It is always in favour of the rich and influential – the ones whose pockets it does not hit hard. It is just pocket change for them.
Guernsey States taxation will again, with GST, hit those on low income the most. Such taxation always has, it always does, and it always will. Yet the SoG never seems to grasp this and always has the same old excuse each time when they introduce such a tax, ‘It is fair, it affects everyone, everyone has to pay it’.
Yes, everyone, but what they do not take into consideration is if it is a fixed taxation, for example on fuel, whose pocket is it going to hit the most? Whose standard of living is going to go down?
Not those with deep pockets, but those on low income, especially with essential items. So is that really a fair tax?
Each year when the cost of living goes up, does everyone get a cost of living rise? No.
I know that the island’s nurses have not had a decent pay rise in decades. The States could not even give them one during or after Covid as they put their lives on the line daily.
They could have walked out as planned just as Covid struck, but they did not. They put our lives first. What a shame the States cannot reward that with the pay rise that is long overdue.
If everyone was given a cost of living rise, who would get the largest rise? Those on the higher wage. And so the gap widens. Has the cost of living gone up any more for them? Only in terms of them being in the position to purchase more expensive items, otherwise no.
A fixed taxation such as GST is not going to push them below the breadline or reduce their standard of living. And yes, by the grace of God, there are those who have money and are generous and help charities and such like. There are still some good people in the world, but not so many.
GST, the SoG favoured option to fill the black hole – which they themselves created – will not be rescinded once the hole is filled.
This is merely an excuse to introduce GST. And this latest black hole was not created solely due to Covid-19, but also through the continued wastage of the island’s money by the SoG. Not theirs, the island’s.
Yet they are never held accountable and nothing ever changes. And they are definitely not on a low income, in fact they are overpaid for the little that they actually do. Some are not even able to stick around to vote, instead they absent themselves just prior to voting.
GST is going to hit those on low income hard, not the rich. Yes, on the surface it appears fair, tax all at whatever the rate of GST is set, but it does not work out that way. What will actually happen is that those on low income will find that the things they could once have been just about able to afford will now be completely out of reach. This will affect everyone in differing proportions.
So what is the solution?
1. Forget GST, it’s a fixed taxation that only appears fair on the surface.
2. The States has talked about it, but never any more than that. Let us revisit income tax, take a fresh approach and make it the main source of revenue, but fairly.
3. For a start, lift the cap on income tax. Yes, there is a cap on the amount of income tax paid. There are two examples of this should you care to verify for yourself on the States website at: https://www.gov.gg/taxcap.
Whatever you have been led to believe, in reality not everyone pays 20p in the pound on every pound. Those earning £1m. are paying approximately 15p in the pound and the tax is capped. So they earn more and pay approximately 25% less income tax. And then anything over a million, they do not pay any tax on.
4. Would it not be a better system of tax with a fixed percentage across income that calculates the allowance before tax, but with a fixed base rate of which below this point no tax is deducted?
5. And to be fair to those entrepreneurs that, at set levels of income the rate of allowance by percentage is increased slightly, rather than having an absolute cut off as is currently in place, have the same percentage rate up to a million and there after an increase in allowance at every million up to a maximum allowance to ensure no one earns enough to get 100% allowance.
6. This could be applied perfectly to pay as you go and if the States was able to set it up correctly, would see far fewer people paying over the top.
Something along those lines would be far better than bringing in GST and driving more of the island’s population below the poverty line.
Then again, do the States of Guernsey really care; not unless it affects them directly. Something along the lines of Covid is normally what it takes for them to act on behalf of the population as a whole, because it affects them as well.
No GST, think outside of the box, not how to get blood out of a stone, because that is precisely what GST would in effect be attempting, while taking food out of the mouth of babes.
JOHN DE CARTERET
17, Delancey Court
Rue des Monts