THE Confederation of Guernsey Industry has urged the States to take positive steps and focus on population, connectivity and growth as enablers of the economy.
This follows the current debate into the proposed extension of the airport runway and demands to spend taxpayers’ money on external consultants when, in the view of the CGi, the island itself should determine the priorities for the future.
In a letter sent to all Deputies today, Clive McMinn, CGi Chairman, believes the States needs to tackle the key issues of population, growth and connectivity.
‘We all share a common goal to see the island prosper, particularly at a time when facing considerable economic challenges. The States needs to focus on how the island should look in the future, how many people do we expect to live here and from there set realistic objectives and create the conditions for encouraging business.’
‘We cannot ask consultants to come in at great cost, time and effort without having our own firm ideas of where we are going. It is not just a question of money, it is a question of priorities,’ Mr McMinn added.
The CGi also distanced itself from calls to extend the airport runway and queried why other, more immediate options had not been taken.
‘It does seem odd that Guernsey will not support an inter-island ferry trial which would have brought visitors to the island and revenue to a struggling visitor economy straightaway, but is to consider spending a similar or greater amount on consultants to establish the viability of lengthening the airport runway with no guarantee of any future income.’
‘We are very much aligned with the views of Deputies Peter Roffey and Heidi Soulsby in that we should not be talking about a runway as the solution in isolation before we determine the problem and try to understand and solve it,’ he said.