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GST change in October will 'help local shops'

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey's treasury minister said charging Goods and Services Tax (GST) on online shopping worth £135 pounds, instead of the current £240 will help local shops.

Treasury Minister Susie Pinel is introducing the new threshold in October, after initially saying it would be delayed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Deputy Pinel said the government wants to encourage islanders to shop locally in the run up to Christmas.

But Carl Walker, the head of the shoppers rights group the Jersey Consumer Council, argued people are suffering financially and the States should look at different ways to help retailers.

He argued moves like scrapping weekend parking charges or making bus journeys into St Helier free on a weekend could help.

Mr Walker added: "Why don't we perhaps be less restrictive on the opening hours on a Sunday.

"There's all sorts of different ways that they can try and get more people into town:"

GST changes for online goods 'unimaginative'

BBC Radio Jersey

Plans to make people in Jersey pay GST on more goods bought online are "unimaginative", a shoppers' rights group has said.

People will be charged GST [Goods and Service Tax] on goods bought online at a lower threshold from 1 October. The amount to spend in order to be charged the extra 5% is to be reduced from £240 to £135.

Announcing the change, Treasury Minister Susie Pinel said the change to the "de minimis" GST level was because it would "enable on-island business to compete more fairly with off-Island retailers, supporting our local economy" after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Carl Walker, of the Jersey Consumer Council, said the change would only hurt people on lower incomes, and was not enough to push people back to island shops.

He said ministers needed to come up with something more creative to encourage people to shop less online and use local retailers.

Why don't we consider stopping parking charges in certain car parks at the weekend? Why don't we consider maybe making bus fares into town free at the weekend? Why don't we perhaps have less restrictive opening hours on Sunday? There are all sorts of different ways that we can try and get more people into town."

Carl WalkerJersey Consumer Council