Below, a catalogue of some of the threats the island confronts:
- Relentless competition from abroad in a world of moveable labour and capital.
- Serious threat from EU and OECD attacks on ‘tax havens’.
- Serious threat from UK – potential abandonment or absorption of islands post-Brexit.
- Failure to discuss extended cooperation with Jersey – a no-holds-barred frank exchange required on mutual cooperation. (Does the world need two Channel Islands?)
- Failure to embrace concepts of ‘growth’/’development’/ ’progress’, reflecting a lack of foresight.
- Failure to diversify tax base away from income tax.
- Unrelenting demand locally for expanded public services.
- Voter failure to recognise link between job creation/income/tax revenues/essential public services.
- Incalculable long-term financial obligations:
–Deteriorating dependency ratio (‘grey tsunami’) – older people living longer, younger people having fewer children, with bad consequences for public support
–Financial collapse of Sark and/or Alderney
–Cost of repairing sea defences (including Alderney breakwater) as climate change worries intensify.
- Erosion of business confidence, particularly in air and sea links.
- Unconfronted barriers to change – over-government, weak government, maverick deputies.
- Populist reaction to progressive embrace of opportunities.