Deputies’ amendment asks for income support cap to be lifted to £850 a week

BETTER support to help more than 100 local families in severe poverty has been called for, as the States sets the island’s budget for next year.

The 2020 budget is up for debate next week, and it already faces 14 amendments.

Deputies Michelle Le Clerc and Shane Langlois have tabled an amendment asking for the income support benefit cap to be lifted from £750 per week to £850 per week.

130 local families with more than 470 children have been identified as struggling with an intolerable level of poverty.

In those cases the combination of net earnings and income support top-up are not enough to meet a household’s weekly needs for an acceptable quality of life.

The cost to the taxpayer of this move would be £275,000 per annum.

The three-pronged amendment also asks for an increase in the income support personal allowance payable to people in local nursing homes from £32.16 to £36 per week.

Additionally, the budget for the disability and inclusion strategy is down to its last £15,000 so the proposers of the amendment have requested an extra £75,000.

‘There is a need to continue with commitments to increase awareness and information services for people with disabilities and their carers.’

Picture By Peter Frankland. 13-12-17 Shane Langlois. (26244398)

The States is also being asked to invest in green finance.

Deputies Lyndon Trott and Lindsay de Sausmarez’s amendment appeals for a grant of £300,000 to fund the green finance initiative.

Setting out the amendment, Deputy Trott said the finance sector and the professional services sector see green finance as an area where this was significant potential growth for the economy.

‘Further investment is needed to develop the offer with momentum in order to capitalise effectively on this opportunity and it is essential that this key initiative is seen to be supported by the States of Deliberation as a whole.’

Staying with environmental issues, Deputies Barry Brehaut and Mark Dorey want a maximum of £100,000 to further develop the island’s biodiversity strategy.

Key areas that have been identified as requiring investigation are bird populations, sour fig, pesticides and the tree and woodland strategy.

Deputies Mary Lowe and Marc Leadbeater have tabled an amendment for £100,000 to support training and development costs within Home Affairs.

A lack of training has been flagged up, creating a situation where officers are less well-equipped to deal with the ‘changing and evolving challenges’ which are being faced.

The president and vice-president of Home Affairs have another amendment which seeks a clarification in the wording on who has political accountability in tackling economic crime, money laundering and terrorist financing.

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