Nearly 25% Of Households Live In Relative Poverty

Almost a quarter of households in Jersey live in relative poverty according to a new report.

Households that earn £21,840 are classed as having a relatively low income, as it is 60% less than the median wage of £36,400.

Kate Wright, Chair of the Jersey Community Relations Trust, says pensioners make up nearly 40% of those living in relative poverty.

"Many of them don't have adequate pensions in place to support their retirement. If they don't own a home or land then there is no way of increasing their income."

"There's a big question about how we can support our pensioners, maybe we should consider a 'living pension' similar to the living wage."

The gap between the island's richest and poorest homes is also widening.

Those who earn the least spend 56% of their income on housing costs compared to just 6% by the highest earners.

But Kate says it's not just a problem for the government.

"We all need to look at our part in this, this is very much about the employers too."

"What more can they do to make sure that the environment, that their employees are working and living in, is acceptable?"

"Are they paying people as well as they can be, are they helping them to up-skill and increase their wages?"

Inflation in Jersey is currently running at 12.7%, its highest in 40 years.

Kate says the economic climate has meant the data isn't a shock.

"There have been other pieces of research recently that have indicated the pressures that people are feeling right now."

"But it has helped highlight some of the communities on our island that are struggling the most, like the disproportionate effect on pensioners and migrant workers who don't yet have their five-year residency."

She also thinks there is no value in comparing the island to the likes of the UK or France.

"We are a wealthy island, what level of poverty are we willing to accept?"

"There will always be income gaps but how do we want Jersey to be perceived as a place to live and work?"

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