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Source: Channel Islands – Jersey

The Government Plan 2021-2024 reflects the response to Covid-19 and the plans being put in place to protect our Island’s future.

It brings together revised spending and investment plans to support the five strategic priorities, income forecasts and how the measures put in place to tackle the pandemic will be paid for.

Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “This, our second Government Plan, reflects the scale of the measures we’ve had to implement as we responded to the pandemic, while also protecting the Island’s future.

“We worked hard to save lives during the emergency pandemic phase and now that our robust testing and tracing system continues to suppress the virus in Jersey, we will continue to support Islanders’ jobs, livelihoods and the local economy.

“This year, 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.

“As well as continuing to support our five Common Strategic Priorities, our four key areas of focus for 2021 will be: responding to Covid-19 while protecting our health services, managing our economic recovery so we can invest in healthcare and education for the future, and rebalancing our finances responsibly without an increase in taxes.”

Focus areas for 2021

Responding to the ongoing health and wellbeing challenges of Covid-19 and protecting our health services

Islanders’ lives and livelihoods will continue to be protected be providing support where it is most needed and suppressing the virus until a vaccine can be provided. 

This will be done by:

  • Maintaining the Test, Trace and Contact programme
  • Continuing to fund the Nightingale Field Hospital to at least March 2021
  • Making sure we can effectively and efficiently distribute PPE
  • Funding the provision of a Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

Investing in our economic recovery

The Government Plan outlines funding for new economic growth initiatives to drive the recovery. While the Co-Funded payroll Scheme, which has supported many Islanders, will be phased out by March 2021, sector-specific support over the winter will be provided.

Our Fiscal Stimulus Package, announced in July, continues with the nine-month reduction in Social Security contributions starts this month and the £50 Fiscal Stimulus Fund will be debated in the States Assembly in November.

Areas that could receive future economic assistance include investment to support the construction industry, funding for skills and training and further investment in technology.

Investing in our future healthcare and education to protect the future of Islanders

The Government Plan details the key initiatives in health and education that are important to the long-term sustainable wellbeing of Islanders.

These include:

  • An ambitious three-year reform programme for the Island’s education system.
  • A Covid-19 Schools Catch-Up Programme, to ensure that the loss of schooling for children and young people is addressed.
  • Continued investment in the redesign of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), to support those experiencing mental ill-health.
  • Implementation of the new Jersey Care Model, which will support the move to a more preventative-focused and community-based health service.
  • Delivery of a new hospital, subject to Overdale being agreed by the States Assembly in November 2020 as the preferred site.

Rebalancing the public finances

The cost pressures of the health emergency and economic crisis, combined with the anticipated falls in Government revenues, will mean unprecedented financial deficits in 2020 and 2021.

Rather than cutting expenditure or drawing on the Strategic Reserve, the Government Plan proposes borrowing up to a maximum of £336 million next year, in addition to the Fiscal Stimulus Fund of £50 million, to fund the cost of the response to the pandemic.

It proposes repaying the debt, if the States Assembly approve the proposal to move Prior Year Basis taxpayers to Current Year Basis, by paying the future payments of the 2019 tax liabilities for Prior Year Basis taxpayers into a ring-fenced sinking fund. This would repay much, if not all, of this debt.

Headline initiatives for 2021-2024

Children

  • Implement a COVID-19 Schools Catch-up Programme

  • Continue to implement the Children’s Change Programme

  • Start a long-term programme to reform the education system

  • Invest in the redesign of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

  • Provide Additional funding for the Youth Service Move on Café.

Health and wellbeing

  • Begin to implement the Jersey Care Model

  • Continue to deliver preventative and proactive schemes

  • Continue to support the reduction of preventable diseases

  • Improve access to mental health services
  • Continue to expand 24-hour community nursing and primary care services.

Economy

  • Continue to develop and deliver the Future Economy Programme
  • Fund the implementation of new Migration Control Policies
  • Continue to deliver a Global Markets Strategy
  • Continue to invest in Digital Jersey
  • Fund projects to support the economic recovery.

Environment

  • Use the Climate Emergency Fund to support a new sustainable transport plan

  • Continue to improve countryside access

  • Tackle the climate emergency and become a sustainable, low-carbon jurisdiction

  • Increase the subsidy for the bus network

  • Invest in research into inland water quality.

Inclusivity

  • Continue to improve support and protection for tenants
  • Better support for disabled adults living at home
  • Fund the forecast overspend on Income Support in 2021-2024
  • Fund the Co-Funded Payroll Scheme until March 2021
  • Modernise the personal income tax system

Modernising Government

  • Modernise the public sector using digital technologies
  • Deliver efficiencies from 2020 to 2023 through the Efficiencies Programme
  • Continue to transform public finances.

MIL OSI United Kingdom