Industry bodies urge States to reject the Population Management and Control Law

REPRESENTATIVES of the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Guernsey Industry, the Construction Industry Forum and the Property Forum met with the Committee for Home Affairs on Thursday 23 March to discuss the forthcoming Population Management and Control Law and the economic impact that it would have on Guernsey going forward.

It was noted that there was much within the law to commend, however further consideration needs to be given to lower skilled workers. The five year limit for lower skilled workers is a big departure from custom and practice within the seasonal working sector and formed one of the key concerns of the representatives present.

The discussion was both wide ranging and forthright, ranging from an ageing demographic, to the uncertain impact of Brexit. The consensus of the representatives is that the law as it is currently drafted does not take into account longer term economic impacts of the proposals, and that implementation of the law should be delayed.

The fundamental issue is that the economic circumstances that existed when this law was initially proposed and being drafted are very different to those being faced by Guernsey today.

There is considerable uncertainty surrounding Brexit, immigration visas, and the potential impact that it will have on Guernsey and it is vital that Guernsey remains totally flexible to accommodate change and secure its own future.

It is our recommendation that the States of Deliberation reject the Population Management and Control Law, as currently drafted, and that they instruct the Committee for Home Affairs to revisit the law with a view to introducing simple, understandable legislation that reflects the needs of both the business and wider community and takes into account the uncertainties facing Guernsey in the light of Brexit and changed economic circumstances.