States reject airport and harbours charges increase

Freight plane and harbour cranes
Image caption Deputy Flouquet said the move shifted the burden to the whole of the community rather than a section

A raft of increased charges and fees at Guernsey's airport and harbours have been rejected by the States.

The Public Services Department, which is responsible for the island's transport gateways, was asked to make proposals to generate an extra £1.8m.

The department proposed plans to raise £1m and an alternative for Treasury and Resources to be asked to raise £1.8 a year through savings or fees instead.

The alternative was supported by a majority of members in a 33-7 vote.

Four members abstained from the vote to change the proposal, which was followed by an unrecorded majority vote for the move.

Other moves to delay debate to allow further consultation or to introduce an airport development tax to pay back £30m of the £81m improvement project were withdrawn before the final vote.

Deputy Sam Maindonald, one of those opposed to the amendment, said: "One of the things we haven't done is addressed this issue, we haven't debated it... it remains exactly the same as it is, it's just deferred for another day.

"I think that's appalling... what we should be doing is trying to get these dealt with."

Public Services Minister Bernard Flouquet denied putting off the issue.

"What we were trying to give the assembly was the opportunity of a choice," he said.

"Either these charges go against these particular parts of our community who use our facilities and/or we ask T and R [Treasury and Resources] to look at raising £6m over the next three years to fund the completion of our capital reserve fund and to take in the wider community."

The money, £1.775m at 2009 rates and £1.88m at 2011 rates, is being raised to fund the island's major capital projects.

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