30 October 2020
The Panel’s report is based on their assessment of the outlook for Jersey’s economy and the proposed Government Plan 2021-24. Their advice has been delivered ahead of the States Assembly debate on 14 December.
Deputy Pinel said: “I am grateful to the Fiscal Policy Panel for their clear and detailed advice, which they have presented to States Members. The Panel has advised that it is appropriate to run deficits in the near future and seek to close the deficit over time. This is the approach that the Council of Ministers have adopted in the Government Plan and follows previous advice from the Panel.
“The report contains a number of recommendations that I will consider with my ministerial colleagues. The Panel has stressed that we will need to manage our capital programme carefully to maximise the benefit for the Island and also strengthen our programme to deliver efficiencies and other difficult measures to close the deficit.
“In financing the deficit, the FPP has advised that it would be preferable to borrow to pay for the health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 global pandemic rather than draw down on our reserves. It is the strength of the Jersey's public finances and our commitment to balancing the books that provides us with this flexibility in such difficult times.
“This is our second Government Plan, and it highlights the measures we’ve had to take as we responded to the pandemic, while also protecting the Island’s future.
"We’ve had to re-examine the delivery timescales for some projects, re-prioritise how we use our resources, and re-think how we continue to invest in our Island while continuing to support Islanders’ jobs, livelihoods and the local economy.”