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Government Plan To Borrow Big Is Up For Debate

The revised plan on how our money is spent over the next four years is being debated this week.

The government's proposal includes borrowing £336 million to deal with the impact of Covid-19.

It's the first plan that can be reviewed and adapted on a year-by-year basis.

The government has set out plans to:

CHILDREN

* Spend £900,000 in 2021 on a school-catch-up programme to help students affected by the Covid-19 lockdown.

* Spend another £200,000 in 2021 on the Youth Service Move On Cafe and Dewberry House.

* Spend £41.9m between 2021 and 2024 on reforming Jersey's education system.

WELLBEING & PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH

* Spend £87m on responding to the coronavirus pandemic in 2021 and £152.1m until the end of 2024.

* Spend £6.6m in 2021 on starting to implement the Jersey Care Model - and spending £25.1m between 2021 and the end of 2024.

* Spend £400,000 a year on maintaining the air ambulance service

* Use money allocated in the previous government plan (£22m) on a new diabetes strategy, end of life care, mental health nursing training and key worker accommodation

* Spend £20m on the new hospital project in 2021.

ECONOMY

* Spend £15.5m in 2021 and £49.5m between 2021 and the end of 2023 on supporting the economic recovery.

* Increase funding (£150,000 in 2021) for the new Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA).

* Introduce funding for migration control policies.

* £1.2m on additional tax relief.  Increase the married people/civil partnership tax threshold by £150 and the single person threshold by £100. Single people would be able to earn up to £16,000 without being taxed and a married couple's tax allowance would rise to £25,700.

* Freeze alcohol duty.

* Raise £877,000 by increasing impôts - or 'excise duties' on tobacco (41p per packet) and fuel duties (2.3p a litre)

* First-time buyers who purchase through affordable housing schemes would pay less in stamp duty. The property's tax amount would be based on the 'affordable' price it was sold at, rather than the market value.

* Raise £10m per year by taxing Jersey businesses growing and supplying medicinal cannabis on their profits.

REDUCING INCOME INEQUALITY & IMPROVING THE STANDARD OF LIVING

* Spend £7.5m in 2021 and £21m between 2021 and 2024 on supporting islanders who have lost their jobs or lost income as a result of Covid-19.

* Spend £11.3m on the Co-funded Payroll Scheme.

ENVIRONMENT

* Spend £2m in 2021 and £4m between 2021 and 2024 on supporting LibertyBus

* Spend £300,000 in 2021 and £1.2m between 2021 and 2024 on researching water quality

* Spend £250,000 in 2021 and £92,000 a year between 2022 and 2024 on the Marine Resources Management Team to respond to the implications of Brexit

* Spend £500,000 in 2021 on developing the Carbon Neutral and Sustainable Transport Plan

* Spend £3.2m in 2021 on sustainable transport initiatives,

* Spend £2.7m in 2021 and £4 million a year between 2022 and 2024 on the Climate Emergency Fund.

MODERNISING GOVERNMENT

* Spend £2.5m in 2021 and £8m between 2021 and 2024 on introducing the 'Commercial Services Target Operating Model'.

* Spend £314,000 a year between 2021 and 2024 on resourcing the Justice and Home Affairs Department

* Spend £1.39m a year between 2021 and 2024 on Ministerial resources

* Spend £623,000 a year between 2021 and 2024 on the government's communications department

* Spend £1.4m a year between 2021 and 2024 on paying the rent for 28-30 The Parade

* Spend £4.8m in 2021 on the early phase of redeveloping Fort Regent

* Spend £250,000 in 2021 and £23m between 2021 and 2024 on replacing the Social Security Benefits and Payment System

* Spend £1.2m in 2021 on a new Firearms Range for the States of Jersey Police

The government also plans to launch reviews into income tax/residency rules, stamp duty as a source of revenue, how GST is paid on imported goods and the £135 de minimus, and possible changes to how vaping products are taxed.

CHALLENGES TO THE GOVERNMENT PLAN

21 amendments to the government plan have been lodged:

* Spend £378,000 on introducing a Public Service Ombudsman in 2021, rather than 2022.

* Reverse the government attempt to reduce funding for the Jersey Premium in 2021 by £159,000.

* Reverse the government attempt to reduce the budget for the Care Levers Package in 2021 by £100,000.

* Abolish the '20 means 20' income tax calculation and put ordinary taxpayers on a 25% marginal relief calculation from 2022.

* Scrap the rate of fuel duty paid on second-generation biofuel.

* Increase child-care tax relief from £6,150 to £6,273, and increase enhanced child-care tax relief from £16,000 to £16,320.

* Increase stamp duty rates for properties costing more than £2 million.

* Increase the Child Tax Allowance by £60 and the additional child allowance by £90.

* Allow all islanders under 21 years old to get the bus for free.

* Ask the Treasury Minister to carry out a review into the funding of public services in the parish.

* Give £300,000 to Beresford Street Kitchen.

* Spend £2.6 million on starting to repair and maintain Elizabeth Castle.

* Maintain the 1% funding for arts and culture from 2022.

* Return any unspent money to reduce the amount of borrowing needed from the revolving credit facility and agree to an Estates Strategy in time for the next Government Plan (2022-2025)

* Introduce a scheme to refund the GST paid on photovoltaics and solar panels, ground and air source heat pumps, electric boilers, electric cars, motorbikes, scooters and vans, electric bikes and cargo bikes, loft and cavity wall installation and double glazing from 1 January 2021.

* Reduce the limit on money needed from the Revolved Credit Facility by at least one third.

* Spend approximately £150,000 a year on researching poverty levels in Jersey.

* Extend the school meals pilot programme to all States-funded primary schools.

* Take £200,000 off the budget for a new Firearms Range for the States of Jersey Police and give it to the Institute for Law at Highlands College to provide legal services for people who can't afford lawyers or legal aid.

* Take £1 million off the budget for a new Firearms Range for the States of Jersey Police and give it to the Jersey Sea Cadets to find a site and start work on a dedicated Jersey Sea Cadet unit.

* Spend £300,000 on initiatives to protect Jersey's trees in 2021 and £75,000 a year between 2022 and 2024.

The Government Plan debate is due to last several days. Stay tuned to Channel103 for the latest updates.

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