Wednesday 21 May 2014
Guernsey's Treasury & Resources Minister, Deputy Gavin St Pier, met with the Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA)'s Council last night, and presented members of the Council with a short paper on the ongoing Personal Tax, Pensions and Benefits Review.
Deputy St Pier said:
"At the end of March I spoke to both the IoD and the Chamber of Commerce. At both, I set out the scope, purpose and aims of the Personal Tax, Pensions and Benefits Review. I asked for only one thing from those present: a balanced and informed debate. That was a request I made again to GIBA last night.
"Some parts of the business community and the media are seeking to focus on the single issue of the potential need for a broad-based consumption tax, which is over-simplistic. The paper I circulated to GIBA not only seeks to address some of the points that have been made in the public domain on the review, but it also seeks to broaden the focus to the whole review.
"Diversification of our tax base presents Guernsey with a number of opportunities. These opportunities include lowering both the direct and total tax burden of the hard-working majority of the population in middle income brackets by increasing their tax-free income tax allowances; providing a more stable and sustainable tax base to provide the services (for example, pre-school education) which many in our community and many other jurisdictions now regard as 'standard,' but which we will struggle to provide so long as we seek to fund everything from an increasingly narrow tax base; and increasing the contribution from that part of the corporate sector which consumes goods and services in our islands, but no longer pays corporate income tax.
"I hope that the debate on the Personal Tax, Pensions and Benefits Review can be broadened out to also discuss the how we unlock the benefits of these and other opportunities - and I gave that message to GIBA last night as they are a hugely important part of that debate."
The paper that was circulated to GIBA Council on 20 May 2014 is available below.