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P&R promotes Dep. Helyar to VP

P&R promotes Dep. Helyar to VP

Tuesday 29 November 2022

P&R promotes Dep. Helyar to VP

Tuesday 29 November 2022


Deputy Mark Helyar has been elected as Vice President of the States' senior Committee - Policy & Resources.

The Committee announced Deputy Helyar's promotion this afternoon after advising the Bailiff, Richard McMahon.

Deputy Helyar, pictured top, was first elected to the States at the general election in October 2020 and immediately secured a seat on the Committee and was made its treasury lead. 

"It is an enormous privilege for me to be elected as [Vice President]/Deputy Chief Minister," said Deputy Helyar this afternoon.

"I look forward to carrying out this role alongside my responsibilities as treasury lead, particularly at this crucial time where we are preparing to debate our tax review recommendations."

The Vice President of the Committee is able to use the title 'Deputy Chief Minister' when on external relations business.

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Pictured: The five members of the Policy & Resources Committee.

Deputy Helyar replaces Deputy Heidi Soulsby as Vice President. She announced last month that she was resigning from the Committee and at that time said: It has been obvious for quite a while that my views and advice have not been valued by some on the Committee and I think there is little point in me continuing in the hope that things may get better."

Express today published Deputy Soulsby's first interview since her resignation from the Committee, which can be read HERE.

The vacant seat on the Committee created by Deputy Soulsby's departure was filled last week when the States' Assembly elected Deputy Bob Murray. Deputy Murray defeated former Committee President Deputy Gavin St. Pier by 20 votes to 17.

The Committee also announced this afternoon that Deputy Murray would now lead on corporate services and the States' Work Plan, which aims to set out their programme of government until the end of their term in 2025.

Deputy Murray is the only member of the Committee who is also an active member of an existing political party - The Guernsey Party. Deputy Helyar was previously the Party's leader in the States but stepped aside early this month.

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Pictured: Co-ordination of policy across the States, through their Work Plan, will now be led by the Policy & Resources Committee's newest member, Deputy Bob Murray.

Deputy Helyar is currently recovering from surgery which kept him away from last week's States' meeting.

"Right at this moment, I’m recovering from an operation, which is frustrating as I am not able physically to attend meetings and events, but I remain fully engaged and am participating remotely, and I hope to be back on my feet very soon," said Deputy Helyar.

Prior to his operation, Deputy Helyar said he hoped to return to work by 7 December, around seven weeks before the States' Assembly is expected to debate the Committee's proposal to raise taxes by tens of millions of pounds a year, including through the introduction of a 5% goods and services tax [GST].

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Pictured: The Policy & Resources Committee published its flagship fiscal policy plan yesterday which recommends tax rises of tens of millions of pounds a year and offers deputies an alternative plan of cutting States' spending by 12% by 2026.

Deputy Helyar led the Committee's first attempt at tax reform last year, which was withdrawn amid widespread opposition from deputies, and recently led his third annual budget through the States' Assembly.

Earlier this year, the Committee's President, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, said he expected Deputy Helyar to lead the Committee's final tax plan in the States. 

However, Deputy Ferbrache said on Saturday that he rather than Deputy Helyar would lead the States' debate at the end of January. 

Deputy Ferbrache confirmed the unexpected arrangement when he was asked by another media outlet about Deputy Helyar's whereabouts at a press conference to unveil the proposals.

"[Deputy Helyar] has just had an operation - actually on the first day of the States' debate [last week]," said Deputy Ferbrache. "He couldn't put it off. It was an operation he had to have. He's going to be physically immobile for the next month or so.

"I’ll present it [the policy letter]. I’m the President of Policy & Resources and it should be me who presents it. I wouldn't hide behind anybody – that's not in my nature."

READ MORE...

Former Vice President reveals opposition to P&R tax plan

Social security changes help poorer families and 'middle Guernsey'

"An enormous loss" for P&R..."a bad day for Guernsey"

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

Dep. Murray joins P&R

Guernsey Party loses Dep. Helyar

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