The Fire and Rescue Service is increasing fees levied for services such as fire certificate renewals, fuel distribution and fire reports.
The rises, which came into force in January 2018 and are being implemented over a three-year period, will allow the Fire and Rescue Service to recover costs for services that are provided to some businesses and largely funded by tax revenue.
The fee increases are part of a number of user-pays charges implemented across the States of Jersey, and were passed by the States Assembly as cost-saving measures in the Medium Term Financial Plan 2017-2019.
Acting Chief Fire Officer Paul Brown said that the fee rises would not only help the service make savings but would bring the charges in line with some similar services delivered in Guernsey and fire-risk assessments carried out by consultants in the UK. The rises would also match the prices of other similar island services offered, such as planning and building control fees.
“Despite the cost-saving efficiencies we have made, and are planning, there are even greater demands being placed upon the Fire Safety department and these demands are predominantly customer focused and, as such, our aim is to make ourselves largely cost neutral to ensure the taxpayer is not over-subsidising business benefits,” said Mr Brown. “To achieve this our fees across all of our work streams are increasing.
“It is intended to minimise the overall impact of the charges, which have been broken down into three increases which started in January 2018.
“The pricing, whilst undoubtedly unwelcome, still compares very favourably with other similar fees such as for fire safety consulting engineers, planning and building control fees.”
The increase in user-pays charges will apply to all businesses that currently have, or will require, a fire certificate, including tourist accommodation, houses in multiple occupation and care and nursing homes. The new fees will also apply to the licensing industry, businesses that store, distribute or dispense petroleum spirit, and businesses that use the Fire and Rescue Service for consultation, property searches and reports.
The fee increases can be found at www.gov.je/fire.