Zero-ten is dead!

Posted on

This is from the Guernsey Press and such is its importance I make the rare case of copying almost in its entirety and trust they will forgive me, but I think even they would admit I have played a role in this story:

JUST how wrong can you be?

Within hours of Jersey’s Treasury minister standing up in the States to reassure his fellow deputies that zero-10 is alive and kicking, the UK government was hammering home the final nail in the discredited tax scheme’s coffin.

Senator Philip Ozouf said that ‘based on the feedback from the code group members and the UK’ it was not the end for zero-10. While there were concerns about the distribution rules of the tax regime, that was a matter which could be fixed and the good ship Jersey could sail on unhindered.

By early afternoon it was clear that the senator needs better contacts as HM Treasury stated in unusually clear political language that zero-10 is a failed concept.

Not just a part of it, but in its entirety.

Aside from a bit of Sarnian schadenfreude at Caesarean discomfort, it is evident that Guernsey can take great credit from this process.

HM Treasury goes as far as to single out Guernsey’s ‘jump before you are pushed’ approach for praise and support while making it explicit that Jersey and the Isle of Man will have to change.

Just in case there was a shred of doubt about what will happen next they added: ‘We are ready to offer support to Jersey and the Isle of Man in implementing the changes necessary.’

The challenge now for Guernsey’s strategists must be to make that European and UK goodwill work for them.

While Jersey is still openly disputing the code group’s rejection of zero-10 Guernsey must continue to concentrate on finding an acceptable alternative.

Part of that process will no doubt involve dialogue with both Jersey and the Isle of Man.

This process will have started some months ago but, with very different strategies, it is unclear how productive the co-operation has been so far.

If Jersey maintains its somewhat heel-dragging approach to the code of conduct group’s conclusions it may prove wiser for Guernsey to continue alone.

I make the genuine offer: I have been proven right on this issue. I would rather it had not come to being able to say that. But now it has I am more than willing to advise on a solution. And not a word of the advice would be blogged if it helped the process.