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Jersey issues call to islanders to voice views on tax strategy

Jersey is turning to its citizens for their opinions on how the islands tax regime should change.

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It is inviting Jersey residents to voice their opinions online, by email, by post, or at a series of meetings, the first of which will take place this evening in St Helier.

Among the issues the Jersey residents are being asked to consider is whether the island’s goods and services tax (GST) – first introduced in 2008 at 3% — should be increased to 5%; whether the ceiling on social security contributions should be raised to £115,000; and whether domestic property rates should treble.

They are also being asked for their views on whether those who earn more than £100,000 a year should be taxed at 30%. Currently such individuals pay 20%.

Jersey treasury minister Philip Ozouf urged Jersey residents to speak out, calling the consultation an “extremely important” one that affected “all islanders”.

The review has been launched in response to a drop in the island’s tax revenues and a slowdown in its economy following the recent global downturn. In February, Jersey comptroller and auditor general Chris Swinson was quoted as saying GST could have to rise to 12% by 2014 if the States’ budget deficit were not reined in. The figure was described as a "worst-case scenario" one, and sparked considerable local debate.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 7pm at St Paul’s Centre. The next one will take place on 7 July at the Royal Jersey Agricultural & Horticultural Society in Trinity at 7pm, and the final one on 12 July at Les Quennevais school hall in St Brelade, also 7pm.

More information may be found on the Jersey government website, www.gov.je.  

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