In a States speech, States’ Trading Supervisory Board president Peter Ferbrache said Guernsey was a ‘much, much, much better run bailiwick’ than Jersey and that businesses might now regret setting up in the other island.
The deputy drew attention to amid marked differences in the way the islands have responded to the Covid-19 outbreak, with Jersey favouring a strategy of delay, contain and shield and easing the lockdown, while Guernsey has focused on test, track and trace.
‘Compare it with our neighbours 20 miles away, where people I have been speaking to on legal matters and other matters that I’m involved in call them a bunch of bumbling idiots compared with us,’ Deputy Ferbrache said.
‘They compare our chief minister with theirs, and ours wins quite favourably. They compare our Health president with theirs, and she compares admirably.
‘I hope when people are seeking to do business in the various bailiwicks, because we do compete with each other, going forward, they can see that we are a much, much, much better run bailiwick than they are and we can actually get things done.
‘The fact they are bigger and have attracted more business is a matter of fact, but it is perhaps now for those doing business there a matter of regret.’
Jersey has relaxed its lockdown earlier than Guernsey’s. However Guernsey is set to move into phase four later this week, which will see the island return to near normal levels.
In response to the comments, Jersey’s chief minister, Senator John Le Fondre, said the islands were working closely together and they respected each other’s approaches to the illness.
‘Jersey, like Guernsey, is in a good position,’ he said.
‘We have low rates of infection and an expanding testing regime that will help ministers decide how to progress through the safe exit framework.’
. Jersey, which has a population of nearly 107,000, has recorded 306 cases of Covid-19, including 20 new cases this month. Twenty-nine people have died.
Guernsey, with a population of more than 62,000, has not recorded a positive case yet this month, with the total still standing at 252. Sixteen people have died with the virus.