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Deputy Lyndon Trott speaking to GPEG

Copy of notes taken by Shelaine Green, Women in Public Life, at the Guernsey Policy and Economics Group lunch on 10 May 2024. gpeg.org.gg.

Guernsey Press report by Matt Fallaize.

 

Busiest he has ever been, including when he was previously Chief Minister. Amount and intensity of issues has reached new level. He was the youngest Chief Minister and is now the longest serving.

Intro of zero ten was a major change, the right choice to maintain a thriving economy. Pandemic brought most economies to a standstill. Far from easy decisions. Meaningful engagement with community.

Now face challenges that are complex and interlinked. Aging population, falling birth rate, global instability etc. More than 64k people in Gsy, population growth used to average 150 people, now 6-700. Highly cyclical, depends on employment. Additional strain on housing. Units rose by only 94 in 2024. More people in retirement years. 11k were 65 or over 10 yrs ago. In 10 years it could pass 18k. Number of young people will reduce. £609k for av house or £1900 for rent. Over a quarter of employed people earn less than £30k. One salary used to be enough, those days are gone. Economy depends on participation.

Doesn’t sleep too badly though. Always been known for being a glass half full man. Has confidence in Guernsey. In as strong a position as any jurisdiction could hope to be. GDP per capita is £52k, 50% higher than UK. Very little national debt. Extremely low tax base. Median earner pays 8k tax. Less taxes than UK, Jersey, France and IoM. Demographic pressures are far more severe in other places, that’s a warning for us. Mass protests in France about increasing pension age. Record of addressing these issues openly here. Need to have the conversation even if it’s difficult. Media tell us every day we are a basket case. Story sells newspapers but does not make it true. What makes our front page wouldn’t get a sniff in UK. We’ve avoided extremism. Poverty and homelessness are on a completely different scale to other countries.

GPEG is a force for good in highlighting the challenges we face. Sometimes he’s accused of being too optimistic, but it isn’t him who needs to have some perspective. We talk ourselves down without acknowledging how fortunate we are to live here. Guernsey has played a role in all of our successes. This room should be championing the success story that Gsy is. All got ideas on how things can be better. Genuinely lucky to live here. He will remain a glass half full Chief Minister.

 

Questions

 

What are you doing about flights? (From student)

Not in his mandate but will answer it. Frustrated as all are at the events that Aurigny has suffered recently. But not so long ago it was winning awards. Still the fifth most prompt airline serving UK. 90 per cent of fares are less than £150 return, so cheaper now than when he was a teen.

Bring back scholarships but means test? (From student)

He didn’t vote to end selection. His father took a third job to fund him through Elizabeth College. Made the worst speech in the selection debate because he felt v strongly. Bursary available via Perrot legacy, a welcome initiative. Mistake to abolish selection until had a defined plan for future. Selection won’t come back now. Objective is to raise the standard in the States schools to remove differential. Still have a public grant to colleges. If educated in public sector it costs £8-12k. College grant is less than £2k.

Future housing initiatives to keep students on island? (From student)

No 1 domestic govt initiative. Doing as much as can to get spades in the ground. He has a ten year old who will have these issues. In 3 years he’s confident there will be 6-700 new homes. He would like to partially sponsor cost of uni if you come back to island. Like Canada. Idea not favoured by enough if his colleagues.

Civil service too big. Compliance industry is drain on economy. Don’t replace Colin Le Ray. Look at what’s happening in Argentina. Cost of pensions.

Increase of 716 staff in 24 years but only 17 are civil servants, most are nurses and carers because of aging demographic. White collar public service is chronically understaffed. Direct Benefit pension scheme put in more sustainable footing in 2015. Independent actuarial report demonstrates that a Direct Contribution scheme will cost more, appreciate that seems counter-intuitive. Some of these issues are more challenging than you might think. Final salary scheme is a thing of the past. Turnover in nursing sector has been acute, had to use agency staff. Costs millions.

If you were standing again, would you keep your opinions on controversial issues to yourself? (From student)

He was one of the few who said at last election that tax would have to go up. IoM average spend per capita on public services is £13.5k, £13k in Jersey, £12.2k in Guernsey. This govt is run surprisingly efficiently compared to others. Not only do we spend less, we tax less.

Guernsey behind the curve technologically?

Gsy government behind the curve, doing best to catch up, but Gsy Industry isn’t. Very few people in govt to drive these issues forward, criticised for employing consultants. Wouldn’t hesitate in business to reach for consultants if there was a skills gap. Seeing more outsourcing from Gsy businesses, genuine risk that we aware of. Huge consolidation in finance industry. Decision makers may not have the same affinity with Gsy as ten years ago.

Comment from audience member: Harbour and airports are run as if civil service, need them to think and act as companies. Might mean paying Colin’s successor more. How do we find more people like you to stand for the States. Don’t see the successors sitting next to you in the chamber. Need talented people, leading talented civil servants. Board of admin used to have the ports holding account. Resources aren’t as plentiful now. Agrees that Ports of Jersey model works better, more commercialisation.

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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