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Tax amendments incoming

Tax amendments incoming

Friday 02 December 2022

Tax amendments incoming

Friday 02 December 2022


Two of Guernsey's former chancellors are planning on lodging amendments to the tax proposals which could see GST introduced in the island.

Deputy Charles Parkinson was the Treasury and Resources Minister between 2008 and 12. He then stepped back from the political stage for a break then was re-elected in 2016, and 2020.

Deputy Gavin St Pier was T&R Minister between 2012 and 16, before being elected Chief Minister. 

Both have told Express that they will be challenging the proposals put forward for reorganising Guernsey's personal taxation and social security systems this week.

tax

Pictured: The plans were discussed at a public meeting earlier this week.

The plans include introducing GST at 5%. Although Deputy St Pier himself worked on proposals for a goods and services tax while T&R Minister, he says now is not the right time and he doesn't think the public will support it.

“With former Deputy Chief Minister Allister Langlois, in 2015, I led the debate and case for keeping GST as an option in the Personal Tax, Pensions & Benefits Review which aimed, exactly as now, to address the island’s long-term strategic funding needs," he explained. 

"It was heavily defeated at that time.  I fear that the lessons have not been learned.

"The lack of clear political ownership and visible leadership on this in the last two years, means the community’s hearts and minds are not in the same place as P&R’s – and with only eight weeks to the debate and Christmas in the middle, that’s not going to change. 

"If the proposals do succeed in the States in January, I suspect the victory will be pyrrhic, as opposition will continue to build until implementation planned shortly before the next election, which risks that election becoming a de facto referendum on the proposals. 

"I would be surprised if I was alone in my concerns.  I will gladly work with others to see if we can present the States with a credible alternative package.”

Deputy Parkinson, who has previously called for a change to corporate tax policies in Guernsey has also told Express he will be working on amendments and will provide us with more details. 

The proposals published this week do not suggest changing corporate taxation, something which Deputy Parkinson has previously tweeted about, and he has also long suggested that Zero 10 should be looked at again.

With two of the island's most experienced politicians likely to rally against the planned introduction of GST, others are also lining up to try and amend the proposals.

Deputy Heidi Soulsby feels so strongly that GST is not right for the island that she resigned from her position as Vice President of Policy and Resources over it.

In her first interview since quitting, she told Express this week that she hopes to work with like-minded deputies and others who share her dismay with her former Committee's latest tax plan.

Soulsby_resigns_.jpg

Pictured: Deputy Heidi Soulsby quit P&R over the GST proposals.

Deputy Soulsby described the proposals - which include the 5% GST plan - as "the final straw" behind her resignation.

"Clearly, the tax debate is going to take some thought over the coming weeks," she told Express Senior Reporter, Matt Fallaize. "I think there needs to be an alternative package put forward. I know there are others thinking the same, inside and outside the States, who want to see an alternative."

Deputy Soulsby also admitted that her concerns about the Committee's tax plan go back months. "To around late summer," she said. "The first time I saw the draft policy letter, I could see this wasn't what I wanted. I thought it was absolutely not what we should have been doing – the approach was completely wrong."

READ MORE...

P&R's "tribalism and inexperience" led to Dep. Soulsby's resignation

Former Vice President reveals opposition to P&R tax plans

Tax plan includes 5% GST - but P&R says most families will be better off

Why States leaders STILL think GST and tax reform is needed

"Unacceptable" and "damaging" service cuts if States reject GST

Is corporate tax the answer?

Treasury chief won't lead tax plan

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