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No Fuel Duty Cut Planned In Jersey

It doesn't look like Jersey will follow the UK in cutting fuel duty.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a five-pence a litre cut in the UK, which he said will help low and middle-income families given the record-high pump prices.

A large reason for that is that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused an increase in the cost of oil.

The Jersey Consumer Council has called for a three-month fuel duty cut of nine pence per litre.

But Deputy Susie Pinel says she's not convinced it will provide the sort of targeted help that is most needed by lower-income households.

"Reducing fuel duty in Jersey would not benefit all households equally. Lower-income households own fewer cars and account for a small percentage of motor fuel spending.

A reduction in fuel duty would disproportionately benefit higher-income households.

Additionally, for obvious reasons, islanders drive fewer miles compared to people on average or low incomes in the UK.

Finally, fuel duty is a valuable source of funding for the Climate Emergency Fund, which seeks to reduce Jersey's dependence on fossil fuels and in doing so, reduce our exposure to fuel price shocks over the long-term."

It's estimated that just a one pence reduction would cost around £425,000.

Jersey's fishing industry has been severely affected by a sharp increase in marine fuel.

That led to questions on whether the government would reduce the duty for fishermen.

But Deputy Pinel says any reduction has to be overarching and not just help one industry.

Constable Mike Jackson called her response 'unsatisfactory'.

"The fuel duty in this particular industry is quite different in that the French government subsidise their French fishermen and our government don't subsidise ours.

So I'd ask her to give consideration to the needs of our fishing industry in terms of fuel subsidies."

Deputy Pinel says Ministers have been considering what short to medium practical steps can be taken to help alleviate the impact of inflation, with the aim of helping people in financial difficulties.

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