1. ITV Report

Costs to employ people from outside Jersey could rise

Credit: ANDERS WIKLUND / SCANPIX TT News Agency/Press Association Images

The States of Jersey want to charge businesses more to employ people from outside the island.

They hope to do this by increasing the cost of registration cards and licenses.

They say it will make £600,000 a year to be put towards controlling migration and expanding the skills of local people.

According to the latest figures, net migration in 2015 was 1,500 and is expected to remain at a similar level for 2016 as Jersey's economy continues to 'perform well'.

Net migration in 2015

The States say these measures will help 'support local employment', while 'investing in the skills of our local workforce'.

The Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier, says migration in the island has been too high in recent years.

The approved Medium Term Financial Plan included fee increases. The States is investing considerable amounts in health and education, including £40 million extra in our health service by 2019 as our society ages. These demands on the public purse will grow in the future, so it is right that migration controls and increased investment in skills are funded by people moving to Jersey, businesses who employ migrants, and businesses visiting the Island.

– Senator Paul Routier, The Assistant Chief Minister

But Jersey's Chamber of Commerce say the proposed changes to the fees are 'yet further tax increases.'

They say at a time when commerce is already being asked to foot the bill for the new liquid and solid waste tax, which could run into tens of thousands of pounds per annum, these increases to fees will once again 'raise the cost of doing business in the island'.

There needs to be a sensible debate about population, a discussion that will help form policy across all government departments including education, health and social security. A policy, which encourages enterprise and innovation. A policy that looks beyond the current MTFP term.

– Eliot Lincoln, President of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce

Jersey's Chamber of Commerce are 'strongly' urging the government to consult with the business community regarding all of these proposed charges, ahead of implementing any of them.