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Housing And Cost Of Living Key States Priorities

The States will be asked to act quickly to address Guernsey's housing problems over supply and affordability when they debate the Government Work Plan in June.

Policy and Resources wants to make key priorities out of a number of issues that have become pressing over the past year.

Those include how to address population and migration to ensure there are adequate people for the jobs available across all sectors and the cost of living crisis and mitigating its affect on the less well off through income support and a winter fuel allowance.

Committee president, Peter Ferbrache, says housing must be tackled:

"For this coming year, the pressure on our housing market is one area that we must address urgently, as it creates challenges in many other areas, socially and economically. We have taken some important steps, but we must do more, quickly."

The Government Work Plan sets out priorities for the coming year and is debated each June. Deputy Ferbrache says progress has been made:

"I’m encouraged that in fact we have achieved a lot of what we set out as our collective priorities last year, including an end to the use of emergency powers for managing COVID-19, securing access for the Bailiwick in trade in goods as part of the UK’s new trade agreements."

The £85m a year shortfall in government revenue and funding elderly care are also near the top of the list.

Deputy Ferbrache says the States must create the right conditions for a sustainable economy and society:

"We must also ensure we have resilience in areas such as energy security and climate change mitigations. We need to make sure we’re able to raise enough revenue to fund essential services.

And we must continue to demonstrate our compliance with international standards, recognising the importance of our reputation to our economic wellbeing.”

Deputy Heidi Soulsby, the vice president of P&R, says whatever the States decide during debate, it must be relevant and achievable:

"The first debate on this Plan did a lot to cut out what was un-realisable and no longer prioritised from previous terms. We must now keep up that discipline and not clog up the wheels of government again."

"People want to see action and that's the best way of doing it, making sure that we see things through rather than finding something else we might like to do and starting that as well. So yes, an absolutely focused plan."

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