09 April 2020
Senator Lyndon Farnham has issued the following statement:
The critical measures that we have introduced to manage the spread of coronavirus in Jersey, which include social distancing and the Stay at Home instruction, have caused unprecedented disruption to our society, local businesses and the wider economy.
I know you all want to get back to normality, back to work and back to business, as soon as possible. But we face uncertain times, and a recession after the immediate impact of the pandemic.
We must be prepared to be in this for the long haul and that requires careful management of the crisis and the recovery.
This is why we are supporting our employers, employees and the self-employed to stand ready to get our economy back onto its feet as the crisis abates. And it will abate.
I’m very glad to be here, alongside Assistant Treasury Minister, Senator Gorst, to announce that the Council of Ministers has agreed a revised Phase 2 of the Government Co-Funded Payroll Scheme, and will recommend to the Minister for Treasury & Resources an extension of the scope and operation of the Phase 1 scheme.
As you will know, Phase 1 was designed and launched, in short order, to provide fast access to subsidies for those sectors severely affected by coronavirus containment measures, and is now paying cash directly to businesses.
More than £1.1m has already been paid to more than 4,000 businesses.
Phase 2 offers employers and self-employed workers a subsidy of 80% of their wages, up to a cap. This means that employers and self-employed workers will receive a subsidy of up to £1,600 per month, for pay periods in April, May and June 2020.
The revised scheme has extended coverage to groups not previously covered, and includes a far wider range of industries including Air Transport, Private Waste Disposal, Freight Transport, Media Activities, Advertising and Design agencies and Digital Businesses, Estate Agencies, Recruitment Agents, Vets, Architects, Local Legal and Accountancy Practices and Security Firms.
In short, the scheme is now very wide – and now only excludes a handful of the sectors that are most likely to withstand the crisis without support.
We have also relaxed the test for inclusion, requiring businesses to show only a 30% loss in turnover to qualify.
This makes Jersey’s scheme among the most generous in the world, on a level with that offered by the Government of New Zealand.