Chief Pleas releases Extraordinary Agenda

An Extraordinary meeting of Chief Pleas has now been announced for 24th May 2023 with the agenda having been published on the government website this week. The six agenda items include the election of a deputy Speaker, and amendment to the Direct Taxes Law, a variation to how legislation is passed in the Bailiwick as well as committee elections.

The amendment to the Direct Taxes Law sees the allowance by law of the minimum tax increased to £1,000 whilst the maximum tax is to be £20,000. It appears that Policy & Finance are acting before hearing proposals from the Taxation Review Special Committee though the report does state that further tax propositions will likely be heard in the November 2023 meeting of Chief Pleas.

The agenda reports on proposals to change the approval of future Projets de Loi, and confirms that:

‘Royal Assent is currently granted to Projets de Loi (“Projets”) by HM The King acting through the Privy Council. This process relies on regular meetings of the Privy Council, and timely review of Projets by UK Ministers (acting in their capacity as Privy Counsellors). These reviews are limited to the compliance with the international obligations that extend to the Bailiwick.

This Policy Letter [Guernsey’s States of Deliberation] proposes that an alternative Royal Assent process should be introduced whereby His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor can grant Royal Assent on behalf of the Privy Council, unless the Projet is specifically reserved for consideration by the Privy Council. In order to permit the Lieutenant-Governor to do so, an Order in Council is required which would set out the process. This alternative process for granting Royal Assent should result in faster processing of legislation, would not be reliant on existing schedules for Privy Council meetings, and would also underline the Bailiwick’s domestic legislative autonomy and international identity.’

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