More than half of islanders are struggling to meet living costs, and one in ten are going without essentials, a new survey into the cost of living has revealed.
Conducted by Island Global Research, the study asked more than 1,400 people from Jersey about their experiences with the cost of living over the last 12 months.
55% of respondents reported finding it difficult to meet living costs, and 40% said they would struggle to afford a £100 per month increase in expenses.
Pictured: When asked if they could afford a £100 per month increase in living expenses, 2 in 5 said they would struggle.
The study also surveyed residents in Guernsey and the Isle of Man, and results highlighted that of all three Crown Dependencies, people in Jersey were struggling the most.
11% of Jersey residents said they cannot afford living costs and often have to go without essentials, compared to 6% in Guernsey and 7% in the Isle of Man.
Reflecting on the findings, Island Global Research said: “We find it striking that across the three islands, half of people categorised themselves as less than comfortable.
Pictured: Respondents were also asked if they had noticed an increase or decrease in cost of living expenses in the last 6 months.
“Those less able to afford their costs appear to include a greater proportion of under 40s, families with children, and women.”
The majority of those surveyed said they had noticed an increase in costs in the past 6 months, but those in a more financially vulnerable position were more likely to say they had noticed a major increase in the cost of living.
Islanders also expressed concerns about a “widening gap between the richest and poorest”. Two-thirds of islanders said they were worried about poverty and inequality, and 64% thought inequality in living standards would grow in future.
Pictured: 95% of islanders surveyed were concerned about poverty and inequality in current living standards.
The researchers added: “There is concern about young people moving away, and indeed, one impact of rising costs reported by respondents is that they are looking to move away from our islands in order to afford a better standard of living.”
A number of respondents commented on the need to remove GST from every essential. “We are a household of two and I have noticed a huge increase in prices so I dread to think of how young families are coping,” one wrote.
Pictured: 64% think inequality in living standards will get a lot bigger in future.
Other comments included: “The Government has to stop charging GST on food and gas/electricity, also petrol”, “Scrap GST on food and everyday essentials” and “Extortionate high price of food and essentials”.
One islander who is struggling to afford living costs said: “Jersey is not going to be a very nice place to live if your life is limited to paying rent and buying food.”
Meanwhile, someone who categorised themselves as ‘relatively comfortable’ wrote: “As we live on an island, costs generally tend to be higher, so we just have to get on with it.”
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