Guernsey Press

Guernsey Party adviser quits after tax vote

THE Guernsey Party’s only two remaining deputies are uncertain whether it has a future after the resignation of a key advisor.

Deputy John Dyke would not be drawn on the long-term future of the Guernsey Party. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31823821)

David Piesing walked out on the party over the weekend, just 24 hours after the States rejected proposals for GST and other tax changes which have split the party in recent months.

Mr Piesing declined to disclose the reasons for his departure.

‘David was not very keen on

how Simon [Vermeulen] and I voted on something. There is nothing we can do about that,’ said John Dyke.

Deputies Dyke and Vermeulen voted against the Policy & Resources Committee’s option A tax plan, including GST.

But they backed option C, which included large spending cuts, and option D, the self-styled ‘fairer alternative’ put forward by Deputy Heidi Soulsby.

Deputy Dyke said the party did not intend to wind up for now and that he and Deputy Vermeulen were ‘still going strong’.

But he could not be sure about its survival beyond the short term.

‘The honest answer is that I don’t know. We need to decide that over the next few months.

‘We have to work out what we can offer the party in the future.’

Deputy Dyke said that GST had been his party’s ‘bete noire’.

The party went into its first general election in 2020 aiming for ‘no tax increases during the next term [and] no GST’.

Early in the States’ term, the party held seven seats before five of its deputies quit.

Three of its former deputies voted for GST at the end of last week’s landmark tax debate, including its former leader in the States, Deputy Mark Helyar.

Deputy Dyke said yesterday that the States should not panic despite the rejection of all five tax plans proposed last week’s meeting.

‘The position is serious, but it’s not a crisis. P&R needs to make some movement on spending restraint,’ he said.