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Covid cost island more than £83 million last year

Covid cost island more than £83 million last year

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Covid cost island more than £83 million last year


The impact of covid on States finances has been broken down in the latest States Accounts.

The 2020 accounts show an overall net impact of £83.9 million, which is less than the £99.1 million originally forecast in the 2021 budget.

Despite the actual damage being £15.2 million less than predicted, it’s still a massive indicator of how devastating the pandemic has been for the island's bank balance.

This figure includes Aurigny losses, business support and revenue shortfalls as follows: 

  • £51.3 million of business and personal support expenditure
  • £28.3 million to cover Aurigny's losses
  • £5.3 million overdraft requirement for Guernsey Ports
  • £3.3 million net revenue income shortfalls

The final figure was offset by net expenditure being around £4 million lower than budgeted.

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Pictured: “We have effectively been selling off the family silverware to pay off the deficit,” said Deputy Mark Helyar revealing the 2021 budget, in a reference to the money harvested from the States reserves to help cover the financial shortfall. 

The financial hit is less than expected but still severe. Earlier this year, Policy and Resources announced an urgent review into Guernsey’s tax structure to balance the books, with no options off the table.

The 2020 States Accounts also reveal an increase of 80 public sector staff whose pay exceeds £80,000 per year. This includes 57 healthcare staff, from nurses to medical consultants.

This incorporates the 2019 and 2020 pay awards of 5%.

Elsewhere, the States received net investment returns of £66.4 million and these funds have been re-distributed to States reserves.

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Pictured: The accounts reveal that an increase in house sales boosted document duty by 26% to £23 million.

The £15.2 million improvement on the forecast for 2020 will be retained and used to offset the damage done in 2021 by the island’s second lockdown, P&R said. 

The States Accounts include those for the trading assets, along with the Channel Island Lottery report and the grant-aided colleges.

The accounts will be debated in their entirety on 16 June at a meeting of the States Assembly. 

You can read the full States’ accounts ONLINE HERE.

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