A new report examining the Government’s response to Covid-19 has been published today by the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel. The review focussed specifically on key developments in relation to what impact the response had on the economy within the time period of March through to October 2020.
The Panel is satisfied that the Government sought to move quickly to respond to the economic challenges presented by the pandemic. The Panel found that it was likely that businesses would have failed had the Government not provided the range of business support packages that it did - particularly the Co-Funded Payroll Scheme which enables businesses that have experienced a significant drop in activity to maintain the employment of their staff and minimise the need for redundancies. The Panel believes the scheme played an important role in offering a lifeline to businesses and maintaining a high level of support within the economy.
A common theme emerged during the review of a lack of consultation with businesses and business sectors. This has continued through all stages of the pandemic and the Panel highlights in its report, the importance of close liaison with stakeholders.
Several of the Panel’s recommendations focus on the need for better data-gathering in order to enable the Government to have a clearer sight of the Island’s economy and the effects of investment and crises on all islanders and groups of islanders.
Deputy Kirsten Morel, Chair of the Economic and International Affairs Panel said, “On the whole, we believe the Government responded well to the immediate economic effects of the pandemic by focussing on the protection of livelihoods as well as lives. As a result, islanders and businesses were able to enjoy a relatively normal summer.
“However, the winter remains uncertain and the long-term economic effects of the pandemic could be harsh. The Panel will continue to keep a close eye on the PRESS NOTICE Government’s actions as it deals with the immediate months ahead and prepares the ground for a strong and equitable economic recovery.”
Scrutiny Press Release.