Guernsey population plans to be debated by States

A Guernsey businessman has criticised plans to limit the amount of time people can live and work in the island on a short-term licence.

Hotelier Ian Walker fears further restrictions on housing licences for seasonal workers could damage the tourist industry.

He said training and investment in staff could be wasted if they were not able to return to work.

But Deputy Laurie Queripel said the proposals were fair and necessary.

"We have limits to our infrastructure, our services and our housing," he told BBC News.

"That all has to be factored into a new regime. It has to be reflected the fact that we're small and I think these proposals will go some way towards achieving that balance."

'Longevity' required

Next month the government will debate recommendations on how to manage the size and make up of the population, which the chief minister has said is necessary to maintain the island's unique character.

Currently, seasonal workers who have a nine-month permit, must leave the island after that period, but can return three months later.

Under the new proposals they would not be allowed to return for nine months.

But Mr Walker said the States population policy group's proposals will not benefit the tourism sector in the long term.

"If you have a successful kitchen or restaurant, you need to employ professional individuals and they have to have some longevity," he said.

"We train them, we apply for their licences, we pay for their licences, then after a certain period they've got to go - it's a problem.

"You need longevity to create quality and I think the proposals being put forward could be very detrimental."

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