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Guernsey construction industry future ‘is threatened’

July 9th, 2012

Off-island tradesmen are a threat to a sustainable construction industry, the president of the Guernsey Building Trades Employers Association has said.

Clive Fenner said: “Local trades people pay their taxes locally and their incomes are recirculated within the local economy.”

He welcomed moves from the Commerce and Employment Department to investigate the “white van man”.

The department will look at the impact on tradesmen and the island exchequer.

‘Paying a premium’

Mr Fenner said visiting tradesmen were less accountable because they were “here today and gone tomorrow” leaving customers no recourse if there were any quality issues with the work.

He said: “Guernsey is not a particularly cheap place to live, rents, mortgages, etc are much, much higher here than they are in the UK.

“So we ought to be expecting to be paying a premium of some sort to help sustain the local economy.”

Mr Fenner said of the visiting tradesmen: “Predominantly these people are coming in from the UK, the construction industry in the UK is actually shrinking and it’s not surprising they are looking to places like Guernsey or further afield to get some sort of income, yet their costs and overheads are minimal by comparison.”

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