Community Costs Bonus could be increased to help vulnerable people in Jersey

Senator Kristina Moore wants to widen the eligibility for the benefit, to help the island's most vulnerable residents as the island faces the cost of living crisis. Credit: ITV Channel

There are calls to increase the Community Costs Bonus to help those struggling in Jersey with the rising cost of living.

Senator Kristina Moore wants to increase the payment by 8% to help reflect the higher costs in the island as a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Senator Moore also plans to widen the eligibility of islanders who can access the payment.

The Community Costs Bonus is designed to help lower income families in the island cover the costs of GST payments on food and fuel.

The current Community Cost Bonus is £258.25, but if the amendment is passed, islanders could receive £278.91 a year.

  • Senator Kristina Moore

Currently, only islanders who have lived in Jersey for five years, are not eligible for Income Tax but earn too much to claim Income Support, can receive the Community Costs Bonus.

Senator Moore wants to widen the eligibility criteria to islanders who pay Income Tax at the marginal rate and to those who receive Income Support.

This year, Jersey has seen the Retail Price Index rise by 3.8%, with islanders seeing the cost of food also rising by 1.9% in the last year.

UK Think Tank Resolution Foundation has warned the least well-off households could see their cost of living jump by 10% or more in the coming months if Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues.

Citizens Advice Jersey have said that their most vulnerable groups are working people who do not have access to income support.

The amendment could be debated as early as 29 March 2022.