"A Light will shine in your darkness and your shadows become like noon."
Here in this Tax Haven where Big Business stashes billions, we are being asked to pay more tax to keep the Island. Believe it. It's true. The States of Jersey sent out a paper to our homes entitled:
" The Future of our Tax and Public Spending Policies "
A Brief Guide to the Second Consultation Paper issued on 16th May 2002 by the Finance and Economics Committee
Jersey faces major challenges on tax and spending.
There will be an annual deficit of £40 million between States spending and tax revenues by 2004 unless action is taken.
An annual deficit of £90 million could appear within 20 years due to the financial effects of the ageing population.
The Island must also be ready to adapt tax policy to support its key industries - particularly in financial and related services, in the face of significant global pressures.
Difficult decisions need to be made to meet these challenges.
The Finance and Economics Committee seeks your views on the best way forward.
Reply from Attac
Yes, tax structures must change if the books are to balance but extra revenues cannot be raised by imposing more burdens on an already overburdened populace. It will be said that the money cannot be conjured up from nowhere. True, but it could be procured in a much fairer and more democratic way.
Let me explain. The group Attac actually means Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Good of the People. Nobel Prize winner, James Tobin, suggested that a very small tax could be imposed on all international currency transactions ( between 0.05% - 0.25% ). This small charge would not only help to keep markets stable without adversely affecting genuine investment but also generate billions of dollars to help international development. In a nutshell this is the Tobin Tax.
If international business takes advantage of Jersey's special tax status with very little pain to itself, then surely when the people of Jersey and her infrastructure need help, those who are benefiting from their attachment to this Island could show their appreciation and cough up! If the Finance Industry is so beneficial to the Island then where is all the generated wealth? Perhaps Privy Council should be asked to send a team of forensic accountants to go through the last fifteen years of Jersey trading to see where all the money we should now have has gone?
After all, fair's fair - and that's essentially what Attac is all about.
Jean Andersson - President - C.I. - Attac