Chamber Response to 2018 Budget

Tuesday 10 October 14:48

The 2018 Jersey budget is neither surprising nor inspiring for commerce. As predicted, impȏt duties on alcohol continue to rise and retailers are facing a new tax.

The 2018 Jersey budget is neither surprising nor inspiring for commerce.

As predicted, impȏt duties on alcohol continue to rise, which the Treasury continues to justify for health-related projects. Despite Chamber asking the Treasury Minister at last year’s budget presentation, for evidence of exactly how the impȏt money was directly impacting health-related concerns, Chamber and its members continue to wait for an evidenced breakdown to justify these annual increases.

The proposed new Retail Tax, may for some of our members be welcomed news in terms of providing a more levelled tax playing field. However, greater tax on profitability could also reduce investment in training, premises and products.  

Vice-President of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and Chair of the Retail & Supply Committee, Mark Cox, said: “It is important that commerce makes a fair contribution towards the island and the introduction of this tax appears to provide a degree of continuity for all retailers with a presence in Jersey. However, throughout 2017 there has been a constant drip feeding of business levies, charges and taxes. Today the budget is proposing this new retail tax, along with the widening definition of financial services, in order to capture more companies that pay the 10% rate. All of these measures are ultimately pointing towards the need for a thorough review of the islands tax system.”

“Jersey must have a tax regime that it is both fair and fit for purpose. Along with the Jersey Infrastructure Levy and the proposed liquid and solid waste charges, this new retail tax is another tax on business. Chamber is concerned that once a precedent is set with the retail sector, the States will then look to roll out this type of tax across all sectors of commerce, which would go some way to eroding the current tax structure.”

Chamber is encouraged that the Treasury appears to be broadly balancing the books. However, the fall in the value of the pound, expensive operating costs and additional company taxes are contributing factors that will make business owners think twice about the future viability of their companies here in Jersey.

Our members and commerce as a whole are looking to government for business-friendly and innovative policies, that encourage growth and ultimately secure the future prosperity of Jersey. Quick wins and a constant erosion of the island’s existing tax policy, is not the way to achieve this.

Click HERE to read the 2018 States of Jersey Budget

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