The Policy & Resources Committee's flagship tax policies will not be led in the States by Treasury Lead Deputy Mark Helyar.
Deputy Helyar led the Committee's first attempt at tax reform last year, which was withdrawn amid widespread opposition from deputies. He recently led the Committee's third annual budget through the States' Assembly.
The Committee publishes its final tax plan at 12:00 today. It is widely expected to included significant tax increases for the States' Assembly to debate and vote on at the end of January.
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.
"I think he will. He's a very brave and principled politician and it's a pleasure to work with him," said Deputy Ferbrache at that time.
"He takes in all of the information, he responds very well to the debates he leads and he's always very respectful. I think he will lead it. If, in November, Mark was to say I don't think I can quite put this forward, you do it, I'll do it. I don't expect that to be the case."
Pictured: Policy & Resources Committee President Deputy Peter Ferbrache presenting the Committee's final tax plans at Sir Charles Frossard House.
However, Deputy Ferbrache said on Saturday that he rather than Deputy Helyar would lead the Committee's final tax plan in the States.
Deputy Ferbrache confirmed the unexpected arrangement when he was asked by another media outlet about Deputy Helyar's whereabouts at a press conference on Saturday 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."
Pictured: The Policy & Resources Committee's proposals were unveiled to the media by the Committee's President, Deputy Peter Ferbrache (right), and the President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security, Deputy Peter Roffey (left). No other member of the Policy & Resources Committee was present.
In his campaign for election as a deputy in 2020, Deputy Helyar said he was "against" GST "as it harms the poorest in society".
In his election manifesto, Deputy Helyar wrote: "Calls for higher taxation…can only drive us towards long term decline. I believe if we start down the path to higher taxation, we will see business opportunity reduce and costs rise in all areas.
"Our young people, wealthy residents and businesses in all sectors will not stay in an island where there is no opportunity. History tells us that in almost every jurisdiction, once a new tax is introduced, it never goes away. Once we put our taxes up, we will have let the genie out of the bottle."
But when speaking in the States' Assembly to close debate on the 2023 Budget earlier this month, Deputy Helyar said: "I don't want to see GST. It wasn't in my manifesto. I'm entitled to change my mind. It's as simple as that.
"I apologise to people who felt that they voted for me because I was going to do what I was told all the time. That's not going to happen.
"I feel I have a public duty to make the right decision and I think we all should feel the same way in the best interests of the island and the Bailiwick as a whole."
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