Jersey

Chamber of Commerce says GST rise will cost businesses

Jersey's Chamber of Commerce has claimed that the retail industry is having to help pay for the States' overspend.

There are plans to put the Goods and Services Tax up to 5% in 2011 as part of government plans to balance the books and save £65m by 2013.

Chamber president Ray Shead said some local companies managed to absorb the 3% GST when it was first brought in.

He said the 5% would be hard to cover and so would be passed on to consumers.

He said this in turn would push up the cost of living in Jersey.

Mr Shead said: "Once the government had a relatively easy way, as far as they were concerned, of raising revenue, GST, it was pretty obvious that after the three-year moratorium that it would go up.

"Every 1% increase in GST is another £15m in the treasury's pocket so from their point of view it was a logical step.

"From businesses' point of view it was what we expected, not that we like it."

Plans to raise GST from 3% to 5% were unveiled as part of the 2011 budget.

The island's treasury minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, is proposing the increase from 1 June 2011.

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