There’s a fascinating comment on this blog this morning from someone from Guernsey called Doug. It’s thoughtful and considered and concludes:
I agree that [Low Value Consignment Relief VAT abuse] needs to be examined and the government should stop it because it damages the economy in this country and reduces the chances of a fair market in this country, but are we going to evacuate the people who live there like St Kilda, because I’m not sure there would be much left to do for Guernsey people without tax exploitation.
It’s an extraordinary argument — the so called entrepreneurial hub of the Channel Islands can think of nothing to do to make money bar tax exploitation.
First this gives lie to the claim that this facilitates enterprise. It doesn’t. It harms it.
Second, it blows apart the claim that it is entrepreneurial. It isn’t. It is manipulative.
Third, it shows the poverty of thinking in the governments and amongst the so called business leaders of these islands that they can come up with nothing else.
I have, of course. It’s called Plan B. It’s yours to have. But it would require real entrepreneurial belief and moral leadership to do it. Maybe that’s what’s missing. But don’t ever say I didn’t deliver an alternative. Because almost uniquely I have.
And finally — quietly note that just because there might be nothing else for burglars to do does not mean we don’t want to stop the crime. The analogy with tax exploitation is, of course, remarkably close. I put it to you that your argument is morally bankrupt — as morally bankrupt as tax exploitation.