Wednesday 21 August 2019
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"Why not tax cyclists?"

Sunday 21 July 2019

"Why not tax cyclists?"


Guernsey's government needs to "stop hammering motorists" and find alternative sources of revenue including new tourism sites and fair taxation for all road users.

This week's States debate highlighted the reliance on motorists for tax revenue.

Falling fuel consumption levels led Policy & Resources to propose ditching fuel duty and introducing a distance-based charging mechanism as soon as possible. 

Fuel duty currently brings £20m. a year into the public purse, and some Deputies saw the debate as an opportunity to propose alternative means of taxation and revenue streams. 

Barry_Paint.jpg

Deputy Barry Paint said the States should "stop hammering the motorist" when many need their vehicles to get around the island, especially when the States then "wastes taxpayers' money" in other areas.  

Deputy Lester Queripel thought it was unfair that motorists were penalised while cyclists were not taxed for using the roads or other cycling infrastructure. 

"We have thousands of cyclists here in Guernsey, none of whom pay a cyclists tax," he said.

"Why not? They use the roads too. I am a cyclist and I would gladly pay a cyclist's tax. The argument against that tax over the years when I have suggested it is that many of those cyclists own cars so they already pat a tax or is they don't own a car that they contribute through income tax contributions. 

"But none of that makes any sense to me, never has done, it is totally illogical in my view. The fact of the matter is that we have a mode of transport on our roads which the user gets to use without having to pay a specific tax."

hmv market

Deputy Lester Queripel said the vacant premises previously occupied by HMV would be a suitable venue for a Victor Hugo Centre.

He also stated that government should be considering other revenue-raising measures such as a Victor Hugo centre in the former HMV premises, renovating German bunkers to attract more tourists and creating an arts gallery. 

He and Deputy Marc Leadbeater both said there financial benefits to growing medicinal cannabis on the island, something that has been proposed but is yet to have been approved. 

Deputy Peter Ferbrache suggested a "root-and-branch" review of Guernsey's tax system.

Deputy Matt Fallaize said there were many different ways of raising revenue, but that Deputies should not avoid making difficult decisions without any material alternatives. 

Pictured top: Deputy Lester Queripel, inset. 

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Posted by Richard Loyd on
Why is it that when road tax was replaced with an emissions tax in 06, the ones who can afford the big horsepower gin palaces are exempt from any emissions tax? I have to use taxed fuel in my lawnmower. People come here and buy 10’s of thousands of litres of cheap fuel to burn at their leisure and yet the motorists are always the soft targets. Scrap duty free fuel and just put a lower tax tariff on it to. Whilst tax on cyclists may be an option, although the majority of cyclists are car owners so already pay their tax. Surely if you can afford to buy and run big motor yachts a 5p per litre tax wouldn’t hurt and even out the ‘polluter pays policy’?
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