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  1. ITV Report

States members approve inflation-busting price rises for alcohol

A bottle of spirits will cost 14%, or over £2, more in Jersey from January, after the States voted in favour of increase impot duties on alcohol. Credit: Li Ying/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

A bottle of spirits will cost 14%, or over £2, more in Jersey from January, after the States voted in favour of increase impot duties on alcohol.

Everything from weak beer to strong wine is going up, to raise an extra £1 million a year for the Treasury. The government cites the health benefits of discouraging islanders from drinking.

A bottle of spirits will cost 14%, or over £2, more in Jersey from January, after the States voted in favour of increase impot duties on alcohol. Credit: States of Jersey

Deputy Rowland Huelin had tried to get the increase reduced to match the rate of inflation, at 2.7%.

He questioned the health angle, claiming that impot on alcohol was instead "just taxing the soft underbelly of the majority of Islanders."

The Deputy for St Peter also argued that higher prices encouraged more people to drink at home, and harmed pubs' profits.

Bar-owners in Jersey report young people ‘pre-loading’ on cheaper supermarket drinks, or they meet at someone’s home for a ‘PRE-LASH’! They are subsequently drunk on licensed premises, spend no money, and are a social and financial liability to the licensee.

– Deputy Rowland Huelin

On Tuesday evening, States members rejected Deputy Huelin's amendment to the Government Plan. They also rejected an attempt to limit rises in fuel duty. So the price of alcohol, fuel and tobacco will go up from the start of 2020.

The debate on the Government Plan, which sets tax and spending plans for the 4 year period 2020-2023 is expected to continue all week.

Deputy Rowland Huelin, Deputy, St. Peter Credit: States of Jersey