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We 'Can't Afford To Wait' For Action On Cost Of Living

UK pump prices have passed £2 per litre. The Consumer Council has warned Jersey may not be far behind.

The Chairman of Jersey's Consumer Council says the government can't let the upcoming election get in the way of tackling the cost of living crisis.

It comes as the average price motorists have to pay to fill up their tanks passed £100 for the first time ever.

The Consumer Council previously called on Ministers to temporarily reduce fuel duty to lessen the burden on islanders - but the Chief Minister declined, opting to target help towards already receiving Income Support instead.

More than 1,000 people also signed a petition calling for the government tax to be cut, while fuel supplier ATF also publicly campaigned for a temporary reduction.

Since Wednesday 11 May, Jersey's government has entered its 'pre-election period'. ahead of polling day on Wednesday 22 June.

It means Ministers have stepped back from making decisions or public statements that could be seen as campaigning, even though several of the current Council of Ministers are not standing for re-election, including Treasury Minister Deputy Susie Pinel.

The States won't meet again until after the upcoming election, but the current Council of Ministers still retain their responsibilities until their successors are appointed.

Consumer Council Chairman, Carl Walker, says there is still a job to do:

"Simply because there's an election on doesn't mean the government can't intervene and help.

The Consumer Council saw this coming back in March when we first wrote to the Chief Minister to suggest they look at the duty or GST which is being charged on fuel, but Ministers decided they wanted to take a more targeted approach through helping those islanders who already receive help.

As we stated many times before, there are many, many islanders who are just living on the breadline, but are beneath the government's radar - they don't receive help at the moment, but it doesn't mean those people aren't struggling too. The more prices rise, the more people will need help in the long term."

Mr Walker says it likely won't take long for the rising cost of fuel to have a knock-on effect on the price we pay for other goods and services - including food.

But he says it's not too late for Ministers to intervene:

"This is a once-in-a-generation crisis we're facing at the moment, and I don't think the public would be too upset if their 'pre-election' rules were paused briefly to allow the government to come together and form a plan to help islanders get through this summer.

There is worse yet to come - I'm speaking to food retailers regularly, and they are warning that the autumn will see even more rises in the price of food."

Earlier this year, it was revealed inflation in Jersey has reached 6% - the biggest annual rise in the cost of living since 2008.

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