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READER LETTER: "We simply will not know if they will use this money wisely or locally"


Friday 31 July 2020

READER LETTER: "We simply will not know if they will use this money wisely or locally"

A reader has shared his concerns that the £100 directly credited to more than 12,000 low-income islanders' bank accounts may not be spent locally.

"The ongoing arguments concerning the £150m fiscal stimulus plan - including the £100 for all - needs debating in the States Assembly before proceeding.

Whilst I’m sure many of us welcome the boost to those in receipt of benefits, the fact that the Jersey taxpayer - effectively the giver -  has no control where this money is spent, does throw up some questions. 

The government announced the £100 gift to all will be under restrictions (i.e. online or making the bookies any richer) shows they are concerned how this taxpayer-owned money is spent.

The initial £100 to benefit claimants is not under the same controls, which is hard to fathom and might all end up making Amazon’s shareholders/owner even richer at the Jersey taxpayer’s expense.


Pictured: The £100 given to islanders on Income Support or Pension Plus last Friday is not controlled and can be spent online or at bookmakers.

We simply will not know if those in receipt will use this money wisely or indeed locally. I get the need to invest in the local economy but when thousands of islanders have no need of this planned £100 gift I cannot see the sense of it at all.

If we have a spare £11m to invest in the economy surely a targeted investment has the potential to leave a lasting post-covid legacy whilst also boosting our under-pressure economy. Is it beyond the wit of the elected politicians to hold a debate before they spend this money?

Perhaps we could even ask the public what we think?

Then again, who would bother to respond if they don’t even vote at election times or indeed are we not just a tad tired of never ending consultations?

I take the point as stated by others - we elect our government to make these big decisions, so maybe we should just let them get on with it! Sadly, I’m not sure they are as well-informed or wise as we would all wish them to be. Voter turnout rather suggests this to be the case."

Robert Wareing-Jones

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Posted by Andy Lane on
Just to point out , many of these recipients have been (or remain to be) Jersey tax payers , we have contributed towards this 'handout' , in my case I'm now 58 and have paid tax since the age of 16 , it's not a freebie by any means .
And yes , mine has been spent locally before I get yelled at ???? !!!
Posted by Anna W on
Rather presumptive that thousands of islanders have no need for this - I received this as a low earner (who has paid tax and social contributions for 15 years) and am so grateful for it! Will be going towards food and will probably treat myself to an evening out for dinner
Posted by Valerie Payne on
Here’s a thought. If you don’t need the money, take it, spend it with a small retailer ( who needs the sale) then give him/ her the goods back to resell. Win win for the retailer & economy.
Posted by Lesley Ricketts on
Well good for you spending it locally but the point is there is no control over where it is spent which somewhat defeats the object Don’t you think?
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