Island-Wide Rate Frozen

The island-wide rate will stay at last year's level to support islanders during the coronavirus crisis.

The Treasury Minister says it will keep around £4 in the pockets of a family living in an average three-bed home and keep £161,000 in the pockets of local businesses.

It will reduce general revenue by around £360,000.

"Maintaining the Island-wide rate at its 2019 level during 2020 will not, of course, significantly help Islanders in financial distress nor will it significantly deprive the public purse of monies to help Islanders in distress. It does, however, synchronise the approach of the Parishes and the Government towards the rates charges and further reinforces the States Assembly’s commitment to support Islanders as Jersey works its way out of the pandemic." - Deputy Susie Pinel, Treasury Minister.

It was suggested to the Minister by parish Constables.

"The Constables felt it was really heartening to know that the Government of Jersey is prepared to accept a reduced income in 2020 from the annual island-wide rate, in addition to the significant investment and support that the government has made available during Covid-19." - Constable Deidre Mezbourian, Comite des Connetables.

Members of Reform Jersey aired concerns about this initiative. Housing and Children's Minister Senator Sam Mezec says those with more and larger properties will benefit more than those with smaller homes.

Deputy Geoff Southern asked why it isn't increased rather than frozen 'to deal with levels of hardship in place because of the pandemic', while Deputy Montfort Tadier explained that he was really concerned at how it was being approved 'on the nod'.

"I want to know what we are going to cut? Where are we going to find this £360,000 to pay for giving £4 on average to people's rate bills when they didn't even ask for that.

"Nobody has been out there saying oh you know what, I could really do with a few quid off my rates bill this year." - Deputy Montfort Tadier.

Senator Mezec also said that while the £100 voucher scheme to help kick-start Jersey's economy goes to the wealthy and the poor, they all get the same, which he says isn't the case with freezing the island-wide rate scheme.

Despite those concerns, the legislation was approved by 39 votes to 4.

It only relates to 2020 and doesn't affect 

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