10 July 2020
Since the outset of the pandemic our focus has been on ensuring that we are keeping Island businesses viable, keeping people in their jobs and protecting their livelihoods. To do so, we launched the largest and most comprehensive package of business support ever assembled.
Those measures have already had a significant and positive effect on the health of our economy.
Most notably, the Payroll Co-Funding scheme was introduced, to support the household income of Islanders, preserve employment levels and reduce the cashflow burden on businesses during the most severe restrictive measures which ran from the end of March into June.
The scheme has, and will, continue to evolve to provide the most appropriate support in line with economic changes.
The most recent change has allowed for businesses to use a cumulative three month total which will ensure many businesses will be able to stay in the scheme for longer.
To date, the payroll scheme has paid out in excess of £50 million pounds to protect jobs and livelihoods, and further discussions are being held with a view to extending the scheme in to the winter months. We have also amended the eligibility criteria to take into account each business’ performance over a three-month period, making it fairer and easier to access.
But right now we need to do more as we move from the emergency response phase into economic recovery program.
As part of the package announced today, a new £50 million Fiscal Stimulus Fund will be launched which will aim to deliver stimulus to the economy quickly.
The fund is available to Government departments and arms-length organisations to deliver fiscal stimulus ranging from small conventional capital projects to schemes for training and the development of skills across all sectors of the economy and the community.
We expect that projects will start by the end of this year and be completed by the end of 2021.
The purpose of the fiscal stimulus announced today is to get money swiftly flowing into local businesses, building their resilience, protect existing jobs, creating new jobs, new career opportunities and returning people to work.
To summarise what my Ministerial colleagues have said:
- £100 for every Islander to spend, supporting our local businesses with the vouchers and smart cards being issued in September and valid for two months
- 2% reduction in social security payments – so you have more in your pay packet every month) from 1st October for 9 months
- another £100 for low-income individuals, payable this month
- businesses will have up to two years to repay GST and Social Security deferrals
- a £50million fiscal stimulus fund for smaller capital projects in the community
We have tackled this crisis so far as a community by supporting each other.
By working together, we have protected the most vulnerable.
By working together, we have safe-guarded jobs and livelihoods
By working together, we have halted the decline.
And, in this way, we will re build our economy.