Covid test lab delays cost £5.1M
Delays in opening an in-house testing lab for Covid cost Jersey’s government an extra £5 million. A report by the island’s Auditor General Lynn Pamment also found that at key times the test and trace service did not keep up with demand and communication could have been better.
She did say that the government acted at pace in a measured way when bringing in and expanding the testing programme – with Jersey faring well with the scale of its rollout when compared to similar-sized jurisdictions.
The Auditor General explained: “The programme established was extensive. Over the course of 2021 however, there have been times when the programme has not kept pace with the pandemic.”
Jersey’s vaccine programme was praised across all areas, including the high percentage of take-up by islanders with over 230,000 total doses now delivered. According to the report the island saved over £3.5 million in 2021 as the first two vaccines were delivered free of charge by the UK government.
Responding to the review Jersey’s Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, said: “We welcome the findings and conclusions which are so important for us to learn from. The publication also provides us with an opportunity to recognise the skills, dedication, and hard work of all the staff working in the test and trace and vaccination programmes. These programmes have often been acknowledged as world-class, which is testament to the staff.”
Digital Covid certificate now available
People in Jersey are now able to save their digital Covid status certificate into their phone wallet. Those wanting to access their digital certificate to demonstrate their vaccination status can to do this via the Covid Safe portal. They can then save the certificate to their mobile.
It will include a QR code with details of the most recent vaccination dose, which is accepted in the UK, EU and some other jurisdictions around the world. The QR code will expire after 30 days, at which point, the digital certificate can be re-issued and downloaded.
Jersey RPI Announced
Statistics Jersey have been published
The All Items Retail Prices Index (RPI) is the main measure of inflation in Jersey. It measures the change from quarter to quarter in the price of the goods and services purchased by an average household in Jersey. The December report shows that:
- during the twelve months to March 2022, the All Items Retail Prices Index (RPI) for Jersey increased by 6.0% to stand at 194.6 (June 2000 = 100)
- this March 2022 twelve-month increase in the RPI is the largest since September 2008
- the increase in the RPI over the twelve months to December 2021 was 3.8%; hence the annual rate of inflation increased by 2.2 percentage points (pp) since last quarter
- this increase in the annual rate of inflation was due to upward contributions from most groups, notably the Housing, Fuel & light, and Motoring groups saw prices increase by more, on average, over the twelve months to March 2022 than over the twelve months to December 2021
- prices in the Personal goods & services group increased by less, on average, over the twelve months to March 2022 than the same period of time to December 2021, giving a slight downward contribution to the change in the annual rate of increase
- underlying inflation, as measured by the annual change in RPI(Y), increased by 5.2% over the twelve months to March 2022
- the rate of underlying inflation, RPI(Y), increased by 1.6 pp since December 2021 (up from 3.6%)
- over the twelve months to March 2022:
- RPI(X) increased by 5.2%
- RPI Pensioners increased by 6.2%
- RPI Low Income increased by 5.2%
- in March 2022, the annual rates of increase for RPI, RPI(X), RPI(Y), RPI Pensioners and RPI Low Income, were:
- all higher than the December 2021 rates by at least 1.6 pp
- the highest for at least 10 years
- the rate of inflation in Jersey over the twelve months to March 2022, as measured by the RPI, was 0.2 pp lower than the broadly comparable headline rate of inflation for the UK
Jersey’s next Election will take place on Wednesday 22 June 2022.
The official list of candidates standing for election will be announced on Wednesday 18 May on Vote.je.
Should you be interested in standing see the qualifying criteria below,
Deputies represent one of nine constituencies. Deputies do not have to live in the constituency they want to represent. If you want to stand for election as a Deputy you must be:
- at least 18 years old
- a British Citizen who has been: (a) resident in Jersey for at least two years up to and including the day of the election,
- or (b) resident in Jersey for six months up to and including the day of the election, as well as a total period of five years previously.
Standing as a Constable
Constables (or Connétables) are the head of their Parish and represent their Parish by voting in the States Assembly.
If you want to stand for election as a Constable you must be:
- at least 18 years old
- a British citizen who has been a resident in Jersey: (a) for at least two years up to and including the day of the election, or (b) for six months up to and including the day of the election, as well as a total period of five years previously
- resident in the Parish you wish to represent
If you decide to stand for election, you need to find ten people who will act as your proposer and seconders. Your proposer and seconders need to be entitled to vote in the Parish (for Constable) or constituency (for Deputy) you’re standing for. You’ll also need to complete a nomination form and a declaration of any criminal convictions.
This year, there will no longer be a nominations meeting. Instead, between 11 and 13 May, you can submit your nomination form and declaration to the Jersey Electoral Authority, Morier House, Halkett Place, St Helier. All the candidates will be announced on 18 May 2022.
Liberation Day (Welcome from the Bailiff, William Le CocQ
This year marks the 77th anniversary of Jersey’s liberation from German occupation during the Second World War. The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied and were viewed by Hitler as one of the stepping-stones to the full invasion of mainland Britain. As time passes, the island’s living memories of the occupation and what happened on that momentous day 77 years ago will inevitably fade.
We have a great responsibility, therefore, to preserve these first-hand accounts and to tell future generations about the experiences of those who endured the hardship of occupation and the joy of liberation. Memories may be poignant and tinged with sadness, as well as jubilant and grateful. They all should be remembered and preserved. The ancient Greeks connected memory to identity, sense of time, and awareness of history both personal and cultural.
Memory reminds us of the past, but it also helps us frame the present and even the future. As we put the burdens of the last two years behind us, we can at last meet again to celebrate May 9th, 1945, and the joy of liberation. As a community 77 years on, we can come together to rekindle, re-enact, and most importantly to remember.
This is a particularly special year, as we also celebrate the reign of Her Majesty the Queen in her Platinum Jubilee and honour her 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, her other Realms, and to the Commonwealth. I am particularly pleased, therefore, to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex who are attending Liberation Day on behalf of Her Majesty.
It was King George VI, Her Majesty’s Father, who wrote to Islanders, after the Liberation, saying: “…with all my peoples, I cordially welcome you on your restoration to freedom and to your rightful place with the free nations of the world.” Today is an important day, our national day when we can celebrate our way of life, and our fundamental values of tolerance and respect for others.
Happy Liberation Day!
The FTSE 100 gained 0.13% this morning In the European markets while the DAX led the CAC 40 lower. They fell 0.49% and 0.43% respectively.
The Dow Jones crashed 1,063 points to 32,998 while the S&P 500 collapsed 153 points to 4,147. The Nasdaq Composite was even harder hit, shedding 647 points (5.0%) at 12,318.
Asian markets are lower today as Chinese and Hong Kong shares fall. The Shanghai Composite is off 2.27% while the Hang Seng is down 3.56%. The Nikkei 225 is not trading.
BoE warns of recession and 10% inflation
The Bank of England cautioned that the cost-of-living issue might send the economy into recession this year, as it raised interest rates to combat skyrocketing inflation, which is forecast to exceed 10% in the coming months.
Threadneedle Street’s monetary policy committee (MPC) voted unanimously to raise the base rate from 0.75% to 1%, bringing borrowing costs to their highest level in 13 years, as it warned of the dangers of spiraling inflation aggravated by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Despite the increased threats to the economy, as consumers saw one of the largest yearly income drops in decades, the Bank said a quarter-point increase was necessary to prevent persistently high inflation from taking root, as the shock of rising energy costs rippled around the world.
The Bank of England issued a gloomy forecast as voters went to the polls for local elections, predicting that Britain will face years of sluggish economic growth as people cut back on their spending to cope with the severe drop in living standards.
Household gas and electricity bills are anticipated to jump by 40% in October, owing to rising international energy prices, after the government only partially countered last month’s record rise with measures stated in Rishi Sunak’s spring speech.
Consumers tightening their belts to deal with the cost-of-living issue is likely to force the economy into a steep decline in the fourth quarter, according to the Bank, which is under pressure from the chancellor to introduce a new support package for households.
Although a minor recovery is projected at the start of next year, avoiding two consecutive quarters of decreasing GDP (the precise definition of a recession), the Bank of England warned that the UK economy would contract by 0.25% overall in 2023, implying a slow-burn recession.
The Bank of England predicted a bleak economic background ahead of the next general election, predicting a dramatic rise in unemployment to 5.5%, surpassing the jobless rate during the early stages of the Covid epidemic.
BoE pensioners cloistered from cost-of-living crisis
Former employees of the Bank of England, which is in charge of inflation control, may soon be the only retirees in the country who are more than adequately protected from the cost-of-living crisis.
Because of a fortunate quirk in the wording of their programme, the 5,500 retired members of the Bank’s staff pension fund are likely to earn a pension rise of roughly 11% this summer.
Surprisingly, the vast majority of Bank retirees continue to see their incomes climb as the retail prices index rises, which hit 9% last month and is expected to hit double digits in the coming months.
Shell profits soar to £7.3bn
Shell has declared a record quarterly profit of £7.3 billion for the first three months of the year, increasing pressure on the government to enact a windfall tax to fund steps to combat rising home energy costs.
A strong surge in oil and gas prices bolstered the first-quarter earnings, which compares to £5 billion in the final three months of 2021 and £2.5 billion in the first quarter of last year. Analysts had predicted £7 billion in first quarter adjusted earnings.
Campaigners have proposed a one-time fee on firms that profit from high oil and gas prices to finance government measures aimed at easing the burden of rising bills.
Shell’s announcement follows BP’s announcement on Tuesday of its greatest quarterly profit in more than a decade. Its profits more than doubled to £5 billion and sparked a clamor for a windfall tax.
So far, the administration has resisted requests for such a tax. Boris Johnson has stated that such a measure would deter oil and gas companies from investing in domestic energy.
BP’s CEO, Bernard Looney, has stated that if a windfall tax is introduced, none of the company’s planned £18 billion in UK investments will be cancelled.
Shell intends to invest £20 billion to £25 billion in UK energy projects over the next decade, with a focus on low-carbon projects. While a windfall tax may not cause it to delay individual projects, significant expenditures require “a stable and predictable financial outlook” according to CEO Ben van Beurden.