Minister pledges support for agriculture sector to pay workers living wage

  • Deputy Kirsten Morel responding to questions from the Economic and International Affairs Panel

Jersey's new Economic Development Minister says more government support will be given to ensure agriculture workers are paid a living wage.

Deputy Kirsten Morel told the Economic and International Affairs Panel that farm bosses have been telling him that they would love to pay their workers more, but need help from the government to make it happen:

"The agriculture sector has been very, very open with us that they want to be able to do this - they want to move to a higher minimum wage, and ultimately reach a living wage.

"But to do that, they need help. They were in no way saying 'don't do this'. They were saying 'you need to help us do this as a government', and that's something that I am very engaged with and I want to help them do that."

In Deputy Morel's first scrutiny hearing since taking over as Economic Development Minister, the panel questioned him on the £56.5 million 'mini-budget' announced by the government last month.

He was asked which sectors would be most affected by increasing the minimum wage, and he said it was the agricultural sector - although retail and hospitality would also benefit.

St Brelade Deputy Moz Scott chaired the panel, quizzing the Minister on his involvement in putting together the 'mini-budget'.

During the hearing, Deputy Morel re-affirmed that Jersey's government intended to raise the minimum wage to £10.80 per hour from January 2022.

The move has been welcomed by Patrick Lynch, the CEO of Caritas Jersey, which recommends the island's living wage: