Jersey politicians – a sorry track record in not telling the truth

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A Scrutiny Committee of the States of Jersey have published the latest report to be issued on Jersey's proposed new tax laws.

Last year I acted as adviser to a similar committee. The first issue I raised was that the proposals then being put froward by the States would not comply with the requirements of th EU Code of Conduct on Business Taxation. This received a sharp rebuttal from Senator Le Sueur, the States Finance Minister. This article from the Jersey Evening Post of 21 May 2005 was typical of the reports made in the press of what he had to say about me at the time:

New tax measures 'cleared by the EU'

By Diane Simon

ALL relevant parts of the Island's controversial new tax measures have been checked and approved by Brussels, according to Island authorities.

Policy and Resources, Finance and Economics and the Comptroller of Income Tax have all rejected claims to the contrary made last week by Richard Murphy, a UK-based tax expert who was invited to sit on the scrutiny panel looking at a goods and services tax.

Finance president Senator Terry Le Sueur maintains that the corporate tax elements in the Island's new system have been cleared by the EU and that the personal taxation elements do not need to be.

Mr Murphy warned that there was a lot of work still to be done before measures included in the Fiscal Strategy would comply with European harmful tax rules.

He highlighted a number of areas where he believes they will cause problems with Brussels, including a so-called 'look through' provision.

Published 21/06/05

It's interesting to note this report in the Jersey Evening Post from Saturday 30 September therefore. It seems that I was right after all. Jersey still has not got approval for its plans.

I guess its also fair to note that I was right about the fact that the 2005 proposals would not meet the EU's requirements, which is why they have since been radically redesigned. Senator Le Sueur was also adamant I was wrong on this point at the time, as was his boss, Senator Walker.

Chris Steel has some interesting things to say about this on the web site of Is This Jersey.

NB Articles reproduced as fair usage in the public interest and as they only remain on the JEP web site for a few days at most, to which links would otherwise be made.