Car width tax debate 'put off until 2015' due to public pressure

Crowd at the Enough is Enough demonstration
Image caption Protesters oppose plans to raise indirect taxation levels in Guernsey

A debate on vehicle width and emissions charges in Guernsey could be delayed after a huge show of public pressure.

Guernsey's environment department is asking the States to defer a debate on the 'width tax' and related charges until January.

They were due to be discussed at December's States sitting but Environment Minister Yvonne Burford says the proposals may be changed.

The plans led to a 2,000-strong protest last month.

The Guernsey Motor Trades Association has also criticised the proposals, claiming charges would cost too much and threaten motor industry jobs.

Campaign group Enough is Enough organised the demonstration in St Peter Port against the 'width tax' as well as plans for a goods and services tax (GST), parking charge hikes and a refuse tax.

K'han Holden, one of the organisers, said: "We're quite proud to have made a difference and to have got the department to look back into the proposals.

"They really do need to throw it out and start afresh - back to the drawing board."

The charges form part of an island transport strategy unveiled in March.

In an email explaining the proposed delay, Deputy Burford said the States remained "committed to introducing this key element of the transport strategy" but wants to address "various concerns".

Deputy Al Brouard, who opposed the strategy, said: "If we as the government have got the strategy wrong, we need to be big enough to admit it.

"Personally I believed we need a new transport strategy which is fit for purpose."

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