News Release Thursday 18th May 2017
JHA responds to proposed wastage charges due to be lodged by Infrastructure Minister
Fiona Kerley, President of the JHA and local Hotelier commented; “Just now when Jersey is turning the corner and its residents are once again becoming proud of welcoming visitors to their Island, this proposal could not come at a worse time. The method of imposing these costs will impact visitors and residents alike, Jersey will struggle to be competitive, countless jobs will be put at risk and Jersey’s future potential will be extinguished. The process employed to bring about these charges without an understanding of the economic impact on ALL islanders does reinforce the current lack of joined up thinking across government departments. One that we hope the elected politicians will want to understand more closely when they vote on a proposal that will impact, not only the future of businesses but the future for all residents and the Island we all care for.”
The Jersey Hospitality Association is deeply concerned about the level of and proposed new commercial waste charges, and would echo the warnings of the Chamber of Commerce. The JHA would add that the issue of waste & our island environment is an island issue and not just a business issue. Businesses already aim to keep their expenditure as low as possible so any change in behavior with regards to water usage, if maintaining current best practices, will be minimal. The charges proposed will not in fact assist businesses to be more sustainable or to implement and follow better environmental practices as there simply won’t be the financial resources left to do this. The lack of consultation and impact studies carried out is very worrying and the JHA considers that whilst some businesses whose water consumption is minimal will be largely unaffected the scale of charges from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands of pounds is vast and can only damage businesses already struggling and dissuade some from continuing to operate.
These waste charges are being unfairly burdened on businesses, for some of whom the level of water used is unavoidable, it is just part of what they do! There will be little option for businesses to reduce their water consumption drastically and therefore little option for hoteliers/ restaurateurs /attractions & other hospitality businesses to reduce these charges. The level of proposed charges is such that it is likely to discourage ‘Best Practice’ behaviors putting water saving above health & safety and reduce the ability for businesses to reinvest. The effects of high charges on hospitality & other businesses will be wide reaching and will certainly have other economic effects as they are passed on to the end user, the cost of which now is unknown. At a time when Visit Jersey is trying to boost the tourist figures and showcase our wonderful island this is very discouraging news!