The people of Jersey have paid a heavy price to support the tax haven that has been imposed on them

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I noted this in the Jersey Evening Post yesterday in response to my weekend essay on that Island’s economic future:

THE scale of the shift of Jersey’s tax burden from companies to individuals since the turn of the century is today laid bare, as the Island faces growing international pressure to reform its taxation system.

As the article then noted:

A JEP analysis of government accounts shows that in 2002 — during the pre-zero-ten and GST era — 57% of the Island’s income tax came from companies, with the remainder paid by Islanders.

By contrast, 2020 taxes on individuals, including GST, accounted for 82% of revenue taxation, with companies providing the other 18%.

Back in 2005 when I was advising a Scrutiny Committee of the States of Jersey I suggested that the then  proposed tax system designed to appease both the EU and the finance industry would result in considerable extra tax being paid by the people of Jersey for the privilege of being a tax haven designed to increase the often illicit wealth of those who had in all likelihood never set foot in the place.

I was right.

But the finance sector - run almost entirely by those who have come to the island to service that tax haven and who have no allegiance to it - won  the day and the people of Jersey have paid the price.

I am now pleased that this has been acknowledged by the only local paper - back then very much my opponent. That was unsurprising. It was owned by the Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker, at the time. He always refused to meet and debate with me. That was hardly surprising. There was nothing he could have said to defend his position.

There still isn’t. Like all tax havens, Jersey has been taken for a ride by that part of the financial services industry that has sold abuse at cost to the places, like Jersey, that it has occupied, and at cost to the places like the UK whose tax systems it has assaulted. That was always the basis for the work done on tax havens. It still is. I am pleased to still be in this debate now. I hope to see it to its end.