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Guernsey's "Revive and Thrive" Recovery Strategy

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The Bailiwick of Guernsey has faced an unprecedented public health and economic shock as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the public health threat is now being effectively managed, its socio-economic consequences will pose a serious challenge for an unknown period.

Economic modelling for the impact in 2020 predicts a loss of GVA1 of an estimated 8%, or approximately £300m, in real terms and its recovery to previous levels, without any action, could take a decade. Unmanaged, the consequences for our community are severe, with impact on islanders' physical and mental health, their life chances and opportunities, and the well-being of our community.

Guernsey must restore its financial security through an approach which is innovative, dynamic and co-designed with the community. To revive and thrive, our vision for recovery requires investment and confidence rather than cuts and austerity.

Our Recovery Strategy will guide and coordinate action plans to achieve recovery. Our vision goes beyond simply recovering from the impact of the pandemic (revive): it seeks to capitalise on community engagement and cohesion; to learn lessons from past strategies and plans; and to grasp the opportunity to revive, renew and revitalise - to thrive.

Before the pandemic the Future Guernsey Plan was centred on a 20-year vision. This vision has not changed and forms the backdrop to recovery. However, we now have a unique strategic opportunity to learn from the COVID-19 experience and go beyond simply returning to the pre-virus status quo. We can do something special and strive to achieve longer-term economic resilience and transformational wellbeing outcomes for our community.

Our vision for recovery is:

"We will work in partnership to recover our economic prosperity, build on our inclusive community values and capitalise on our many strengths to make Guernsey a safe haven based on sustaining health, wealth and community."

Success will rely on balancing risk and embracing opportunity to achieve at pace a confident recovery delivered through a series of interdependent action plans.

The Recovery Strategy covers:

The full Recovery Strategy - Revive and Thrive - can be found in the downloads section.

  • Why do we need a recovery strategy?

    • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a grave impact on jurisdictions worldwide, including the Bailiwick. While the pandemic has first and foremost presented a public health crisis, the necessary emergency measures that governments have instituted to stem the spread of the virus now threaten the global economy and community well-being.
    • Governments have invoked wide reaching powers to isolate their populations, which has brought large sections of their economies to an almost complete standstill. The international airline fleets sit largely redundant on airport aprons; oil prices have tumbled as demand has fallen to a record low; and unemployment has soared. Financial markets have not been immune; in March 2020 the FTSE 100 posted its biggest quarterly fall since the Black Monday crash in 1987.
    • Unparalleled economic support by way of wage subsidies, specific sector and employer support, liquidity support and new social benefits have been introduced by many governments in order to help their communities through the crisis. Global economies are in uncharted waters and analysts and economists are now forecasting a profound economic downturn in the short term with long term consequences.
    • Guernsey has been fortunate in that the finance sector has only been minimally impacted by the crisis, to date, which has kept a significant proportion of our population employed and in a position to begin spending again as restrictions lift. However, the Bailiwick will not be immune to the global economic crisis, albeit that the full impact may be delayed.
    • Several sectors of the economy, such as tourism, hospitality, aviation, retail and construction have been, and continue to be, severely affected. Some employers have responded to the social restrictions by adapting their operating models but, nonetheless, unemployment has increased sharply.
    • The Bailiwick is now at the stage where emergency restrictions are gradually easing as part of the planned phased exit from lockdown. Data from previous pandemics, and the experience from other jurisdictions in relaxing their isolation measures, show that second peaks of infection (leading to further lockdown restrictions) are a real possibility. While the virus has not yet been detected in Alderney, Sark or Herm, these islands have not been immune from the impact of the emergency measures and will feel their socio-economic consequences.
    • There is some way to go before the resumption of business-as-usual. Indeed, what was business-as-usual for the Bailiwick, and elsewhere, may never be the same again as employers, individuals and the public service adapt to the post-pandemic reality.
    • Economic modelling for the impact on the Guernsey economy in 2020 predicts a loss of GVA of an estimated 8% in real terms (based on the current accelerated exit from lockdown). This is a very significant recession, equivalent to the loss of more than 10% of the workforce over the course of the year. For context, the 2008 global financial crisis resulted in a loss of 2.6% of GVA.
    • We are managing a progression out of lockdown with greater pace than was predicted. We also have robust public health measures in place to manage a second peak of infections. However, modelling also shows that the requirement to return to a lockdown state would have a material negative impact on output.
    • Managing the socio-economic consequences of the public health protections will be critical as the Bailiwick moves from pandemic crisis to recovery. We therefore need a single Recovery Strategy to take the community, employers and the government forward in an inclusive way and sets out a shared vision and overall approach to recovery.
    • The full Recovery Strategy document can be found in the downloads box.
  • The Purpose of having a Recovery Strategy

    • The Recovery Strategy must give business and the community confidence that recovery is well-planned, building on the successful management and community's trust in government following the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • It should aim to take this opportunity to revive, renew and revitalise by working collaboratively with Islanders to develop and deliver the action plans for recovery.
    • It will provide the checks and balances for strategic planning and decision-making. It will set out a shared vision and the overall approach to recovery, and establish the path for the planning and delivery of programmes of work.
    • This strategy:
      • defines what "recovery" will look like or Guernsey;
      • establishes principles to guide how government, public services, employers, the third sector and islanders can work together towards recovery;
      • sets up the appropriate governance structure to oversee and co-ordinate recovery;
      • establishes the desired socio-economic outcome;
      • identifies areas of focus and priority initiatives for recovery efforts in interdependent recovery action plans; and
      • commits to measuring and reporting on progress toward recovery.
    • The full Recovery Strategy document can be found in the downloads box.
  • Who is the Recovery Strategy for?

    • The development of this Strategy has been led by the States of Guernsey but is for the islands' communities - GuernseyTogether.
    • The development and delivery of the associated action plans will be in partnership between government, public services, employers, the community and voluntary sector and residents and families across the island.
    • The Strategy has been developed for Guernsey but elements of it will apply to Alderney (because of the close relationship both fiscally and for public service delivery) or the Bailiwick as a whole.
    • There will be a need for close working between the States in Guernsey and Alderney and Chief Pleas in Sark to ensure that revive and recovery opportunities can be shared and that the islands' recovery plans are, where beneficial, aligned.
    • The full Recovery Strategy document can be found in the downloads box.


Recovery Strategy - Revive and Thrive Statement given by Deputy Gavin St Pier at Chamber of Commerce - 27 July 2020

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