Guernsey GST 'not ruled out' in tax review

The introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) has not been ruled out in a review of Guernsey's personal taxes, benefits and pensions.

While no GST proposals have come out of the review it has suggested further research be carried out into the issue.

The possible introduction of such a tax was one of the reasons behind a 2,000 people protest held in November.

Treasury Minister Gavin St Pier said the panel felt "in the long term there may be a place for a GST-type tax".

'More consideration'

However, he said there would be "a lot more work required" before the States could be asked to make a "definitive decision" including understanding the true costs for the community, business and government.

Housing Minister Dave Jones, who is opposed to the introduction of GST, said: "The issue of GST requires a lot more consideration and I am relieved that the whole tax and benefits review is not going to get bogged down or hijacked by this one single issue.

"It is clear that if Guernsey is to have a sustainable future in terms of States' revenue, then we must do what we can to broaden our tax base and address the issue of funding those reliant on the benefits system, especially given the ageing population.

"I am particularly supportive of the joint boards' proposals to introduce a cap on the total amount of tax, social security and other charges which government can take from islanders."

The review has been carried out by the Treasury and Resources and Social Security Departments and the panel aims to publish its findings in early February for debate by the States in March.

Aims of the review

  • Incentivising people to work and support themselves
  • Ensuring the personal tax system is competitive in comparison with other jurisdictions
  • Encouraging and enabling people to take responsibility for their financial well-being later in life
  • Ensuring the tax and benefits system is sustainable and as far as possible efficient, fair and simple
  • Ensuring States' expenditure is controlled and public money is used efficiently

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