Population Management Law
The CGi fought hard to have the new law delayed or restrictive elements changed prior to introduction in 2017 and concerns remain, particularly in relation to short term licences for so-called ‘guest workers.’
Many employers have established a stable workforce on short term licences and these individuals have become skilled and valued. Other companies have made significant investments in training their staff to fill those jobs that cannot be filled locally. The law means the recruitment of workers from other jurisdictions is becoming increasingly difficult. Seasonal workers pay tax and insurance; they are contributors not takers, especially as few wish to make Guernsey their permanent home. that employ care-home staff, HGV drivers, the hospitality and tourist industry and horticulture rely on a workforce that faces an uncertain future to the detriment of our economy at a time when Guernsey faces considerable economic challenges.
We will continue to argue that the restrictions on the employment of present and future workers on short term licences are having on the Guernsey economy should not be under-estimated.
A deferred pension applies to someone who has stopped paying into a state pension scheme but is not yet retired, so continues working either part or full time. The individual can choose to keep their benefits in the scheme and receive their pension income later at a more advantageous rate. The UK adopted this back in 1948 but in Guernsey, deferred pensions do not exist – you have to start receiving your States’ pension when you reach the statutory age.
The CGi would like this to change. We want the States to offer local employees the option not to take their pension at the usual age but at a time when it suits the individual so they accrue financial benefits.
The CGi firmly believes that a lengthening of Guernsey’s airport runway is no guarantee of economic growth or prosperity. Given the times of austerity placed on the Island over the past few years, we believe questions of significant infrastructure spending should only be considered when the rest of the Committee for Economic Development’s strategy air and sea links is clear.
For a small community with a slowly declining population, four daily flights to Southampton, two to Manchester and four/five to London Gatwick are actually quite good and we believe, sufficient.
The key to any improvement in transport links is economic growth which is linked to the Island’s population.
Faced with a smaller working population, increasing number of retirees and a brain drain caused by younger people leaving the island, measures need to be taken to increase the numbers working and contributing. This means a rise by a few percentage points each year to pay for services and to help maintain our standard of living.
The CGi believes debate at States level should take place and recognise that a key driver in the economy is population.