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2019 Budget Approved

Treasury Minister Deputy Susie Pinel's 2019 Budget plan has been given the go-ahead.

The Treasury Minister's 'steady as you go' 2019 Budget has been approved by States members.

Just Reform Deputies Geoff Southern and Montfort Tadier voted against it.

It will see a rise on the threshold for relief on properties from £450,000 to £500,000.

Stamp Duty on mortgages for homes costing up to £600,000 will be abolished. It will be paid for by a 0.5% rise in standard duty rates on all properties over £500,000.

Alcohol duty will go up by 3.5%, which equates to around a penny on a pint.

That's despite a bid from Deputy Scott Wickenden to stop that happening.

A pack of 20 cigarettes will go up by 59p and fuel duty will go up by 2p a litre.

Two other amendments to the Budget were proposed and defeated.

Constable Simon Crowcroft made another attempt to halve the retail tax on large retailers.

However members voted against cutting it from 20% to 10% by 25 votes to 21.

Murray Norton, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce, says too many States Members just don't understand.

"Unfortunately there were some politicians who became self-appointed experts in the field of retail, without having ever worked in retail or run retail.

"It's unfortunate that not everybody listens to the expertees and the advice that is on offer which is quite frustrating."

He says four big names businesses have pulled out of coming to the island because of the tax.

Reform Jersey's attempt to abolish the 'Twenty means Twenty' tax rule was also unsuccessful.

The party's amendment promised a tax cut for two thirds of islanders, but a hike for the 5% of earners.

However it was defeated by 34 votes to 12.

Treasury Minister Deputy Susie Pinel says this budget will set the island up well for future challenges.

"Jersey has a strong financial base, a strong economy and record levels of employment. We are well placed to meet the challenges of the future and I look forward to working with the Council of Ministers and this assembly to deliver that future."

Deputy Pinel also warned of a £30-£40million deficit by 2020. The Chief Minister confirmed to business leaders in October that £30m needed to be cut from the public sector next year.

She's vowing strong action on cutting costs.

"I will not shy away from proposing appropriate investment to secure these savings, but I am equally determined that money is only released on the basis of robust business cases."

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