Guernsey Press

A genuine option or a Trojan Horse

OPTION B. A genuine option from the Policy & Resources Committee, the men who brought you a goods and services tax? Or another way of making Option A look more palatable?

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An initial high-level assessment of the new Tax Review options appeared to offer a shaft of light. If islanders prefer certainty of their tax liability, rather than an open 5% on (almost) everything they spend and do, then a doubling of TRP at least offers a pretty clear marker of where you are as a taxpayer.

The problem – deliberately baked into the proposal, perchance? – is that mitigations are likely to be nowhere to be seen. Asset-rich, cash-poor pensioner in a big home? Pay up please.

The often-ignored element of the proposal, social security, will see rates climbing, potentially sky-high. And there will be none of the ameliorations or allowances proposed in Option A.

Ever-popular taxes on motoring are proposed – a sure fire way of sparking public opposition, maybe even protest in the streets.

And then, with a little deeper examination, it appears that the poorest and the squeezed middle, rather than the richest in our society, will bear the brunt of the new tax burden under Option B.

It’s almost as if a plan has been cooked up to look as though it’s offering a genuine option, while scrutiny shows it might be more of a Trojan Horse for deputies.