The membership of a council of business experts tasked with advising Ministers on how Jersey's economy should overcome the largest challenge it has ever faced is still yet to be finalised - nearly three weeks after its creation was first announced.
Amid warnings from leaders across sectors that every day without a viable recovery plan could mean more pain for the island in the wake of the pandemic, Express understands the Economic Council is only due to have its first meeting today.
But this is despite a government spokesperson confirming that all the members who will sit on the Council have still not been appointed.
The Council is one of two key groups created by government to help shape the island's future, as it tries to rebuild the economy in the wake of the virus crisis under a strategy named 'Respond, Recover, Renew'.
Pictured: The economic recovery organisational framework.
The Council will support the work of the 'Political Oversight Group', which is made up of a small group of senior ministers, senior civil servants, and four people from the business community: Wendy Martin (CVC), Andrew Mclaughlin (RBSi), John Riva (KPMG) and Gerald Voisin (Voisins).
“Whilst the Economic Recovery POG has a narrower membership, the Economic Council’s is wider, which includes a number of people from a diverse array of backgrounds and industries,” the spokesperson said.
“This membership is yet to be finalised but could include a High Value Resident.”.
The creation of both the POG and the Council was announced on 1 June as part of the Government’s ‘Respond, Recover and Renew’ plans for the recovery of the island’s economy.
Pictured: Neither group has met yet.
The Government says that the scope of the economic recovery work will include:
But three weeks after the announcement, neither group has formally met. The POG has met in only in its “shadow form” but its terms of reference have yet to be approved.
“The POG will have oversight of economic recovery planning and to ensure a broad consensus of ideas is evaluated and tabled for consideration as part of the Government Plan process,” a Government spokesperson said.
At this stage, the Government has not committed to publishing the minutes of the POG’s meetings.
They simply said the matter will be discussed once the Group is formally constituted.
The Economic Council's first meeting today comes weeks after different members of the Council of Ministers put forward their visions for Jersey's economic recovery in the coming years.
In a live press briefing in mid-May, Assistant Treasury Minister Senator Ian Gorst announced that he, the Treasury Minister and Economic Development Minister would be bringing forward a “bold” new package of measures to “get the economy out of the doldrums” and “put money back into islanders’ pockets”, including reduced taxes, large-scale infrastructure projects and promotion of green lifestyles.
But there later appeared to be some backtracking from this stance, with the Treasury Minister striking a blow to the idea of the trio imminently announcing a recovery plan by stating that Senator Gorst was simply sharing his own views.
Weeks later, Reform Jersey then put forward their own 'New Deal', which include free primary health care, taxing all businesses and writing off household debts.
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