Guernsey freight rise 'will affect everyone'

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Everyone in Guernsey will be affected if building costs rise, which is likely if freight charge increases are agreed, according to one building firm.

The Public Services Department has proposed a number of rises in charges to generate more income from the island's harbours and airport.

Peter de Garis, managing director of Ronez, said higher costs for importing basic goods would be hard to absorb.

He said any rises would filter through to affect everyone in the island.

Mr de Garis said his company imported 13-14,000 tonnes of cement and 30,000 tonnes of sand every year.

He said the proposed change to the fee per tonne from £1.60 to £8 and increases to the hire of the harbour's grab cranes, from £120 to £400 per half hour would inevitably impact on both businesses and their clients.

Mr de Garis said: "When we're faced with additional costs of £180,000 quite clearly we've taken a view on that and whilst we haven't come to any firm decisions yet it seems very likely unfortunately that we're going to be forced to pass that on to our customers.

"They deal with everything in the construction industry, which supports the infrastructure of the island, so at the end of the day it's going to affect everyone."

The States is due to to debate in March whether or not to accept the increases which are expected to raise £1m a year.

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