Guernsey population cap removed

Paper chain of men and women holding hands Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The States agreed in the long term the population should be kept to the "lowest level possible" to meet its objectives

A policy of capping Guernsey's population at its 2007 level has been scrapped.

The States' policy of trying to keep the population at 61,175 was described as a "blunt instrument" by the chief minister.

The move follows reports of a falling working age population (those aged 16-64) as the "baby boom generation" moves towards retirement.

Latest figures show 40,627 of the 62,477 residents are of working age.

The States also agreed to commission a report to recommend initiatives, including family-friendly policies, that would encourage an increase in Guernsey's fertility rate.

Births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 for 2010-2012 was 50.9, compared to 64.2 for England and 54.9 in Jersey.

A move to cap the working-age population at its current level was defeated by a 26-14 vote.

Treasury minister Gavin St Pier described the move as "lunacy" and "deeply flawed" as any kind of cap limited the flexibility needed to manage the population.

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