- 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!
Answers to questions proposed by the public:
Most of the detailed work of the States is done in committees, like the Committee for Environment and Infrastructure. What experience do you have of being on a committee and how did you contribute?
I'm President of the Committee for Economic Development, a former President of the States Trading Supervisory Board and a past Minister of the Treasury & Resources Department. I have chaired the States Strategic Plan Group and the Energy Policy Committee, so I have many years of experience of Committee work.
With unemployment currently running at an all time high, what measures would you like in place to ensure local people are offered jobs before license holders ?
I want to promote projects that have the potential to create an immediate economic impact, such as the Leale's Yard development. But many of the people who have recently become unemployed came from the hospitality and retail sectors, and they won't fully recover until our borders are more open.
What concrete measures would you like to see implemented in Guernsey during the next term to achieve net zero carbon by 2050?
We must electrify our home heating and road transport systems, and improve home insulation. Beyond the next term of government, we must plan for electrification of ferries and, potentially, aircraft.
I live in St Peter Port but have interests in the Vale, St Peters and Castel. Will you be looking at Island Wide issues or more so in your Parish of residence?
I have been a Deputy for the South East District and for St Peter Port North. I now live in the Castel, so I will certainly try to represent all islanders
Are you concerned about the large amount of agricultural land that is being lost for private gardens?
I think we have to be realistic about the demand for agricultural land. We only have 13 farmers left, and much of our agricultural land is actually used for 'horticulture'.
You will make many commitments as a politician, but how will you actually ensure these are achieved? If you have been a deputy before, what will you do differently this term to improve achievements?
All any of us can do is work towards our goals in the system of consensus government. But fortunately I have often been able to persuade my colleagues that I am right!
What are your opinions on climate change and Guernsey's role in tackling it?
Guernsey must play its part in tackling climate change, by reducing carbon emissions and building a 'circular economy' in which resources are reused and recycled as much as possible. But the climate is changing, and we must also prepare for the effects of this, eg by strengthening our sea defences.
What are the attributes and skills you will be looking for in the next President of the Policy & Resources Committee?
Leadership. To have a clear vision, the ability to communicate it, and the ability to take the Assembly along with him or her.
If the independent Cost Benefit Analysis supports lengthening the airport runway, would you vote in favour of investing in this key element of island infrastructure?
The Cost/Benefit Analysis will be reviewed in the light of the Covid-19 experience, and its impact on aviation, this winter. If the review shows that the original conclusions are still valid, I will support a runway extension.
Do you believe that diversification of the island's tax base is an important consideration for Guernsey in today's volatile and fast-moving global economy? If so, how can this specifically be achieved for Guernsey?
Yes it is. We must invest in new industries which are suitable for Guernsey, such as digital industries of all kinds, renewable energy, sustainable development and the blue economy. Establishing an international university on Guernsey could be conducive to all of these developments.
What are the candidates' views on maternity pay and leave and how would they improve the current arrangements, if at all?
Maternity pay has recently been improved, and I would wait to see if this change has sufficiently responded to the problems.
I believe Guernsey needs a vision; a forward-thinking concept for the future of the island’s infrastructure, community wellbeing and economy. What’s yours?
That is what leadership is all about. I want to develop Guernsey's economy so that it is more resilient and provides a wider choice of job opportunities. I want to rebrand Guernsey, so that it is not perceived simply as a "tax haven". Guernsey must become a place known for the positive contribution it makes in the world.
Do you agree that people should be encouraged to use cars less and if so what measures would you like to see introduced to achieve this?
As someone who cycles most days, I would like to see a network of cycle routes around the island. In the future, we may have a fleet of autonomous electric vehicles operating on the island, so there will be no need to own a car.
Do you support outsourcing of States services?
I support outsourcing when this will produce a better result or lead to efficiencies. Some services cannot be completely outsourced.
What will you do to educate the islanders about the reality of the climate crisis which is the biggest threat currently facing the world?
Most islanders are aware of this problem, but the States has a role to play in ensuring that everyone understands it. The schools can play a part, but the States needs to initiate conversations about decarbonisation and improving sea defences, through public engagement.
Most environmental problems are caused by the love of growth. Would you consider de-growth?
I want sustainable growth - growth that consumes less resources
What environmental policies would you support to reduce Guernsey’s reliance on the internal combustion engine, in support of International global warming initiatives?
We must work to electrify our road transport and home heating systems. Building a network of cycle routes would encourage more people to walk or cycle (like I do!).
What measures will you put in place during the next term to ensure that environmental biodiversity will be protected and enhanced?
Bio-diversity must always be considered in appraising any development project.
The Guernsey Press had an article and a picture of a proposed East Coast development called HYDROPORT. It seemed to me to be a brilliant plan and included a new deep water harbour, a hydro electric supply by enclosing Belgrave bay and changes to St Peter port harbour to accommodate cruise liners and super yachts. It would provide jobs, produce an ongoing and substantial revenue stream and make us to some extent self-reliant on electricity, why has there been no update on this project?
The Seafront Enhancement Area project has not sufficiently defined the problems that we are trying to solve. I have been greatly disappointed that so little progress has been made.
Do you agree that there is a climate crisis caused predominantly by the actions of humans?
Longue Hougue has been proposed as a site for inert waste disposal despite it being a site of international importance in terms of wildlife. La Societe Guernesiase and other scientists have advised against this. What will you do to ensure that this valuable habitat is protected?
The environmental value of the site must be balanced against the island's needs for safe port facilities and strong sea defences. All of the issues need to be understood and evaluated.
Most scientists and experts agree that a target of 2050 to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions is nowhere near ambitious enough and will have catastrophic consequences around the world. What will you do to ensure that Guernsey takes action to significantly reduce carbon emissions during the next term?
I agree that the 2050 target is not sufficiently ambitious. I will work towards decarbonisation of our road transport and home heating markets.
What is your view on current spending on Aurigny, is it worth how much we are paying? Is it run efficiently? Did we need new aircraft?
No, Aurigny is not run efficiently. It has a vital role to play in securing our air connectivity, but it needs to stop making mistakes like launching Jersey and Southampton services, precipitating a price war.
If elected, would you fully support the retention, repair and ongoing maintenance of the Sea Defences provided by the anti-tank wall at L’Ancresse Bay?
No. The anti-tank wall is not a sea defence.
A significant proportion of the concerns about the two college model of secondary education related to the capital costs and space standards: they could have been addressed with higher spending. Would you be prepared to spend more money on the future model of secondary education than previously agreed by the States in September 2019? If so, how much more?
Yes. My priority would be the best educational outcomes. They might be best achieved in a two school model, but I instinctively lean towards a three school model, because of the local environmental impacts and because medium sized schools provide a less impersonal learning environment.
With the general increase in costs of running the island and with various capital projects requiring funding; and with limitations on the amount that islanders can be taxed; do you think that it may be time to revisit the 0-10 tax scheme that created a big black hole in the island's finances?
Yes. We should introduce a territorial corporate income tax at 10%.
If elected, what priority will you give to the introduction of the already-drafted consumer protection legislation?
It should be introduced without further delay.
Did you know that same-sex families aren't treated equally when it comes to registering the birth of a child? What will you do to change that?
Yes I know that, and I want to change it asap.
Would you support a programme of privatisation of island utilities and other facilities such as Beau Sejour to help reduce record levels of borrowing resulting from the cost of Covid defences?
I don't think Beau Sejour could be run profitably without depriving many islanders of the opportunity to swim, go to the gym, play tennis etc. It contributes to our public health system. I would not privatise Guernsey Electricity, Guernsey Post, or the ports.
Increasing home working will likely result in surplus office space. Will you encourage an urgent revision of Planning Policies to facilitate conversion of retail and office space to residential & curb green-field development?
Yes. Some office and some retail property would be best converted to residential or at least mixed-use sites.
What is your attitude towards enhanced and mandatory registration, chipping and DNA recording of dogs and control of their fouling, island-wide?
To be honest, this is not one of my political priorities.
I have one question for sitting Deputies and one for new candidates. Deputies:- what, in your mind, was your greatest political achievement in the last four years? New candidates:- What is your biggest political goal in the next four years?
The most concrete of my political achievements was taking the Waste Transfer Station project (the only major capital project of the last 4 years) through the States. This was double satisfying for me, because I first proposed the strategy of exporting the island's solid waste (in 2004).
How good are your mediation and conciliation skills? The key to the islands well-being and progress is in working together to achieve the projects approved - to see sustainable, innovative solutions. Leadership in pulling the team together to move forward, rather than in circles.
I believe that I am considered to be a good committee chairman, and I have run a fairly harmonious Economic Development Committee for the last 34 months, despite having political views which are diametrically opposite to those of the rest of the Committee.
Would you support not giving Local Market licenses to those earning above a set level to support both LM and OM?
We need to rethink our population management regime. Generally I am in favour of relaxing the restrictions, and I do not see a flood of high-earning immigrants as an imminent danger.
First time buyers are encouraged to buy new build developments taking up green space, while there are vast amounts of listed properties facing dereliction on the island - buildings ripe for restoration, renovation and to be lived in. Currently, people are put off as they are greeted with stringent and outdated views by The Planning and Heritage Department - it takes too much time and money so are immediately put off. What will you do to change the process for the better?
We need to rethink the planning controls surrounding listed buildings. I do not think we should be listing corrugated iron sheds.
Would you support changes in the law to make cannabis for personal use legal?
Yes. I seconded an amendment to do just that, but unfortunately it wasn't debated.
In 1945, the generosity of people outside Guernsey enabled the delivery of Red Cross parcels to the island on the SS Vega. What is your view on the statement that ‘charity begins at home but should not end there’? How can we best show our care for people in need in other parts of the world?
Guernsey is a wealthy island, and should continue to provide overseas aid.
Considering the mounting public pressure against the way our current justice system deals with cannabis offences, what is your stance on the legalisation and regulation of cannabis in Guernsey?
I would legalise and regulate the supply and consumption of cannabis.
In a review last year into drugs and treatments and States debate in January, HSC acknowledged that the disparity between life changing NICE TA drugs available in Guernsey compared to the NHS had become too great to be justified, with nearly 4000 patients now on sub-optimal treatments. The Guernsey Health Reserve was identified as the funding source. HSC announced last week a delay of at least a year to the implementation of this policy. How do you propose to tackle the pace at which change takes place within the States? Should you be held accountable for delivering on commitments you make individually, as a committee or collectively as the States?
I regret the delay in expending the list of drugs on 'the white list', and hope this can be resolved quickly. Members of Committees are politically accountable for the actions of their Committees, but in practice no one is ever held to account. In my view, this is because the only remedy is the 'nuclear option' of a motion of no confidence in the whole Committee.
What ideas do you have to ensure there is affordable housing including support for first time buyers and ensure affordable rental property is available for locals so they can continue to live here? What is your stance on mortgage tax relief and shared ownership initiatives?
The only sustainable way to make housing more affordable is to increase the supply of it. When I was President of the States Trading Supervisory Board, I worked to clear the Fontaine Vinery site for housing, and Leale's Yard presents another opportunity. Shared ownership is a good way to provide a first step onto the housing ladder, but mortgage tax relief is unfair on tenants.
Earlier this year, the States passed the introduction of life-saving and life-changing NICE-Approved drugs & medicines by a massive 32-1 vote; these drugs are readily available under the NHS and SHS in the UK. HSC have now announced that the implementation of this is now to be delayed by a year or so. Out of all projects the States have on their list - this has to be THE single most important one because it will affect up to 4,000+ residents of our island. How do you intend to bring forward the delay of this incredibly important topic to a much quicker implementation date?
I fully support the move to make NICE-approved drugs available in Guernsey on prescription, and regret the delay in implementing this resolution.
What would you do to address traffic noise pollution from vehicles speeding and backfiring along St Georges Esplanade/Les Banques and towards town?
This is a problem all over the island, and I think the police should mount a campaign to catch the offenders.
In January 2020 the States passed a policy to make all NICE TA drugs and treatments available to Islanders. Do you see this as a priority and if so how would you expedite implementation?
I fully support the move to make NICE-approved drugs available in Guernsey on prescription, and regret the delay in implementing this resolution.
The recent Frontier report on the runway extension summed up that "the economic benefits of extending the runway are likely to outweigh the costs" with net benefits over 40 years of up to £687m (over £20k per household). Post COVID, do you support continued investigation into the potential for a runway extension to improve Guernsey's infrastructure, air links, and sustain the visitor economy?
Yes. We will review the report this winter, with Frontier, when the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry have become clearer.
Have you been made aware that every report that the SOG has commissioned for 20 years has flagged the need to extend the runway to circa 1700m+ and the commercial benefits it will bring for the island as a whole?
This is incorrect. The report prepared for the old Public Services Department at the time of the runway rehabilitation project said that a runway extension was unnecessary. But that may prove to have been a mistake.
Brexit presents a unique opportunity for Guernsey to strengthen its ties with other Commonwealth countries and stand on its own two feet on an international scale. Would you be willing to make an effort to strengthen our diplomatic ties to countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada?
Guernsey is not an independent country, and does not have diplomatic ties with any jurisdiction. However, we must maintain good relationships with the countries of the Commonwealth, as well as our nearest neighbours (in Europe).
The current states assembly has approved proposals for a Discrimination Ordinance, but much work needs to be done. How committed are you to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people, people of colour, people with disabilities and people of faith are protected on this island?
I proposed the successful amendment to bring sexuality and religion into the first phase of the anti-discrimination legislation, and look forward to bringing the remaining 'protected characteristics' within the scope of the anti-discrimination legislation as soon as possible.
What criteria do you use for decision making?
What will produce the greatest benefit for the most people at the least cost.
In the last two years two pieces of legislation have come to the States which specifically target the most vulnerable members of our society - euthanasia and abortion - where a person’s fundamental and basic right to life is overridden in the name of lesser rights. Do you believe that disposing of a person’s life is a sign of progress? Do you believe that failing to protect human life at any age or stage of development is the mark of a civilised and enlightened and caring society?
I opposed the euthansia proposal and approved the modernisation of Guernsey's abortion laws
It is beyond time to invest in our people, infrastructure and public services. Do you plan to make the island's tax system more fair and progressive, so that more businesses and the wealthy pay a fairer share?
I want to ensure that the corporate sector pays its fair share of the income tax burden, but I regard the 20% personal tax rate as sacrosanct, along with the absence of capital taxes.
In light of covid-19 and the hit that the tourist industry has taken what plans (if any) would you try to put in place to make Guernsey more attractive to tourists after travel bans are lifted? And do you feel tourism should play a more crucial role in Guernsey? If not, why?
I do support our tourism industry. We need to improve three things: our connectivity (be sea and air), our accommodation offering and our visitor attractions. Only if we do all three can we hope to expand this sector of our economy.
Please list in order of importance: - driving Guernsey’s economy - addressing social needs - protecting the environment - invest in Guernsey’s infrastructure and improve - sort out the schools - focus on air and sea links - extend the runway - implement revive and thrive as a priority - open our closed borders as a priority - reduce states expenditure
All of these are important, and we do not have to deal with them in a sequence.
List your achievements to date which have been a benefit to Guernsey.
I founded what is now one of the island's largest financial services businesses (Praxis). I proposed and implemented the island's Solid Waste Strategy, resulting in a 73% recycling rate. I have been President or Minister of three major States departments.
Do you support a reduction in the cost of running the civil service? If so, how would you do that and over what timescale?
We must constantly seek efficiencies in public administration, and there are certainly opportunities to achieve these.
As we subsidise the airline, should Aurigny have a monopoly over all air routes to and from the Bailiwick, with a regulator to ensure fair pricing and a policy of not for profit?
No. We need to expand and improve our air links, and on some routes other airlines are better placed to do so.
What is your view regarding commercialisation with respect to States owned entities?
There are very limited opportunities to commercialise States-owned entities that would provide a net benefit to the public.
Should the island be spending tax payers money on maintaining air and sea links?
Yes. Air and sea connectivity is vital to commercial and social life on any island.
What is your view on future funding for long term care as current funding will be insufficient by 2040?
Contribution rates will have to go up, and people will have to pay more of the cost of their own care.
What is your opinion of introducing a goods and sales tax?
I am opposed to a GST. However, we must recognise that our public finances have been damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, and some difficult decisions will have to be taken.
Would you support the ‘listing’ of all remaining historic military structures, as Jersey has done, to ensure their ongoing protection, repair and maintenance?
No. I think we should maintain a sample of German fortifications, but we do not need to preserve them all.
What initiatives would you put in place to grow our economy?
I would take steps to encourage diversification into digital industries of all kinds (eg Fintech, digital media, cybersecurity etc), sustainable development including renewable energy, the blue economy and speciality tourism. Establishing an international university on Guernsey could assist in making Guernsey a centre of excellence in these new areas.
Do you believe that the rates of income support are a) too low b) about right or c) too high? Explain your answer in some detail.
About right. This has been debated many times, and I am not persuaded that they need to be higher or lower.
How will your religious faith influence your voting decisions?
I am not religious.
Have you read the recommendations contained in the Frontier Economics Report in which they state that the long term benefits of extending the runway far outweigh the environmental and capital costs? If so, are you in favour of extending the runway?
I have read the conclusions of the Frontier Report on the possible runway extension, because my Committee commissioned the research. The conclusions suggest strongly that there would be a significant net benefit to the economy from extending the runway to 1750m, but the Report was prepared before the arrival of Covid-19 and its impact on the aviation industry. My Committee therefore decided that the assumptions underlying the Report, and therefore the conclusions of the Report, should be reviewed when the impact of Covid-19 on the aviation industry become clearer. It is hoped that this work will be carried out this winter.
What are your views on the cost of Primary Healthcare locally and what innovative ideas do you have that don’t simply involve ‘redirecting funding from a different states pot’ to create fair, equitable and affordable access to Primary Care for all islanders?
The cost of primary healthcare is clearly a deterrent to seeing a doctor, and may in the long run, result in higher costs for the Committee for Health and Social Care. Reducing the cost of doctor's visits for young people is a start, but they are not generally the ones who need medical treatment the most. There is a case for increasing the value of the States grant.
Do you support developing end of life care (including palliative care) or would you look to introduce a form of euthanasia as in assisted dying (assisted suicide)?
I would support developing end-of-life care. I am not in favour of euthanasia.
Education - Do you know what T levels are and if you do, would you be enthusiastically demanding that they are available here in Guernsey?
Yes, Our education system needs to meet a wide range of demands in our economy.
What will you do to help Guernsey businesses revive and thrive and make Guernsey a 'smarter' and technologically advanced place to do business, and to encourage new start up businesses?
At Economic Development, we have created a new partnership between the Digital Greenhouse, Blenheim Chalcot and the Barclays Digital Eagle Labs to support local businesses. This has been well-received, and appears to be working well. We will be revising the Telecoms Strategy at the end of this year, in the light of the Covid-19 experience, and we will be revising the mandate of the Guernsey Competition Regulatory Authority to ensure that it is fit for purpose. We will also produce aTourism Strategy and a Retail Strategy to address the demands of those two sectors, which have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
There is a lack of mental health support available - particularly to those who seem to fall into the apparent gap between the secondary and primary mental health services. What will you do to address this?
I will trust my colleagues on Health and Social Care to some up with appropriate proposals.
How would you as a deputy ensure emotive proposals such as, change to abortion law or assisted dying law would be publicly debated? And allow Islanders to have more of a say in these emotive issues.
Both of these issues have been debated in the last States term, and I do not want to revisit those debates in the near future.
What is your position on the opportunity to debate the abortion issue more openly and fairly with more balanced representations to the Deputies?
The modernisation of the abortion laws was recently approved, and we do not need to constantly debate every decision.
How do you see the way forward for secondary education in the island? Do you favour a particular model and if so which one?
I want the best possible educational outcomes for the island's children. The current 'pause and reflect' review will identify whether a two-school or three-school model would best serve that purpose, and I will support the outcome of the review. I suspect that the model that most teachers would prefer is a three- school model.
Recognising the importance of our natural environment and our hospitality industry how would you propose to move forward essential repairs and any development at St Peter Port harbour, securing access to our beaches (e.g. Petit Port, Divette, Soldiers bay), the maintenance of our cliff paths and the important access from the bathing places to the Clarence battery? Does this essential maintenance take priority over the development of the East Coast/Town seafront?
Essential repairs should be carried out (eg by the Environment and Infrastructure Committee, in the case of the Fermain sea wall and the steps up to Clarence Battery). However we need to put some energy into the Seafront Enhancement project, to determine how we should make best use of our fabulous east coast.
What are your views about the proposed way forward with regard to Probate, recognising that the age-old system has been efficient, pastoral, and inexpensive? Are you of the view "if it ain't broke don't fix it"?
The system of probate may have worked well, but it has been less than transparent, which has undermined confidence in the system. Reform is not a high priority.