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£100 Given To 12,500 Islanders

12,500 islanders on income support or pension plus have received £100 paid into their bank accounts by the government today.

They are getting the cash to spend on kick-starting Jersey's COVID-hit economy.

It's part of a £150 million fiscal stimulus package. You can read more on that here.

"We know that COVID-19 has not just affected Jersey’s economy, it’s affected the day-to-day lives of Islanders. 

"The ‘Spend Local’ payment helps Islanders on lower incomes to support our local economy by giving them an extra opportunity to support their favourite local businesses." - Deputy Judy Martin.

It's on top of the £100 every adult and child is getting in September - which will either be in the form of a voucher or pre-paid card.

Meanwhile, business activity in Jersey has dropped 62% due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The economic indicator is at its lowest since the island's Business Tendency survey began in the wake of the 2008 financial crash.

The finance sector was one of the least affected, only dropping by 21% - compared to 80% for non-finance firms.

Last month, around 1 in 10 businesses were forced to cease trading as a result of COVID-19, either temporarily because of lockdown.

In response to the survey, the Economic Development Minister has teased new measures to protect jobs and businesses 'through the winter and into next year.'

Senator Lyndon Farnham says the future of Jersey's Payroll Co-funding scheme will be 'set out soon'.

"The COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on our Island’s economy. Early in the pandemic, as the Government of Jersey anticipated the challenges this health emergency would have on Jersey’s businesses, it launched the largest and most comprehensive package of business support ever seen in the Island. The aims of these measures were to support our economy and keep people in jobs.

"Most notably, the Payroll Co-Funding Scheme, which has, to date, paid out more than £50 million to protect livelihoods, has helped to keep more than 15,000 people in employment. The Business Tendency Survey shows that although 72% of firms experienced a reduction in activity, significantly fewer businesses (40%) reduced the number of their employees. The Government has also supported the economy through deferring Social Security and GST payments for the first half of the year, setting up the Business Loan Disruption Guarantee Scheme and also launching the COVID-related Emergency Support Scheme.   

"Data on the use of these schemes and other indicators such as the numbers of Islanders Actively Seeking Work, suggests we have been successful in reducing the impact of the pandemic on the economy. However, it is vital that we build on the work already undertaken and will do this through our £150 million Fiscal Stimulus Package, which includes giving direct payments to low-income households, giving every Islander £100 to spend in the local economy and abolishing the Prior Year Basis payment of tax.   We will also soon be setting out the future of the Payroll Co-Funding Scheme, to ensure that jobs and businesses continue to be protected throughout the winter and into next year."

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