The A4 paper leaflets had been produced for the Public Services Department with the intention of informing householders exactly what the ‘user pays’ charge involved.They were due to be distributed last week but this was halted following a last-minute decision by committee presidents – announced on Tuesday – to put the charge on hold for at least a year.Public outrage followed the revelation that the tax was to be introduced and that it would start at around £80 and rise to several hundreds a year.
The decision to put it on hold was hailed as a public victory.News of the leaflets failed to impress the Jersey Rights Association, who have organised tonight’s public meeting to discuss such charges.Chairman Rui de Abreu said: ‘The public was told by press releases that the proposed charge would be £300.
Moreover, up to 40,000 leaflets were printed – no doubt at great public expense – to be distributed to households throughout the Island.
This is more akin to imposition than consultation.’Public Services chief executive John Richardson was this morning unable to reveal how much the leaflets cost.
But he admitted: ‘They were ready to go and we asked them (Jersey Post) not to distribute them.’Mr Richardson said that the leaflets explained what the charge was, what it would pay for and the process they needed to go through to introduce the system.He stressed that the leaflets would not necessarily go to waste.
They were factual, he explained, and could be used in the future.Environment and Public Services president Deputy Maurice Dubras was unavailable to comment.