- Parish Castel
- Experience Current Deputy
I read Law at Cambridge, and then qualified as both a Chartered Accountant and a Barrister. I established the Praxis Group and led that business until 2004 when I was first elected for the South East District. I have 4 adult children, and I now live in the Castel, where I am renovating a bungalow with my partner. I enjoy family time, boating, travel and music.
- A genuine independent with vision & integrity.
- A team player who gets things done.
- President, Committee for Economic Development (2017 - present), President, States Trading Supervisory Board (2016 - 2018), Minister, Treasury & Resources Department (2008 - 2012).
- Deputy: St Peter Port North 2015 - present, Deputy: South-East District 2004 - 2012.
As President of the Committee for Economic Development, my policy interests naturally centre on the economy. But I am also interested in fiscal policy, as a past Minister of Treasury & Resources, and I have generally liberal views on social policy. Overlaying all of these policy areas, we have to recognise the vital importance of protecting our environment and addressing the problem of climate change.
Guernsey has a strong and resilient economy, but we face challenges which could harm our future. Offshore finance centres are coming under ever increasing scrutiny, and artificial intelligence could reduce the number of jobs in the finance industry. A wider range of activities would not only mitigate these risks but would also make the island a more attractive place for people who do not want to work in finance.
So we need to attract new industries which are compatible with our size, location and our skills base. These could include any number of digital industries, given our excellent connections to the internet eg fintech, health tech, digital media, cyber security etc.
We should also aim to become leaders in sustainable development and renewable energy. We are surrounded by potential sources of renewable energy (wind, tide, marine current, wave and solar energy). We must become ‘carbon neutral’ and long before the 2050 target date.
Rising sea levels are a threat, but sensible development to address this challenge can also be an opportunity. We have a ‘blue economy’, in the form of visiting yachts and cruise ships, and we can sustainably exploit the sea around us for fishing, harvesting seaweed etc. We can modernise our port facilities to make the most of these opportunities, at the same time as ‘future-proofing’ our sea defences.
Many of these initiatives would benefit from an international university presence on Guernsey, to make the island a centre of excellence in the new industries.
The response to the Covid-19 pandemic has blown a big hole in our public finances, and there will be a fiscal review to address this problem next year. There is a real risk that this review will recommend the introduction of a GST.
However, many of the companies which have received taxpayer ‘bail-outs’ over recent months do not pay Guernsey Income Tax, because of our Zero-10 policy. This has got to stop. All companies doing business on Guernsey should be paying tax at 10% on their Guernsey-source income. We must all be in this together!
I proposed a successful amendment to the new anti-discrimination legislation to bring sexuality and religion into the first wave of protected characteristics, alongside race and disability. I strongly dislike bigots of all kinds, and look forward to bringing age and gender identity within the scope of the law before 2026.
I also seconded an amendment to legalise and regulate the supply and consumption of cannabis. Science tells us that cannabis is less harmful to health than alcohol (which is legalised and regulated), and I can see no sense in criminalising people (mostly young people) for using this drug in its normal strength. Doing so often makes it hard for them to get a job.
I would support a three-school model for our secondary schools, either as three 11 – 18 schools or three 11 – 16 schools with a separate 6th form. The construction of the Guernsey Institute should proceed without delay, and I have discussed the International University project above.
I believe that investing in ‘green’ initiatives is a business opportunity for Guernsey. Of course, development cannot stop, but we have to become world leaders in sustainable development. In 2004 I first proposed that we could deal with our solid waste by exporting it, and I was told by the senior politicians of the day that we couldn’t do that because “it would be illegal”.
Of course it wasn’t illegal, and in 2017, as President of the States Trading Supervisory Board, I had the privilege of taking the Waste Transfer Station project through the States. The £32m project was completed on budget and on time, the only major capital project of the last 4 years. As a result, Guernsey now has a recycling rate of 73% (compared to Jersey’s 30%). Guernsey is becoming “the green island”!
Please Vote Parkinson to help me to promote these polices, with ability, compassion and experience!