Guernsey Press

The plan that's not really a plan

AS ANTICIPATED, the States backed a proposal last week to allow the island’s population to increase by up to 300 people a year, for the next 30 years.


So why is not making front-page headlines?

Well at the risk of sounding like a broken record, as Home Affairs would happily tell you, this is just an assumption, not a target, an ambition, nor a cap.

So in other words, the States will need to make planning arrangements around this figure, but we shouldn’t necessarily expect to see the population at 64,000 by 2025, and so on.

It was no surprise to see States members rallying around in a desperate bid to avoid the dreaded 300 figure. Encourage more of our young people to stay in the island. Let’s get more people being economically active. See what we can do with childcare to get even more mums back to work. And the ever-unpopular notion – let’s encourage our older people to work for longer. That one always goes down well.

One day we’ll have a generation who can’t afford to retire, but that is not applicable for all at the moment.

Members will cling to any notion they possibly can to hold off the dreaded population increase. And the States can approve it and then pretend that it’s not really happening.

So is it a plan, or a kind of nuclear plan, where we hope the button will never be pressed?