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States Budget For 2022 Approved

Alcohol and petrol will cost more next year as the annual budget for 2022 has passed through the States of Deliberation with little opposition.

Duties on both are increasing by 4%, meaning a pint of beer will cost 2p more and petrol and diesel will go up by 2.9p a litre.

The tax on tobacco will rise by 7.5% duty, putting an extra 44p on the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes. 

Domestic and commercial Tax on Real Property (TRP) will also increase by 4%.

The Income Tax allowance will rise by £300 to £12,175 in line with inflation.

Treasury Lead for Policy and Resources, Deputy Mark Helyar opened the debate with what he described as good news:

"The latest forecast is for no deficit or at least a break-even position in 2021, primarily due to some exceptionally high levels of document duty receipts and a higher than forecast  reduction in revenue expenditure."

Policy and Resources President Deputy Peter Ferbrache said what was being debated was a 'holding budget'.

"We're going to have the Tax Review debate, when its capable of amendment, acceptance, rejection etc in July. That's when we will likely decide where we are going with tax policy over the next number of years, certainly over the life of this assembly and into the next."

Rises on alcohol and fuel duties will affect islanders across Guernsey.

A number of different ideas were put forward as to where potential savings could be made.

Deputy Ferbrache responded to Deputy Gavin St Pier asking about tax in relation to the Lieutenant Governor. 

"I haven't discussed this with my colleagues on P&R. It is my understanding that in Jersey and the Isle of Man, His Excellency's salary is not taxed and that's our position here.

If we want to change that then we need to have the courtesy to sit down with the new Lieutenant Governor, when he's had the chance to get his feet under the table, and respectfully discuss it with him.

If it is the view of the assembly that His Excellency's salary should be taxed then it would need to be increased by the amount of tax that he would then be subjected to. Because paying him 20% less would not be fair." 

Deputy Neil Inder was critical of the value the States were getting from Agilysis, the company responsible for modernising the States' IT systems and improving service delivery of public services through digital technology.

"What have Agilysis been doing over the past two years with public money? I'm extremely worried that over the next 10 years were going to come back and look at this and I'm going to be wearing my 'I told you so' t-shirt."

Previously, Deputy Mark Helyar said that the duties will continue to increase year after year by £1 million at a time.

The Chief Minister said that this is a 'holding budget' with a full debate and amendments to be brought forward in July 2022.

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