Jersey advice bureau calls for bankruptcy law change

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Jersey's government should do more to help people get out of debt by changing the bankruptcy law, the island Citizens Advice Bureau manager has said.

Malcolm Ferrey said the States of Jersey should copy some of the UK law, where people can have their debts written off by the courts.

Currently the Jersey law prevents people who do not have assets from being declared bankrupt.

The chief minister said there was no single way to deal with higher costs.

Mr Ferrey said the current situation stopped people from being able to clear their debts.

He said: "They either have to work their way out of it or their situation doesn't improve and they continue in the same vein.

"If there were bankruptcy solutions in Jersey, people would have light at the end of the tunnel.

"They would be able to see that once they pulled everything together and agreed to a repayment plan, after five years they would be freed from the situation and be able to get credit again."

He said pressures including fuel and food prices, less overtime and extra taxes were having a big impact on middle earners.

Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said: "There is no one big silver bullet that any government can produce to deal with increased costs.

"But there are lots of little areas that we must continue to try to keep under control."

He added that the States must ensure they control their expenditure and take advice from the independent fiscal policy panel about measures that can be used to control inflation.

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