People in Jersey will be given £100 worth of vouchers to help kick start the island's economy. Around 13,000 of the poorest in society will also receive an extra £100 as early as the end of this month.
It is part of a £150 million support package to help stimulate growth in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. The measures, which have been backed by the Council of Ministers include:
Direct payments to low-income households: £1.3 million
Reduction to employee Social Security contributions: £26 million
Extended time to repay GST and Social Security deferrals: £40 million reduction to revenue in 2021
A Fiscal Stimulus Fund: £50 million
The abolition of Prior Year Basis payment of tax: £18 million
The total cost of the £100 vouchers to islanders will be £11 million. According to the Fiscal Policy Panel, Jersey economic output will fall by six percent this year. The island's Treasury Minister says it is vital the government supports the economy with this large stimulus plan.
Recovery from the long-lasting effects of the pandemic will take time, but this Fiscal Stimulus Package stands us in good stead to ensure that when we emerge from COVID-19 our economy is in a strong position.
The government says that payments will be made to working-age Income Support claimants (6,300 adults and 3,400 children) and pensioners on Income Support and Pension Plus (3,300 Islanders). The proposal to reduce Social Security contributions from 6% to 4%, up to the Standard Earnings Limit of £4,558 will run for nine months from 1 October 2020, if it is passed by the States.
On top of this, businesses will have two years to repay deferred GST and Social Security payments instead of one.
This package of measures is welcome as it will benefit all Islanders and particularly those who may have been struggling during the pandemic. Since the start of COVID-19 we’ve been keen to support businesses and Islanders and we’re now continuing with this significant package to boost the economy.