Friday 23 August 2013
The Treasury & Resources and Social Security Departments today released a feedback report providing a summary of the responses received during the Personal Tax, Pensions and Benefits Consultation that ended at the beginning of June.
The two month public consultation was part of the first phase of a two year review of the personal tax, pensions and benefits system. The report provides a factual numerical and written analysis of the 248 responses from individuals and organisations received and reflects the feedback from the numerous public meetings held during April and May which were attended by several hundred individuals.
Key points in the report included:
· The need to restrain public expenditure and to maintain a limit on the tax burden set by the States on households
· The need to maintain Guernsey's competitive position internationally
· Broad support for the current Old Age Pensions arrangements but less willingness to pay more for it; a further rise in the retirement age was the preferred route to limit expenditure
· More support for increased future funding of healthcare than for increased expenditure in general, with a preference for increased personal provision in some areas including pensions.
· A clear majority was in favour of capping means-tested benefits and incentivising work
In terms of the options put forward for consideration of preferences for changes to the tax system, there was a clear majority against the introduction of GST, with removal or limiting of specific tax allowances and universal type benefits such as family allowance and prescription charges finding most support, together with a move towards attempts to increase personal allowances.
Deputy St Pier, Minister of Treasury and Resources, commented:
'Whilst the consultation provided few surprises, it does provide us with a robust assessment of the preferences of the Guernsey public. We will be taking these findings on board as the two Departments work together to seek to ensure our public finances are set on a sustainable long-term path.'
Deputy Langlois, Minister of Social Security, commented:
'Understanding opinions is invaluable to us as policy makers to help us determine proposals to resolve the many long-term public finance issues we face. The two Boards intend to bring forward recommendations to the States in a joint report in 2014.'
The Public Consultation report is available on the website at www.gov.gg/ptr. Hard copies are available upon request.
Issued by: Liz Laine