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Islanders against GST

Posted Tue 20th July 2010 at 12:56

Residents are up in arms at the prospect of GST (goods and services tax) being introduced.

Ray Berry said the tax could finish the island at last night's people's meeting.

"This is not just a law - it is a thief in the night," said Mr Berry. "Guernsey is robbing us of our future.

"We need to stand up to Guernsey as this could be the death knell of Alderney. If we say yes, yes, yes to Guernsey we might as well forget about being the States of Alderney and just become a parish of Guernsey."

Former States member Louis Jean said: "We're going to end up with TRP, Zero 10, our water rates up ten per cent a year and now GST. The cost of electricity here is well known to be the highest in the Channel Islands. How much more can this community take?"

Alderney Chamber of Commerce president Andrew Eggleston said his members were unanimous in their opposition to GST.

Lawyer Paul Arditti suggested the States seek independent legal advice on the historic 1948 agreement with Guernsey - the law which says Alderney residents must pay Guernsey taxes.

States member Boyd Kelly, convener at the meeting, said the issue was being debated as Guernsey wanted to be "politically inclusive" - and not simply pass legislation without hearing Alderney's views.

Mr Kelly added: "I can assure you the fact it is going to open States reflects the views of States members who wanted their views to be known so they can be taken back to Guernsey."

Mr Kelly also suggested the island could be heading for a constitutional showdown with Guernsey, should GST be introduced without Alderney's backing.

However, Policy and Finance Committee chairman Richard Willmott said he had been assured by Chief Minister Lyndon Trott that the chance of GST being brought in was now less likely than ever before.

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