Concern about impact of GST changes on low-income households

8th December 2021

A Corporate Services Scrutiny sub-panel has published a report examining Revenue Jersey's review of the way GST (Goods and Services Tax) is collected on personal goods imported into the Island.

The Panel found that, subject to approval of the Government Plan 2022-25, the GST 'de minimis' limit will be lowered so that imports over £60 will be charged 5% tax from 1 January 2023. The Panel is concerned that Revenue Jersey has not provided the data to justify this reduction or considered what impact these changes could have on low-income families who rely on online shopping to source the best deals for household goods.

In response, the Panel has made nine recommendations to the Minister for Treasury and Resources, which include:

  • Providing the States Assembly and Scrutiny with data used to justify a reduction to a £60 de minimis, in advance of the Government Plan debate.
  • Carrying out an impact assessment in 2022 to consider the consequence of the reduction on low-income families and adjustments to the Community Costs Bonus in next Government Plan.

Lead member of the review, Senator Steve Pallett, said: "GST has been an emotive issue for Islanders since its introduction in 2007. After closely examined the consequences that these latest changes to GST might have on the public and organisations, we are particularly concerned about the lack of reliable data to justify a change that is likely to disproportionally affect lower income households. We hope that that, ahead of the Government Plan debate, our report will inform States Members of the issues and risks associated with changing the de-minimis level as well as the potential benefit to Treasury." 

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