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'Chief Minister, time to act on coming price crisis'

'Chief Minister, time to act on coming price crisis'

Tuesday 22 March 2022

'Chief Minister, time to act on coming price crisis'

Tuesday 22 March 2022


Jersey’s Chief Minister is being urged to take emergency action to protect islanders from drifting into food and energy poverty by slashing pump prices by 9p per litre and giving every household £100 credit towards their bills.

In an open letter to Senator John Le Fondré sent on Friday but made public today, Jersey Consumer Council warns that, “if left unchallenged”, the current rate at which prices are rising following Brexit, covid and now the Ukraine war “will see more islanders cross the bread line", relying on food banks, charities and food waste apps to get by.

They are therefore calling for a “raft of temporary measures to help islanders weather the current storm until global prices, demand and supply chains begin to stabilise”.

Those include:

  • Reducing the duty on motor fuel by 9p per litre at the till - “Due to fuel prices rising by up to 75% in some cases, the amount of duty the Government is taking from fuel has risen considerably, therefore creating a comfortable buffer to offset the proposed 9p reduction at the till.”

  • Giving £100 credit to the island’s 41,000 households toward energy bills – “This could be oil, gas or electricity. This one- off measure could again be off-set from the increased income the Government is receiving from soaring fuel costs.”

  • Postponing the online shopping change – “To date, the proposed reduction in the deminimis level has been scheduled for 2023, although no firm date has been set in stone. We would ask the Government to offer a guarantee that it will not impose the changes to online shopping before at least 1 January 2023.”

  • Free bus journeys to St. Helier and/or free parking on Saturdays – “This will encourage consumers to continue using the town centre for their shopping despite rising prices, and help maintain Islanders’ access to a broad range of food and grocery outlets. This will save up to £4.80 per return fare into St Helier – the equivalent of the amount of GST spent on almost £100 of shopping, or £2.70 per car driver.”

  • Setting up an anti-inflation panel of businesses and experts to monitor and react to price rises

The Consumer Council is also asking local supermarkets to increase the size of their donation bins for local food banks and increase awareness of their presence.

They are also asking local supermarkets to resist any further price increases on ‘essential’ items, including bread, milk, eggs and vegetables.

Bakery products and sunflower oil in particular - products that have already undergone significant hikes, as previously reported by Express - are set to suffer as a result of Putin's war on Ukraine

food inflation 2021

Pictured: A breakdown of the changes in everyday item prices islanders experienced between 2020 and 2021. (Statistics Jersey)

Accounting for more than 10% of the global wheat market and 30% of global exports combined with Russia, Ukraine has long been known as the "breadbasket of Europe".

The country is also the world's largest exporter of common cooking ingredient sunflower oil.

The calls for Government action from the Consumer Council come as UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is today expected to announce a 5p cut in fuel duty and an increase in the national insurance threshold in response to an anticipated squeeze on UK households some experts have suggested may be the worst to affect the UK since the 1970s. 

The Bank of England is predicting that inflation will top 8% in April, rising further in the autumn.

sunfloweroil.jpg

Pictured: War-torn Ukraine is the world's biggest exporter of sunflower oil.

According to estimates by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the latest oil and gas price hike could leave workers as much as £300 worse off.

Jersey Consumer Council's Executive Officer, Tina Langdon, previously suggested that islanders make use of their online price comparison tools to help balance their budgets, as well as considering charity shops and bulk-buying certain items when they are on offer, if they are able to afford it

The Council is currently seeking funding from Government to improve its price comparison offering even further.

READ IN FULL...

Click below to read Jersey Consumer Council's open letter to the Chief Minister in full...

JCC.jpg

READ MORE...

Ukraine war 'to hit Jersey in the shops and at the pumps'

More islanders turning to food banks as inflation bites

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Comments

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Posted by David Moon on
It would be helpful if the government lifted GST on food and clothing and encouraged a European supermarket to establish in the Island and break the monopoly which exists at the moment keeping prices high.
Posted by Gillian Gracia on
'Spot on' Carl Walker. A good man who understands the struggle ordinary people are going through. All these measures would have a big impact and benefit a lot of the working classes. Shame you aren't in politics Carl, but maybe you can have more 'clout' where you are. Thank you.
Posted by David Kingham on
One really easy solution is to Immediately Remove the immoral 5% GST on foodstuff and household essentials which should never have been introduced in the first place.
15 years of robbery
Posted by Scott Mills on
And yet in UAE petrol is 15p, and in America just under £1.I believe prices have risen, petrol wise, due to the 2 lockdowns, surely they had a lot in reserve as the nation wasn't really driving. If there was a war on mars, we'd suffer. With food the increase in food say 3%, is never 3% the end figure supermarkets add a few hidden % on. Always have (see GST). Too many "hidden" costs in petrol and food these days.
Posted by MichaelEvans46 on
The states to stop GST on food? I’ve just seen a lot of pigs flying past the window
Posted by IanSmith97 on
I have known in the past 3 months 2 businessmen who have left Jersey because they cannot afford to live here. Ok, they are not in the finance sector - who must be worshipped and adored - but it is a sad indictment on the cost of living here. They had made their decisions before Ukraine. Nobody, repeat nobody, will do anything to address our cost of living crisis. It is cheaper to buy food in the Shetland Islands and they are far further away from major centres of distribution than we are, so don’t give us “it’s the freight costs” mantra.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Whilst everyone would love for these dreams to become real, they would have to be paid for down the line.
Our government loves to waste tax payers money, so regretfully the outcome will be the status quo.
Posted by Jo Collins on
Why would our government subsidise gas guzzling cars for those that can afford to run them at the expenseof the middle income earners? Instead the poorer in society should receive additional benefit payments to cover the general cost of living rises. Free buses is well overdue
Posted by Jon Jon on
They are certainly pulling in more tax revenue but somehow I doubt they will look at taking gst off food,give us 100 quid towards mainly energy supplies,The only happy people must be the greenies.
Posted by Scott Mills on
Ian Smith, there are many many many more who have left the island for exactly the same problem. The problem we'll have soon is skilled people leaving, and not enough people to cover that position. I don't believe we have population problem, we'll have a problem soon with regards to population....not enough working skilled people.
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