Tax decision kicked down the road as States reject GST

The ‘can’ of tax reform and goods and services tax was kicked down the road, almost certainly through to the next general election in 2025, after States members last night failed to agree any of the five options to raise more money to fund public services and deal with the island’s looming ‘black hole’.

(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31816174)
(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31816174)

Fifteen members supported the proposal including GST, which was lost, and the closest vote came on Deputy Heidi Soulsby’s ‘Fairer Alternative’ option, which was declared lost, having been tied 20-20, even after a recount.

‘A lot of them didn’t have the courage,’ said Policy & Resources president Peter Ferbrache. ‘I’m thoroughly fed up.’

He said that his committee, after licking its wounds next week, might be set to try to make changes through the next Budget.

  • Watch: Deputy Peter Ferbrache gives his reaction following Friday night's vote

‘People were saying it was the right thing to do, but not the right time. I don’t understand that, it’s never going to be the right time.’

Deputy Soulsby accepted that the States had done some ‘can-kicking’ by approving none of the options for the first stage of reform but all of the secondary measures.

‘We nearly got there. We need to see where we go from here,’ she said.

‘I don’t think this makes the States look very good at all.’

  • Listen: Hear reaction from Deputies Ferbrache and Soulsby in our daily Shorthand States podcast

Read full coverage from the States in this weekend's Guernsey Press.

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