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"I'm sorry, you're wrong"

Thursday 26 September 2019

"I'm sorry, you're wrong"

Thursday 26 September 2019

A Castel Deputy was left fuming as the States heavily rejected what he said was a solution to an injustice against widows who remarried someone without a Guernsey pension.

Deputy Barry Paint was one of the signatories of a requete led by Deputy Peter Ferbrache, who said opponents to the requete were making the matter more complicated than it needed to be.

The rules for entitlement to Social Insurance Benefits moved from a concept based on the nuclear family, to a focus on individual contributions back in 2004. This has had implications for widows who remarried someone without a Guernsey pension, who had previously been entitled to their late's husband's pension before the changes were made.

Both Deputies Ferbrache and Paint spoke about widows they knew who had told them their stories of hardship because of the rule change. 

"The state has stolen this money from widows," an enraged Deputy Paint told the States. "The decision that was made by the States in 2003 has done massive damage to many widows."

"There is a massive difference between civil service occupation pensions and those that are good enough for the general public - it can only be considered double standards."


Pictured: Deputy Peter Roffey said the requete discriminates against all other people who receive pensions based on their own contributions.

Employment & Social Security Michelle Le Clerc interjected his speech several times, pointing out support that was in place to help widows. 

"Some of what Deputy Paint was saying was factually inaccurate," she said. 

Deputy Paint was having none of it: "I'm sorry, you're wrong."

Deputy Peter Roffey spoke passionately against the requete, which he said would bring about favourable treatment for a select few at the expense of others.

"I have no doubt it started out with a noble purpose," he said. "But somehow it has got lost and what we have before us is illogical and discriminatory in the extreme."

The proposition was defeated by 22 votes to 11. 

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