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Poll reveals GST absorbed by 73% of UK retailers

14 May 2008

The Economic Development Minister has run an initial survey of town centre 26 UK retailers in Jersey to find out how they have handled the implementation of GST. The results of the survey show that, of those visited, 73% have absorbed GST, 23% have passed the cost on and 4% had a mixed approach and absorbed on some lines and passed on with others.

Senator Ozouf commented: “It strikes me that the most interesting finding from this research is that the vast majority of companies who previously charged VAT inclusive prices have absorbed the GST. The companies which have charged GST were in the main already deducting the equivalent of UK VAT off their prices. Many islanders have expressed concern to me that Jersey consumers should not charge UK VAT inclusive prices (in the main UK chains), so this is a welcome step in the right direction.

This was an initial survey of 26 retailers but it does support the informal research that has been carried out by a number of groups. I would encourage consumers to vote with their feet and applaud the various media campaigns aimed at making our high street VAT-free. Other retailers surveyed have passed the cost on to the consumer but the number of retailers in this category is very low. It is also encouraging that some retailers are absorbing the cost of GST for national newspapers too”

The initial survey was run on Thursday 8th May and Saturday 10th May 2008. We will continue to monitor retail prices following the introduction of GST.

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