Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Hundreds take part in GST protests as tax debate heats up

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St James Road was closed for a period as more than 200 people gathered to voice their opposition to the GST plans proposed by Guernsey’s Prime Minister Peter Ferbrache.

This comes after Sunday’s protest, where Thousands of people gathered at the “Say no to GST” march.

Politicians are sitting in the States this week to debate a range of possible tax reforms aimed at fixing the island’s deficit.

The 5% GST is part of a package that also includes increased income tax allowances and new social security contribution reforms.

Guernsey’s Leaders deem this the ‘least worst option’ but alternatives to introducing the GST have been suggested by other MEPs.

Deputy Charles Parkinson, who is part of the anti-GST group, has proposed the introduction of a 15% corporate tax on local businesses.

Another alternative proposed by MPs Heidi Soulsby and Gavin St Pier includes cuts in government spending.

MP Ferbrache still thinks the introduction of the GST is the best way, despite the protests.

He says: “I don’t mean that discursively towards the people who were there, but you can’t bow to public pressure unless you think it’s the right thing to do. We’re here to make difficult decisions, even if they won’t necessarily endear us.”

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