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Personality politics at heart of States trouble

Personality politics at heart of States trouble

Thursday 02 February 2023

Personality politics at heart of States trouble

Thursday 02 February 2023


More deputies are coming forward to claim that personalities not politics are leading the way during States debates of important topics, including most recently the island's Tax Review.

Three days of debate last week saw a number of amendments rejected, with Policy and Resources now working on creating an alternative set of proposals to their own official plans.

A spokesperson said: "The Committee remains of the view that its original proposals are the best way to reform the tax system in a way that is genuinely progressive, reducing the burden for those on lower incomes, while raising enough revenue to ensure public finances remain sustainable as demand on health services and pensions increases.

"The Committee has listened to the views of the community and States Members, who wish to see an alternative. It has also considered the comments made in the debate around the amendments that have already been laid and rejected so far.

"The Committee is therefore seeking to develop an alternative set of proposals that can be debated alongside the original plan, taking into account ideas put forward by other members, and replacing a GST with other revenue raising measures."

Deputy_Peter_Roffey_and_Peter_Ferbrache_tax_review.jpg

Pictured: Deputies Peter Roffey and Peter Ferbrache have been at the forefront of campaigning FOR the Tax Review proposals.

This means that next month the States will consider the original set of proposals, an amended set of proposals from P&R and any other amendments which are lodged and accepted for debate.

This includes a new version of the Fairer Alternative lodged by Deputies Heidi Soulsby and Gavin St Pier. 

Deputy Charles Parkinson had lodged an amendment against the original plans, which was defeated during the first stage of the debate. He says he won't be submitting any further plans as they'd be pointless in the current climate regardless of their merit.

"This States has been bedevilled by personality politics, and they had a big hand in the defeat of the Soulsby/St Pier amendment. This is unhealthy, but I do not expect the position to change," he said.

Other options raised since the first stage of the Tax Review debate started include a tax on Open Market properties. That has been ruled out by P&R which Deputy Parkinson does agree with.

"I think that a tax on the Open Market would be very damaging to that market. Our problem is that companies which should be paying tax are not doing so. I would be pleased to discuss this with Guy Hands.

"P&R will try to keep GST on the table, but there is a solid majority in the Assembly against it," he added.

Deputies_Sasha_Kazantseva-Miller_and_Heidi_Soulsby.jpg

Pictured: Deputies Sasha Kazantseva-Miller and Heidi Soulsby.

P&R said earlier this week that they are waiting to hear from those outside the committee who want to contribute ideas to help develop alternative plans.

P&R said they are "determined to develop an alternative that comes as close as possible to achieve the objectives. It wishes to give the States the best possible choice, and to do what it can to avoid a situation where no decision is made and no solution for addressing the growing shortfall is found."

Those behind the FA plans said they've not heard back from P&R since offering them sight of their Composite Alternative amendment last Friday.

“We received an email sent on behalf of Deputy Ferbrache addressed to all deputies on Tuesday, inviting all members to attend meetings this week reiterating the Committee’s support for their original propositions”, said Deputy Soulsby. “There was no recognition of the proposals and solution put forward by the Composite Alternative package last week."

She added: “We remain open to working with P&R because we are fully committed to find a solution to the tax debate that works and addresses the key concerns raised by our community and industry.”

Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller is supporting the FA plans and said she will continue to try and engage with P&R and others with an interest in the debate.

“We will attend this week’s meetings with P&R and continue to engage with colleagues between now and the resumption of the debate on February 15th”, she said.

“We will also continue to engage with industry and the public about how further to improve the propositions. There is too much at stake to end with nothing in two weeks’ time.”

The tax debate resumes on Wednesday 15 February.

 

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