‘The issue of economically active residents is never far from any discussion concerning the capacity and capability of the island. The decline in economically active residents will start to bite in the near future, with the number of tax payers falling whilst pressure of healthcare and pensions continues to increase.
‘We need to consider how our shrinking tax base can pay for the needs of the retiring generation, as well as funding the high-quality education, infrastructure, transport links, social welfare and housing etc. that islanders want.
‘At present, and unless something is done to increase the number of economically active residents, the future looks very challenging.
‘It is the IoD’s view that Guernsey benefits from the temporary and permanent entry of citizens from other countries as visitors, skilled workers, students and migrants. Accordingly, the primary focus of Guernsey’s population should be on encouraging immigration to the island of people who bring with them entrepreneurial skills and a capacity to add diversity to the Guernsey business environment and second, people who have the skills and experience that help meet the current and future needs of business and industry.
‘In short, the IoD believes that immigration has a role to play in both addressing the decline of Guernsey’s economically active residents, and the impact of the island’s ‘brain drain’, provided it is planned, focussed and targeted to help meet the identified needs of business and the community.’