This is our first communication of 2019 and provides me with an opportunity to detail news and developments from your Federation and this year's priorities.
In 2018, our main objective was to liaise with and lobby politicians and civil servants to improve the population management law. We have evidence that shows that the legislation is continuing to hamper member firms with staff recruitment so are to continue our campaign.
Our other key policy areas for year are:
• Launch the Made in Guernsey/Guernsey Marque initiative
• Improve digital connectivity, infrastructure and skills
• Reduce over regulation
• Diversify the economy/developing incentives for new industry
• Encourage discussion within the States on deferred pensions
• Monitor Guernsey's progress in providing renewable energy.
Our Annual General Meeting is scheduled for quarter one of 2019, around the end of February/early March and I will write to you separately on this in the coming weeks.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for your support and to look forward to seeing you at the AGM.
At the most recent CGi committee meeting, Deputies Neil Inder and Barry Paint presented their ideas for the development of St Peter Port Harbour by extending out from the East Arm and creating a potential deep water berth.
Their solution would create a mooring for larger vessels than can berth at present (which includes cruise ships), provide a site for disposing of inert waste rather than extending Longue Hougue and enable a larger area for handling passengers and freight. The committee felt this had merit and it is our intention to take this forward in the coming months.
We have also been involved in discussions with the Committee for Economic Development and other business groups on the CfED’s policy letter for the development of air and sea links. At the request of Deputy Charles Parkinson, we will submit our views on the various points raised in the meeting to the CfED before the end of this year.
Our stated support of Skills Guernsey has been published in the local media and we are to follow up with the CfED on the two initiatives proposed – digital internships and industry weeks.
Thank you for your continued support.
A deferred pension applies to someone who has stopped paying into a state pension scheme but is not yet retired, so continues working either part or full time. The individual can choose to keep their benefits in the scheme and receive their pension income later at a more advantageous rate.
The UK adopted this back in 1948 but in Guernsey, deferred pensions do not exist - you have to start receiving your States’ pension when you reach the statutory age.
The CGi would like this to change. We want the States to offer local employees the option not to take their pension at the usual age but at a time when it suits the individual so they accrue financial benefits.
With a forecast reduction in working population, and increase in the number of Islanders retiring, this would fit with the 'Longer Working Lives' Policy and recommendations adopted by the States earlier this year.
We are to send Federation members a short online survey for their views. The results will be incorporated into our discussions with Social Security.
The relaunch of Skills Guernsey is welcomed by the CGi.
We have written to the Committee for Economic Development on these two initiatives:
• The launch of digital internships focussing on digital skills. The CGi would be willing to coordinate and run a database of companies and students (within the restrictions of GDPR) to help match youngsters and employers willing to ‘support local.’
• The return of ‘Industry Weeks’, run previously by Tony Brassell, CGi member, in his time previously at Commerce and Employment. Students spend time at different organisations each day so they can start to understand the needs of employers.
If members have thoughts and views, please email Clive on firstname.lastname@example.org
The past couple of months have been busy so we can update you on developments within the CGi.
To kick start Guernsey’s economy, we need more people in employment which is achievable through retraining, working past retirement age, bringing in the right labour to fill numerous vacancies, training up youngsters to be better equipped to start work and other initiatives such as the introduction of deferred pensions.
We have held positive discussions with local actuaries to discuss how the island could introduce deferred pensions and the resultant benefits for the States and local employees. We are now to meet with Social Security and will issue a short survey for members to complete.
Last month, Simon Stone, Director of Procurement at the States gave a very interesting presentation to the committee. Simon has a clear mandate to streamline, professionalise and reduce the costs and has already made savings for the States of £3 - £4 million in just one year.
Skills Guernsey is being reborn and we have been talking to the Committee for Economic Development and providing feedback as well as suggesting new initiatives the Island should follow.
Finally, our social visit and tour at the power station in September was very interesting and informative, so thank you to Sally-Anne David, CGi committee member and Director at Guernsey Electricity, for organising that for us.
TWENTY members of the CGi recently visited Guernsey Electricity for an interesting and very informative tour of the power station at Northside.
We were guided around the control centre and three of the stations, including the newest Engine 3D, by Asset Controller, Lloyd Le Page.
Guernsey Electricity’s Chief Operating Officer Sally-Ann David then gave a presentation about the future of electricity and the changing energy industry, our future tariff objectives, energy policy and electric vehicles.
The two hour event finished with snacks and drinks, courtesy of Guernsey Electricity.
GUERNSEY Electricity has been providing electricity to the island for over 100 years.
Until 2001 all electricity was generated on-island but completion of a cable link to France via Jersey has given the opportunity to import units from the European Grid in conjunction with on-island generation. The change has brought significant environmental benefits for the Island.
Guernsey Electricity is committed to providing a safe, stable, value-for-money energy supply, while maintaining a responsible attitude towards the environment.
We have linked up to offer CGi members with a tour and social event at the St Sampson's facilities on Tuesday 18 September. This provides a great opportunity to view the power station and pose questions to the senior officials at Guernsey Electricity.
4:00pm – 5:00pm – Tour of the power station with Lloyd Le Page, Asset Controller.
5:00pm – 5:30pm – Discussion and Q&A on the future of the energy market.
5:30pm – 6:00pm – Drinks & Nibbles (sandwiches, cakes, fruit)
To reserve your place, please email Ian at email@example.com
BACK in June, I highlighted our ongoing concerns with the Population Management Legislation. We therefore resumed our campaign privately with senior politicians and civil servants and one of our committee sits on the Tourism sub-committee and is able to present the CGi’s views at this forum.
Our other two themes are States procurement and deferred pensions. Simon Steele, the Director of Procurement at the States is presenting to the committee in September on the procurement transformation programme so we will update members on the outcome of this meeting.
On deferred pensions, Guernsey is out of sync with the UK in that it does not offer an ability to defer the state pension. There are benefits for the States and to individuals who do not wish to draw their pension at the statutory retirement age so we are to explore this with a local actuarial firm and the States itself.
I am delighted to confirm that our social event and tour takes place on 18 September at Guernsey Electricity’s offices. Organised through Sally-Anne David, committee member and GEL director, the event will include a tour of the power station discuss and Q&A on the future of the energy market, followed by drinks and nibbles. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your place.
The CGi remains resolutely determined to play its part in kick-starting Guernsey’s economy and continues to engage with the key decision makers on the island. The work and dialogue simply does not stop.
ONE topic that has been top of mind over recent months is GDPR.
Have you all taken steps to ensure compliance with our local laws that mirror the EU’s legislation?
We are in regular touch with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner and if members are encountering issues we would be happy to discuss with the Commissioner and provide support and general advice to members on compliance. Please feel free to email email@example.com
THE CGi really wants to play a part in kick-starting Guernsey’s economy and continues to engage with the key decision makers on the island. We regularly meet with senior civil servants and politicians from the Chief Minister down and discussions have included the Population Management Law (PML), incentives for start-up and local businesses, deferred pensions along with and green energy and renewables.
The responses have been encouraging and the dialogue will not stop. It was also positive to see Deputy Charles Parkinson attend our AGM in March and field questions on a wide range of topics.
The PML is still a barrier to local companies expanding so we are to restart our campaign with two aims – the short term (9 months on/three months off) licences to return without the five year maximum term and the classification of longer term licences to include essential roles other than those seem to suit the finance industry.
Thank you to all of you who took the time to reply to feedback on the new Economic Vision Strategy. We compiled the responses received and sent them on to Steve Wakelin, the States’ Chief Strategy & Policy Officer, for consideration prior to the States’ Debate on the Strategy earlier this month.