I am delighted to have been part of a group of deputies who have developed an alternative set of proposals for the Tax Review.
The proposals, under the banner of “A Fairer Alternative”, embrace a holistic approach to the structural deficit by concentrating both on constraining and reviewing public spending as well as a fair package of revenue-raising measures that do not place the burden of increased taxation on households during the cost of living crisis. The proposals do not include GST, thus also avoiding the administrative burden for businesses and the high costs associated with it – circa £10m prior to launch and £31.5m in annual mitigating measures and operating costs.
A Fairer Alternative
- Does not include GST
- Prioritises public spending savings of £9.3m by 2025
- Seeks to establish a Special Investigation and Advisory Committee (SIAC1) to review public services in consultation with the public
- Adopts similar Social Security reform measures
- Raises a similar amount from the corporate sector (£28.8m)
- Establishes a second Special Investigation and Advisory Committee (SIAC2) to review and progress other corporate tax measures in consultation with Crown Dependencies
- Adopts a capital expenditure target of 1.5% of GDP
- Undertakes to review planned capital projects and seek alternatives for financing
- Seeks to introduce new revenue-raising measures to raise £3m
- Proposes to close the existing public servants’ pensions scheme to new entrants to be replaced with an industry alternative
- Seeks to make it easier to improve the commissioning of public services
- Improves the structural deficit position by £7.7m compared to the Policy & Resources proposals (net deficit improvement of £62.2m instead of £54.5m)
The alternative proposals address the concerns raised continuously by the community that the States of Guernsey has not done enough to demonstrate control of and ongoing efficiencies with public finances. Public trust needs to be developed as a priority before the introduction of new, complex, costly and regressive taxes such as GST, hence the proposals focus heavily on constraint and review of public expenditure and the role of government.
The amendment would seek to delete all original propositions of the Tax Review Policy letter to be replaced with a set of 20 alternative propositions.
Find the amendment and the 40-page supporting report here.