We are not ‘all in this together’ on finances

ON NUMEROUS occasions now, over the last few months, you have printed a front page article commenting on the forthcoming shortfall in finances. This includes the Chamber of Commerce giving their recommendations, which I would tend to agree with, as this would echo a previous letter of mine which you kindly printed.

About two months ago we had the pleasure of our chief minister and co. ‘gently’ breaking the news of the current state of our post-Covid finances, which by the way, were wholly, without exception, caused by the very policies they put in action to combat the threat of the virus. What on earth did they think was going to happen... a boom economy?

The financing and cumulative effects of the lockdowns should have been given far more consideration: Please do not give credence to those who say that it is more important to consider people’s health before money. There is no modern-day hospital or health system worth its salt that does not consider first and foremost the fiscal implications prior to implementing policy.

While we are on the subject, tens of thousands of scientists and epidemiologists stated in the Great Barrington Declaration that lockdown measures were an ineffectual way of dealing with this pandemic. Sweden is a good example of not following the severe lockdown trend and despite a slight spike due to a weak flu season the previous year, it has suffered no ill effects, coupled with a buoyant economy.

Why did our government (and others) ignore all this advice? Hopefully one day this will make a nice article for your publication.

So now we have a higher taxes warning with a ‘comforting’ added slogan of... ‘we have no choice’.

Well of course... there is a choice.

It seems to me and others that the Guernsey States does a very good job in replicating other jurisdictions when it comes to deciding policies on matters that are beyond their understanding. What truly is beyond belief in this instance is that it would replicate a country such as the UK, whose financial situation is in an absolute mess. Just look at their array of stealth taxes and absolute fiasco of an income tax tier system.

They are effectively bankrupt – as things stand, they will never pay off their national debt.

Yet how is it we have gone from an island that was in surplus to one that was put into such a position to even consider the possibility of taking out a bond to create a debt – long before Covid?

Without putting too fine a point on it, irresponsibility and ineptitude quickly spring to mind.

If only those in authority could look just a little further afield for their inspiration and look at the financial success of Hong Kong while under British rule (yes... British).

It is a veritable lesson in how to achieve financial success without government interference. The prosperity of the then-British colony boomed, relying solely on the free market economy aided by a 12.5% personal and commercial tax rate. Since there was no reliance on expensive government services, they paid low tax.

The very fact that governments (ours included) burden their fledgling economies with bureaucratic controls only serves to diminish economic growth. They then try to offset by increasing taxes, which in turn leads to price increases, which inevitably creates the inflationary spiral.

How many of us recently heard the slogan ‘...we are all in this together’. Well in case you didn’t already know or have gathered by now, we were and are most definitely not all in this together.

To go some way to rectifying the inaccuracy of this statement, which was heralded by our previous chief minister and ‘others’, I would suggest that all civil servants who were not working full time and especially all States members, return (as a gesture of goodwill), all of the monies received by them over and above that of the minimum wage, which many islanders had to cope with during the lockdown months.

Businesses and the public in general should be left alone from added governmental interference for at least the next 2-3 years, in order to find their feet and to get things back on track – streamline the civil service/government departments and of course, stop the incessant futile spending on wasteful projects.

OK... how does it feel now to be in this together?

MERCER TILL

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