Covid Debt Repaid As Gov Income Hits New High

The island's Covid debt was completely paid back by the end of the last year, as government income exceeded £1 billion for the first time.

Treasury Minister, Deputy Ian Gorst says that Jersey's finances are in a good position.

"Income tax was up and corporate tax was up, so we know that the economy has recovered strongly.

We're not facing the challenges that other countries and jurisdictions are."

But, he says that the higher income of islanders in 2022 wasn't due to inflationary pay rises.

"We have to remind ourselves that the report looks at income in 2022, so it was largely tax liabilities for 2021.

There will be some elements that are down to inflationary pay rises but that will be more of an issue for the 2023 report."

Treasury Minister Deputy Ian Gorst

The States accounts for 2022 show island's deficit was reduced by a further £32 million to £65 million.

While income and corporation taxes were up last year, stamp duty - that you pay when buying a house - fell by £7m.

That was mostly in the second half of 2022 and was likely down to the Bank of England hiking the base rate in the face of economic uncertainty off the back of Liz Truss' UK mini-budget.

Income from import duty was also down by 17%. That is been put down to pandemic travel restrictions easing, making duty-free shopping more available.

Money spent on the wages of government staff also increased.  The civil service employs more people compared to 2021.

The government is the biggest employer in the island according to the 2021 census figures, with 15% of the workforce on its payroll. 

£512m was spent on staff, which is £35m more than the previous year.

Deputy Gorst says that the increase to those on the States payroll is not a 'positive thing':

"We know that the economy is constrained when it comes to staff.

Increasing public sector, at full capacity, means there are fewer people in the private sector."

The Income Forecasting Group is due to release its predictions for what inflation and other economic factors may look like in the 'coming weeks'.

You can read the full report here.

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