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Protest march taking place in opposition to GST

Protest march taking place in opposition to GST

Thursday 12 May 2022

Protest march taking place in opposition to GST

Thursday 12 May 2022


An islander who is “staunchly against” proposals to introduce a goods and services tax (GST) has organised a protest march on the issue.

Dan Ogier is encouraging islanders to attend the protest on 5 June, which he hopes will help States’ deputies “better gauge” the level of opposition against GST.

“In my opinion, GST is a regressive tax that will essentially punish people for living,” said Mr Ogier. 

“The introduction of GST on everything from clothes to food will mean more money out of people’s pockets and, while some people will be able to weather that better than others, it is going to hit everyone.”

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Pictured: Dan Ogier hopes that the protest march will be a "peaceful show of hands" against GST proposals.

The Policy & Resources Committee has put forward the GST proposals as part of its solution to the island’s financial deficit which is expected to be up to £80m. per year by 2025. 

According to the States' website, “nearly all products and services will be subject to the tax”, which could be as high as 8%. 

“Everyone is going to be impacted by the introduction of GST, including businesses,” said Mr Ogier. 

“I have been going in and out of as many retail shops as I can and talking to people about the impact that GST will have. From these conversations, there is a huge amount of opposition to GST and I hope that the protest march will evidence that.”

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Pictured: Mr Ogier believes that an introduction of GST in Guernsey would drive more shoppers online. 

Mr Ogier acknowledged that a solution was needed for the funding shortfall. 

“My opinion is that income tax and social security need to be reworked. No one wants taxes to increase, but I would be happier with the increase being seen in income tax and social security than on all goods and services,” he said. 

“The cost of living in Guernsey is already sky high and GST would make this worse. I don’t have a lot of money available for discretionary funding already and I know a lot of people I have spoken with are in the same boat.”

Mr Ogier works for Arcadia Express Computers.

“I have already seen an increase in people price checking us (Arcadia) against online prices and, if GST is introduced, it will make it impossible for local businesses to be able to have competitive prices,” he said. 

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Pictured: The protest march will start at Bulwer Avenue at 10:00 on 5 June. 

Mr Ogier continued: “People are already buying from big retailers online because it’s cheaper than buying local and this would undoubtedly get worse if GST was introduced. It would be terrible for local businesses.”

Mr Ogier said that he has been working with law enforcement and has acquired the necessary permits for the protest march. 

“I normally wouldn’t get involved in these kinds of issues, but I feel very strongly that GST would be detrimental for the island, so I am leading the charge,” he said. 

“It’s important that people are seen and heard. I don’t know if the States usually gauge public opinion very well, so I am hoping that the protest march will show them the public opinion on GST.

“I have been following all the correct channels to organise the protest, which I want to be peaceful and just a big show of hands from the public." 

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Pictured: Mr Ogier has issued an "open invitation" on social media for the protest march. 

The protest march will start at 10:00 from Bulwer Avenue and lead to the clock tower in town. 

“There is an open invitiation to anyone who wishes to attend. We are hoping for a large turn out to send a clear message to our elected deputies, some of whom may be in attendance, that we oppose the introduction of GST,” said Mr Ogier.

“We will have any speeches at the start of the protest, rather than at the end, to give respect to Arts Sunday and their event. At the end of the walk people who’ve attended the protest can then go on to enjoy the Arts Sunday event.” 

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Pictured: Mr Ogier hopes that ending the protest march at the clock tower will allow attendees to enjoy the Arts Sunday event. 

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