Carpet Grants To Be Given, Existing Loans To Stay

Eligible Andium tenants will receive grants for carpets from July, but existing loans will still need to be repaid.

The States have agreed to parts of a proposition from Reform Jersey's Deputy Rob Ward, to amend the rules around carpeting Andium properties.

From July to December this year, tenants who would have been eligible for a loan will receive a grant for carpets instead.

This will be reviewed ahead of the new year.

The St Helier deputy says if the grants are not continued, he will lodge an amendment to the Government Plan.

"We cannot be putting people who are on income support into further debt, which means they'll go below that basic standard [of living] simply because they want to have carpet on their floors, in modern Jersey where there is so much wealth on the island."

The amendment also explores reusing flooring to avoid unnecessary waste and expenses.

The States did, however, decide not to pass the second part of Deputy Ward's proposition, which planned to scrap current carpet loans for those re-paying them.

Currently, Andium properties are given to residents without carpets, which the deputy argues can be costly for people on Income Support.

Deputy Ward says it is a ridiculous decision made by the Assembly not to write off existing loans -  worth around £108,000 in total  - as next month Jersey will be in a position where some people are paying loans and others will not.

"Unfortunately, the Assembly didn't accept writing off the loans that already exist for some very strange reason. Mainly being it's too difficult to administer.

There seems to be a belief by some in government that loans are taken out through choice, when actually people have very little choice when they simply can't afford to carpet their home.

I think the Assembly needs to have a good look at itself as to why it let administration and some notion of choice overcome a further decision to make the lives of those who are currently paying better as well."

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