Benefit rates increase plan rejected by Guernsey States

Moves to increase Guernsey's supplementary benefit rates have been defeated by States members.

The Social Security Department called for the move as part of updates to what it called 40-year-old laws based on a 60-year-old structure.

It had wanted permission for rates to be raised gradually to reach levels identified in a minimum income survey.

The motion was one of five defeated while 12 minor changes to the system were approved.

The survey,carried out last year, found living expenses were 44% higher on the island than in the UK and there were shortfalls in benefits of up to £160 for what was the minimum need for islanders.

The decision meant the Treasury and Resources Department would not be tasked with finding the additional money needed to fund the increases, which had been estimated at somewhere between £8m and £20m a year.

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