Geoff Cook of Jersey Finance was on the Today programme this morning.
John Whiting of PWC was the respondent.
Let’s be blunt this was blatant bias within the BBC – John Whiting is a recognised apologist for Jersey – has sought to exonerate its abuse in the past – has been paid to do so – and is a partner in one of the biggest firms purveying services out of the island (PWC). It is blatantly obvious he should not have been asked to say things like “There’s no problem with tax havens” and “Jersey is well regulated” (I paraphrase).
But worse was Geoff Cook about whom I am struggling to resist the temptation to use non-parliamentary language. So let’s settle for saying he made blatantly untrue statements in that they gave an impression that was blatantly different from the reality that exists. Amongst them:
“Our disclosure is better than the UK”. Oh yes Geoff. Try to get the accounts of Jersey company.
“In recent years we have entered into the new OECD tax exchange agreements” You mean in the last fortnight with the UK Geoff.
“If the UK have concerns about anybody, corporate trust or private individual they can request information in the required form and we will disclose it” No you have not. You have never done so with the UK yet. And in eight years you have done it five times with the USA. That’s because the required form makes it nigh on impossible to get anything out of Jersey – and Geoff Cook must know that.
I’m sorry – I’m disgusted with the BBC for allowing this. I’m disgusted with PWC and John Whiting for being patty to such blatant misinformation. And I’m disgusted by Jersey for simply saying things that are not true – but which I mean the interpretation that the ordinary listener would place on what was said was blatantly different from the reality that exists.
And if Jersey Finance are willing parties to blatant misinformation on air then why on earth should I trust them when it comes to eliminating tax evasion? I don’t. And with good reason.
And I don’t rate PWC much higher. After all – they advised Barclays.