Tax allowances, child benefits and hospitals: Jersey's next Government Plan revealed

Ministers have set out their proposed spending plans for 2024-2027 Credit: ITV Channel

Jersey residents may soon be able to earn up to £20,000 a year before being charged any tax.

Ministers have published the new Government Plan, setting out their proposed budget for the next three years.

Increasing Income Tax allowances - meaning islanders can earn more before they are taxed - are among the proposed changes.

If approved, islanders living on their own will be able to earn up to £20,000 before being taxed, while couples who are married or in a civil partnership could earn £32,050, with additional benefits of up to £40,000 if both partners are working.

Is Jersey a 'tax haven'?

While Jersey does not have inheritance, wealth, corporate or capital gains tax, there are four main taxes charged by Jersey's government on residents and businesses based on the island:

  • Income tax: Residents or companies pay a tax of up to 20% depending on how much they earn, or in the case of businesses, the type of work they do.

  • Goods and Services Tax: A 5% tax on all goods and services sold in Jersey, including imports.

  • Impôts or import duties: Some items like fuel, alcohol, tobacco and vehicles levy an extra charge when they are imported to the island for the first time.

  • Stamp Duty and property taxes: Stamp duty is charged on all properties bought on the island, along with Land Transactions Tax or Enveloped Property Transaction Tax on some purchases.

Other steps are being proposed in the Government Plan to counteract the rising cost of living, including raising childcare allowances to £3,700 and other tax relief for eligible families.

The stamp duty threshold for first-time buyers is also being increased to try and help people get onto the property ladder.

Currently, buyers have to pay full stamp duty on property sold for more than £500,000. Under the ministers' proposals, that could increase to £700,000, reflecting Jersey house prices.

But the average pint of beer will cost 4p more, a litre of fuel will cost 7p more and a pack of 20 cigarettes will now cost an extra £1.38 in duty.

The most polluting vehicles sold in Jersey will face a hike of 30% in Vehicle Emissions Duty.

When it comes to government spending, each department's budget is also set to change.

While inflation currently sits at 10.9%, Jersey Police is only set to receive an additional 1% from 2024.

By contrast, Health and Community Services' budget is set to grow by 15%, from £250 million to £287 million.

The biggest percentage rise was the Cabinet Office - the department established by the Chief Minister to ensure the smooth running of Jersey's government - which will see a 17.6% budget increase from £67.3 million to £79.2 million.

Since the government's 2023 budget was decided, Jersey's Public Health department and COVID-19 response have become the responsibility of the Cabinet Office.

The Police also no longer funds the Financial Intelligence Unit, which broke away to become a standalone agency in July 2023.

In 2024, the Health department is set to have the biggest budget with £287 million earmarked to improve services Credit: Government of Jersey

An extra £52 million has been earmarked in 2024 for continuing the design and planning work towards Jersey's new hospital facilities.

Funding has also been set aside for a new Ambulance, Fire and Rescue HQ as well as a new base for Jersey's Army and Sea Cadets and the potential purchase of the old Jersey gas works site to build a new school.

If the plans progress, the government says the existing Springfield School and Le Bas Centres will be "transformed" to create "community open spaces" serving as "green corridors" to improve the public realm surrounding St Saviour's schools.

In a move to make the island more appealing to business, visitors coming to Jersey for work won't have to pay any local taxes on their earnings as long as they stay for less than 60 days.

Jersey's Treasury Minister, Deputy Ian Gorst, said: "In these uncertain times, responsible fiscal management is paramount. We are committed to ensuring that our finances remain resilient and sustainable.

"This Government Plan reflects our dedication to maintaining a steady course while delivering essential services to our community. We can only afford this through the strong growth that we are seeing in our economy, despite challenging global economic conditions."

Jersey's Chief Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore, said: "Our government is dedicated to supporting islanders through these challenging times. We understand the struggles many face, and this Government Plan reflects our relentless focus [on] addressing these issues head-on.

"By setting out a clear vision for the years ahead, we aim to build a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive Jersey for generations to come."

The Government Plan will be debated by States Members in December, when other politicians are able to lodge their own amendments - and amendments to those amendments - before it comes into effect.

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