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Housing costs need further investigation, says P&R chief

Housing costs need further investigation, says P&R chief

Friday 15 February 2019

Housing costs need further investigation, says P&R chief

Friday 15 February 2019

More needs to be done to understand how much different sections of the community are spending on housing, Guernsey's senior politician has said.

Policy & Resources President Deputy Gavin St Pier made the comments in light of a report measuring the States' progress against its stated aim to get Guernsey "among the happiest and healthiest places in the world".

The Better Life Indicators Report, published for the first time today, presents indicators that have been selected to monitor progress against the States’ vision for Future Guernsey, as presented in the Policy & Resource Plan.

It uses the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation’s (OECD) Regional Wellbeing Index to make comparisons between Guernsey and 35 other member nations such as Germany, Switzerland and the USA. 

Out of ratings of between 0 and 10, Guernsey was rated 9.4 for its economy, 7.4 for its place in the world and 7 for quality of life. 

Deputy St Pier said:

“I welcome the publication of this report. It is the first step to place our performance on these very high-level indicators in context by comparing with other jurisdictions. Generally speaking, our relative performance on these indicators is ‘good’ or ‘very good’. 

“However, even where our performance is exemplary, these indicators suggest areas where we might need to look closer at what is going on in Guernsey. For example, despite the widespread experience that housing in Guernsey is expensive, the average percentage of a household’s income spent on housing is actually quite low compared to other jurisdictions. We need to understand this better. This is thought to be because of the high proportion of people who own their own homes, particularly among older households where they are likely to do so without a mortgage.

"It is likely that different sections of our community will have very different experiences of housing costs and is something we may now need to investigate further.” 

The economy rating takes into account GDP, public finances, unemployment levels, disposable income and other factors. 

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