Guernsey to borrow half a billion pounds

In a historic vote politicians in Guernsey have voted to borrow up to an 'eye watering' £500 million to boost the economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the biggest amount of money borrowed in the island’s history.

The borrowing will be split into two phases, the initial phase will be limited to £250 million.

The second phase will require the States to approve a recovery plan for the second half.

  • How will Guernsey get the money?

  • £100million of this will be taken from the Core Investment Reserve, better known as the ‘rainy day fund’ - depleting the reserve by half. This will go to helping struggling businesses.

  • £50million will come from a bond-style investment system known as 'Guernsey Together Bonds'. It will be established for islanders to invest into.

Deputy Roffey explained that the bond system will allow islanders to be more ‘self-reliant’.

It's really quite simple. Guernsey's economy needs some help, I think everyone agrees, it needs some help. And who better to provide that help, who better to provide that firepower that Deputy St Pier is asking for, than the people of Guernsey themselves? We are self reliant, we are a very self-reliant people and we do have, some of us. have modest money to invest.

Deputy Peter Roffey

It took three days of debate in Guernsey States to approve borrowing that has not been done on this scale before.

However, there is still lots of detail that has not yet been revealed. This includes what the bond scheme will look like and how the money will be repaid.

The island's politicians hope this historic decision will be enough to not only help Guernsey's economy through the coronavirus pandemic, but ensure it emerges stronger than before.