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Government would ‘lose vital money if tax debts written off’

Jersey’s government would miss out on vital money to pay for schools and health care if it agrees to a call to write off people’s tax debts before moving to a new system, a business consultant has said.

At the moment, the majority of people in Jersey pay tax on previous year’s earnings, but the treasury department wants to change that so they pay on the current year’s earnings instead.

It would mean people having to pay off the missing year, and there is debate about how that should happen.

Senator Kristina Moore, who leads a scrutiny panel looking into the matter, said she was concerned it might be too much of a financial burden for many.

More than 5,500 people have signed a petition asking that the previous year’s bills should be written off so the new pay-as-you-earn system could start.

However, business consultant Kevin Keen said that would be unfair on people who had already paid on a “current year” basis earnings, and would leave the States short of millions of pounds to pay for schools, health and other services.

He added: “I don’t think the treasury is in the best position to be doing this anyway.”

BBC Jersey News

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