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Population Policy Review

Introduction

As a small island with limited resources, policy decisions that influence the size and make-up of our population are fundamental.

This review of Guernsey’s population and immigration policy was presented to the States for debate on 19 October by the Committee for Home Affairs. But it was developed by a steering group made up of members of P&R, Home Affairs, Economic Development, Education and Environment and Infrastructure. All propositions, as amended, were voted through on 21 October. Full voting records are HERE.

The key proposal related to net migration – the difference between the number of people who leave Guernsey and the number who come to live in Guernsey each year. For the purposes of planning the island’s housing needs, services, benefits etc the Review said we should assume net migration of up to 300 people each year for the next thirty years as this is what’s needed to maintain our working population. That would take our total population up to about 68,000 by 2051.

The Review recommends that Guernsey should widen its recruitment pool so that people can be recruited from across the world, not just Britain, Ireland and the EU. Guernsey has already negotiated to be able to allow a wider list of permitted roles than the UK.

In return, Guernsey needs to alter its population management regime so as not to become a ‘back door’ to the Common Travel Area, now that the UK has moved to a points-based immigration system with indefinite leave to remain after five years. A short-term one-year licence (STEP) will only be able to be renewed three times rather than five. Medium-term 5 year licences (MTEP) will be withdrawn and more long-term 8 year licences (LTEP), which are a route to remaining indefinitely, will be issued instead.

The Steering Group acknowledged that the emotive issue of ‘birth-right privilege‘ is potentially discriminatory and proposes a specific review of the routes to becoming a permanent resident, with recommendations by the end of the States term.

 

Quick overview

There’s no public-friendly version of this policy paper so the best ‘summary’ is the list of propositions and the executive summary at the beginning of the policy letter.

The main resistance to the proposals in the Review came from those who want to see the States take active steps to increase participation in the workforce by our current population (see media articles 6-9 in the list below).

 

Articles

Media:

  1. Home Affairs plan for more immigration to boost workforce (14 Sept, Bailiwick Express)
  2. 3,000+ new housing units needed if deputies back population growth (15 Sept, Bailiwick Express)
  3. P&R has “no agreed position” on key population growth plan (15 Sept, Bailiwick Express)
  4. New population policy a ‘game-changer’ for firms (20 Sept, Guernsey Press)
  5. Prow: ‘We need to develop the working population’ (21 Sept, Guernsey Press)
  6. Population growth plan faces challenge in States next week (11 Oct, Bailiwick Express)
  7. De Sausmarez: Let’s maximise the talent we have (12 Oct, Guernsey Press)
  8. Less need for population growth if more local residents worked (12 Oct, Bailiwick Express)
  9. 300 more workers in each year is ‘a Ponzi scheme’ (13 Oct, Guernsey Press)
  10. Fallaize: States tackle questions on migration and population (18 Oct, Bailiwick Express)
  11. Kazantseva-Miller: Does it go far enough? (18 Oct, Bailiwick Express. Similar article published in Guernsey Press.)
  12. Population policy amendments ‘potentially dangerous’ says Home (19 Oct, Guernsey Press)
  13. Comment: A plan for a future many don’t want (19 0ct, Guernsey Press)
  14. Amendment could risk our Common Travel Area (19 Oct, Bailiwick Express)
  15. Population policy amendments ‘potentially dangerous’ says Home (19 Oct, Guernsey Press)
  16. “Discriminatory” amendment rejected – but Procurer says it wouldn’t have been unlawful (20 Oct, Bailiwick Express)
  17. Infrastructure WILL be considered as population grows (20 Oct, Bailiwick Express)
  18. Access to childcare could be improved to boost productivity (21 Oct, Guernsey Press)
  19. Move to favour CTA residents with work permits is voted out (21 Oct, Guernsey Press)
  20. Additional roles won’t be added to employment list (21 Oct, Bailiwick Express)
  21. Increased population could demand compulsory health insurance (22 Oct, Bailiwick Express)
  22. Population increase of 300 a year will guide States planning (22 Oct, Guernsey Press)
  23. Comment: The plan that’s not really a plan (24 Oct, Guernsey Press)
  24. Prow: Sustaining the island’s workforce (25 Oct, Guernsey Press)

Home Affairs response:

  1. Committee for Home Affairs to oppose three out of six amendments to the Population & Immigration Policy Review (18 Oct, gov.gg media release)
  2. Replacement of medium term employment permits will support business recruitment and retention (18 Oct, gov.gg media release)

Industry response:

  1. IoD responds to Population and Immigration Policy Review (27 Sept)
  2. IoD responds to Population and Immigration Policy Review (updated version, 17 Oct)
  3. Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA) joins the IoD in population policy letter response (18 Oct)
  4. IoD statement following latest quarterly population, employment and earnings statistics (31 Oct)

 

Amendments

There were six amendments lodged prior to the debate. See ‘Propositions and Policy Letters’ HERE.

Topline results of the votes are shown below. Full voting records are HERE.

Amendment 1 (De Saus & Haskins) – proposed that work is undertaken to better assess the resources that will likely be required to enable the States to effectively plan for the strategic population objective, and to resource that work accordingly. CARRIED 22-10.

Amendment 2 (KMiller & Soulsby) – proposed to note that the Human Capital Development Plan will include workstreams to improve economic and social participation of islanders through a variety of policy levers and that this work may reduce the requirement for the net migration level identified. LOST 14-15.

Amendment 3 (KMiller & Soulsby) – sought to give a policy direction the Committee for Home Affairs to explore any options to treat CTA (common travel area) residents differently because they are not bound by the same immigration restrictions. LOST 10-22.

Amendment 4 (KMiller & Soulsby) – directed the Committee for Home Affairs to explore ways under which it could have further flexibility to expand the LTEP (long term employment permit) list when required to address labour shortages. LOST 8-23.

Amendment 5 (Roffey & De Saus) – replaced strategic policy objective of “up to 300+ net migration with “+200”. LOST 11-22.

Amendment 6 (Roffey & De Saus) – proposed that P&R coordinate an investigation into measures to optimise the economic participation of Guernsey’s resident population and to increase, wherever possible, the productivity of the island’s workforce. CARRIED 19-8.

The Committee for Home Affairs objected to amendments 3, 4 and 5, see media release HERE.

 

A further two amendments were lodged during the debate:

Amendment 7 (Brouard/Ferbrache) – directed P&R and HSC to examine a commercially provided healthcare scheme. CARRIED 30-3.

Amendment 8 (Gollop/Blin) – proposed changing the three year maximum terms for short-term licences to four years. LOST 5-23.

 

The review in detail

If you can, read the policy letter in full – it’s an interesting introduction into how managing the population works in the island.

If reading the whole thing is too much, focus on:

  • Strategic population objectives (sections 5&6, pages 10-25)
  • Employment permit policy (section 7, pages 25-31)

‘Birth-right privilege’ is explained in Appendix 4 on page 51.

Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.

miriam-makeba-SA

Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Are you from South Africa? Please email hello@womeninpubliclife.gg if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

jacinda-adern-2

Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

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