Source: Channel Islands – Jersey
Today I’m joined by the Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Susie Pinel, the Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham. We’re very pleased to welcome you to this briefing, and we’ll be setting out an important development to speed our recovery from the effects of the global pandemic.
It is no exaggeration to say that COVID-19 has proved the most significant challenge to face our Island in a generation. And there have been two distinct emergencies to face, as a Government, and as an Island community.
We’ve successfully managed the immediate health emergency, through physical distancing, shielding, the creation of the Nightingale Wing, the PPE Hub and the Stay at Home instruction.
That work has put us in a strong position today, with a very limited number of active cases, all of which are asymptomatic.
Now we must successfully navigate the economic disruption caused by the lockdown on livelihoods, on businesses and our Island’s economic prosperity.
We know that the necessary measures we put in place to support businesses through the immediate impact of the crisis will significantly raise our deficit. And we appreciate that the short-term impact of the lockdown on everyday life, on society, and on Jersey’s economy has also been enormous.
We need to quickly find a way to return to the new normal.
The measures that we are announcing today have been created with the aim of providing a direct injection of £150 million into our local industries – building confidence and supporting Island business owners and their employees through this most difficult time.
And we’re going to be putting much of that money directly in your hands, so you can shop locally, spend locally, and support our Island economy.
Ministers will set out in detail these proposals, but I want to formally announce the first element of the fiscal stimulus package – In just over seven weeks, every adult and child in Jersey will receive £100 in the form of a voucher or pre-paid card.
This will provide £11 million of spending on-Island, across our entire community.
This will be time limited with a two-month expiry and cannot be spent online, cannot be used as a form of saving or spent at the bookmakers. It is geographically restricted to spending in Jersey and therefore aimed entirely at supporting our local economy.
When we were looking to create the Fiscal Stimulus package, I was firmly of the view that we should put spending power in the hands of the public, providing them with the means to invest in the businesses that they know best.
Because it’s you, not Government, that know how to spend your money.
I want to be clear, this isn’t a Government handout or gift. We’re asking you to make a commitment to invest in our Island. So please use this opportunity to spend your £100 in a way that benefits our whole community.
Use it for meals, for experiences, for clothes, for new products, or to treat yourself and your family. Keeping spending on Island will help local businesses and make the most of the fantastic products and services we have available to us.
I’ll now ask the other Ministers, starting with the Minister for Treasury and Resources to set out the detail of the economic challenges that we are facing and the rest of the package of measures that we are introducing.