Chutzpah, or care for a community?

YOU could say it's a classic example of the chutzpah often demonstrated by our neighbours 20 miles away.

This is the island which faces similar demographic time bomb issues to those that we do, yet rather than wringing its hands and threatening tax increases, confidently states that it will get through its problems through economic growth.

It's also the island which has grown its population 25% in 20 years.

And as of this week, the island which quickly agreed a £56.5m. package of measures designed to help islanders weather rising inflation. It was the States of Jersey’s first proper meeting since its recent election.

As the Bank of England ticked over another base rate increase yesterday, and Kwasi Karteng put the finishing touches to today’s mini-budget of tax cuts, we reflect that Guernsey has made a small concession to income support claimants, tinkered with the winter fuel allowance, and speculated on when inflation might start to fall. At a cost of £500k.

Jersey this week has increased income tax thresholds by 12%, cut social security contributions by 2%, increased the old age pension in line with inflation, doubled the temporary boost on income support, increased cold weather payments and promised to monitor the situation and take further action if needed. All in a ‘mini-Budget’.

The moves are said to be ‘unapologetically’ designed to help low and middle earners, and the island’s Treasury has said it’s being ‘careful and cautious’ because it might need to take more measures in the future.

These measures may prove to be inflationary. But many in Jersey will benefit. No-one wants to see the States wasting money, but unless the forthcoming 2023 Budget contains some surprises, islanders will struggle to understand why Jersey has acted in this way, while, given our identical issues, next to nothing happens here.

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