Jersey likes to suggest that it is a deeply successful finance centre where milk and honey flows for the benefit of all. That's not true. As the Jersey Evening Post reported yesterday:
Last month newly published figures revealed that inflation in Jersey had risen to 4.5 per cent with large price hikes in housing costs, fuel and food all recorded.
There are now concerns that more Islanders will struggle to make ends meet over the winter when food and fuel consumption increases and further inflation is expected owing to factors such as Brexit and global uncertainty.
And it added:
This year there were more so-called ‘pauper funerals’ – which are paid for by Social Security as the deceased person’s estate cannot cover the costs – between January and May than during the whole of 2017.
According to a freedom of information request, 28 such funerals were held at a cost of £52,779 last year but in the first five months of this year there have already been 30 funerals covered by the States. If the current trend continues, a record number of paupers’ funerals will be held in 2018.
Tax havens work for the wealthiest in a society. That is not because they generate more wealth. Tax havens generate no wealth. They just reallocate the wealth that there is. And that reallocation is always upward. And that is being seen even in Jersey.
Jersey is a society made rotten by wealth. But it is those without that wealth who are, inevitably, paying the price for that.
I continue to believe that Jersey's days as a tax haven are numbered. The veneer can only last so long.