Guernsey's 'pay as you throw' waste charges will go up next year but the amount they can go up by will be capped.
The States voted through an amended funding mechanism for the waste strategy, with Deputy Peter Roffey warning there was no alternative but to put up the user-pay charges.
As President of the States Trading Supervisory Board, Deputy Roffey has political responsibility for waste disposal. He is also President of Employment and Social Security, giving him insight into the current cost of living crisis.
Pictured: Efforts were made to reject the planned waste charge increases due to the financial pressures facing some households already.
Deputy Roffey separated the two matters though.
In referencing the cost of living crisis, Deputy Roffey acknowledged that when the new formula for waste charges was derived, inflation was far lower that it currently is.
He acknowledged it will represent an increase of around 17pence per week for average households, and while not trying to trivialise that he pointed out it is the accumulative charges of all services and goods which is what is costing families so much more now than at times of low inflation.
"If members feel they can vote down these proposals and walk out of here, with head held high, thinking they’ve cracked it for the people of Guernsey – they’re kidding themselves," he warned, adding, "with food charges and energy prices going out of control please don’t think you’ve done your bit for the cost of living crisis here".
...and confirmed on final votes - so waste charge increases will be capped. https://t.co/K8CB2vEXgt— Gavin St Pier ???????? (@gavinstpier) September 8, 2022
Deputies did back the proposal for increased waste charges. Amendments to the original plans will see a cap on the charges for general waste disposal though.
Deputy Roffey said the charges simply had to go up, to cover the rising cost of waste disposal, partly created by the success of the campaign to encourage people to recycle more.
He said that "at the moment there is an overdraft which is ballooning and increasing and there is no realistic prospect of ever paying it back. If the charges don’t go up then it will never be paid back.
"That is a classic avoidance of reality."
Deputy Roffey explained that whatever anyone's views on the waste strategy, or the 'pay as you throw' element, it was not the time to debate that.
He said we have to work with the strategy we have and make it financially viable where possible.
"I’m not aware that it’s going to be easy to find a cheaper solution," he said, "other than to go back to the old days of chucking it all in a hole in the ground. We’ve only got one hole and I think that both water and inert waste are going to do battle for that without general waste joining in too."
The States approved the waste charges on Thursday 8 September, 2022.