use of some alternatives to show GST in a better light,’ said Mr Cornelius of the proposed additional taxes on drivers.

‘This has been pulled together knowing that people are against it, just like they are against GST.

‘Would a new motor tax be in conjunction with fuel duty or in lieu of fuel duty? It’s a smokescreen.’

But the root cause of the problem was not being addressed, he said, which was understanding what other options there were to look at, including reform of the States.

‘This is just throwing ideas out there that everyone would be horrified by so maybe GST wouldn’t look so bad.’

P&R had previously named three possible sources of additional income from motorists – charges based on distance driven, paid parking and reintroducing a form of motor tax.

Motor tax was effectively done away with 15 years ago, when duty on fuel was introduced.

Paid parking was last debated by the States in 2015 when it was rejected.

But the idea of distance charging is currently under investigation by Environment & Infrastructure and it announced last December that it was reviewing tenders for a vehicle mileage recording pilot scheme.

‘We did receive submissions for the pilot,’ said E&I president Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez.

‘But not all parts of the tender were fulfilled by those responses. We are therefore currently considering the options available to us so that we can move forward with this pilot as soon as possible.’