23 October 2010

GST Increase: 'Predicatable, but not Inevitable'

Dear Reader,

The following is a press release that I have just sent to the media. There have been one or two stylistic amendments, but the body of content remains unchanged. Comments appreciated.


23rd October 2010, for immediate publication.

Rise in GST is NOT inevitable

The proposed budget plan to increase GST from 3 to 5% as of next June is not inevitable, according to Deputy Montfort Tadier.

‘The budget must be ratified by the States and is subject to amendments. As we saw last year, it is not a given that the Treasury Minister will get what he wants.’

‘While the treasury proposals for GST were entirely predictable, the increase is not inevitable.’

Deputy Tadier is calling for likeminded politicians and members of the public to come together to resist the proposals to increase GST which he says will hit low and middle earners the most and threaten economic recovery at a time when retail sales are already fragile.

‘It will be interesting to see just to what extent the public and retailers have accepted GST and whether, in these times of widespread austerity, this will be one increase too far for the public of Jersey.’

‘Islanders are already having to deal with financial assaults on all sides: A reduction in allowances under ‘20 means 20’; a rise in University Fees  - and private school fees; Utility bills will increase significantly, on top of an already high cost of living, not helped by the fact that we are often paying GST on top of VAT.’

'Promises that those on income support will not be affected will provide little comfort for the many others who are still struggling to make ends meet.'

Deputy Tadier is calling for likeminded politicians and members of the public to come together to resist the proposals to increase GST which he says will hit low and middle earners the most and threaten economic recovery at a time when retail sales are already badly hit.

'Consideration should be given to use a small percentage of the ‘rainy day fund’ to cover (part of) the deficit until we are in a better position to know if and when we are coming out of global recession. Increasing GST in these uncertain times is both foolhardy and risk increased hardship.'


  1. im sure the rise in gst will go ahead with the spineless states members we have and i might add will not worry about gst with there £800 a year rise wich they will get make no mistake,after what all islanders had to endure last week it relly was a case of yes minster.tls and he,s idiotic members are doing whatever they want right or wrong with no one with the backbone to stop them as they are all talk nothing else. so if a dog wants to stand next year it will have my vote

  2. Montfort.

    It might have escaped your attention, while counting the amount of diet cola's States members are consuming from the mini bar. But the Council Of Ministers and their Foot Stamping Lackeys of the Motherland (FSLM) can, and do, what the hell they please. They are completely out of control, lawless and un-accountable.

    Look at what they have done to our most Senior Police Officer. Look what they have done to the most Senior ex politician. Look what they have done to probably the island's most respected Surgeon. They have done all this with the blessing from the majority of our government.

    The list is endless of the total lawlesness this government is involved in. If "likeminded politicians" can't, or won't, get together to put a stop to any of that, asside from a notable few, then what real chance do you honestly think you have of getting "likeminded politicians" to do something about the GST rise?

  3. Did you notice that while stating he is against higher rates of tax (for example, for those earning over £100,000, Senator Ozouf is effectively introducing a banded income tax rate of 24.8% for those earning over over £44,000 - by putting an extra 2% for employers and 2% for employees on social security - that's 4.8% because of course that is earning still taxable- so he's getting regressive taxation of 24.8% in by the back door!

  4. If the UK government should require Jersey to make an equitable per capita contribution for Defence it would uncrease to £30 millions per annum rather than the present £1 million TA waste of money.

    What will you propose then Deputy?

    It will soon be Remembrance Day again - Jersey people can hardly pretend to support British military heroes if they fail to make the appropriate financial contribution.

    Do you think that our contribution for their sacrifices should be as much as 20% GST? After all, the people of the UK pay that and more through VAT besides taxes that people here have never dreamed of.

    If we want to discuss equity - lets get down to the nitty gritty Deputy and consider the values that really underwrite our "tax haven economy."

  5. Monty - well here is one like minded member of the public who will do whatever it takes to fight the increase in GST. It will be the poorest and eldest who will really suffer from this, food and clothing being essentials that should NOT be subject to this tax.

    I am sure an awful lot of people feel this way, but need the impetus to actually have the courage to stand up and do something. I will be behind you 100% and I hope a lot of your fellow politicians will be also. They should not forget we are 12 months away from an election and memories will be very fresh and smarting.

  6. Monty, there's more chance of "a pork chop in a synagogue" than there is of the general public being able to manipulate this one!

    If you want to stop the MONSTERS eating us alive, get the whole island too down tools on the last friday of every month, then the public has some sort of hope....

  7. Field Squadron costs £1m.
    Get rid and give the UK 500K cash instead.

    A winner on both sides?

  8. Can't find how many Jersey companies are registered here for tax reasons, however increasing their annual return by £600 for the privilege of being here and taking advantage of the islands tax legislation would raise a considerable sum. They (finance) couldn't scream foul as this is basically bring back the original exempt company fee, but calling it something else.

  9. First of all, Martin and Voice. Your comments are noted, but it is important that we do not fall into the trap of pessimism. If the States is currently unrepresentative and oblivious to public opinion, it is in part because we the public have put them there and allow them to be like that.

    In a true democracy, it is the people that hold the power, not a few elected (and even fewer unelected) individuals. Until folk stand up and stand together for justice and their rights, nothing will change.

    Of course, there is a difference between justice and economic interest. Many do either do not care or are not informed about the injustices that may have taken place - like those in the 'flawed' suspension process of Mr Power. But when it comes to hitting people where it hurts, they do notice.

    The two are linked, however. There is a small group dictating policy and direction. It is through information and education that we can change things.

    There is no place for cynicism amongst revolutionaries.

  10. Kath,

    You are right. There is a possibility that ISE fees could be increased even more than proposed and still be competitive. This will be looked at.

  11. Anonymous raises an interesting point about defence. I know that it is purely by chance that we give anything at all. Was it not during the Falklands conflict that one zealous States Member proposed giving a million (or thereabouts) towards the defence budget. This got the attention of Whitehall and the rest is history.

    It is not my area of expertise to comment on that, but what I would say is that whilst we are still British, we are also a dependency. Part of that dependence is on military protection. It is probably right then, as you say, that we contribute, but it is the UK treasury that gets its oil money from certain wars, not Jersey. Do we really want to be sponsoring these immoral wars, notwithstanding the other laudable activities that the armed forces carry out?

  12. We could also be asked to contribute towards the cost of propping up the UK/World banking system.
    After all, it is this multi-billions burden that has broken the economies of most western countries - yet the people of Jersey have not been asked to pay a penny!

    If the people of the UK had not underwitten Northern Rock and the rest of the UK banking sector the Jersey finance industry would have collapsed. Yet our "leaders" keep crowing about how much better managed is our economy to their's....

    It really is about time that we in Jersey started to count the blessings of the generosity of the people of the UK and we should just hope that the request for financial settlement of a long outstanding debt is not made soon

    Of course, if we had any moral backbone - we could offer to make a payment before we are asked and I don't mean an insulting half million quid either.

  13. It's a pity that more members of the public and of the States don't attend Scrutiny hearings as observers.
    Today Dep. Gorst appeared before Deputies Egre and Vallois and new boy Sen. Le Gresley and revealed that there was an underspend of £5 millions on income support this year and it was being paid back to Ozouf's Treasury.

    This would have come as a surprise to anybody who has tried to claim income support recently because it is more like getting blood from a stone. Especially since the SS department is still expected to achieve millions in savings under current CSR demands.

    Other aspects of the changing Social Security system were revealed too and it was hardly the result of any tough interrogation by the scrutineers. Dep Gorst is more than happy to reveal his plans such as that to change the SS law so that he has more delgated powers and can implement policy reforms directly by regulation and how he would like access to income tax records.

    The fact that the rent rebate component of income support is so high and growing is wholly within States policy because it is the direct result of failure to build social and affordable housing over many years mixed with Len Norman's rent rebate brainchild. It was his idea when Housing President to put whacks of public money into the pockets of private landlords in order to stimulate the private rental sector. Now of course the result is that private rents are gone through the roof, there are buy to let opportunities for absentee investors and the housing shortage is never ending...

    It was also interesting to hear how the proposed GST increase was agreed on the basis of some very sketchy data and that Gorst's plan to abandon the GST bonus repayment has been scrapped - but he does not know the extent of necessary payments to those on income support.

    Also revealing was the COM background to the increased SS contribution for those on salaries above £36,000 and why it could have been more - and instead of GST increases - and how the practical differences between taxation and SS payments are becoming ever more slim or that the "supplementation" burden is being shifted from tax income to SS income. It may not sound important - but these are the sort of developments that need to be closely monitored and many more people should be tuning into the information issuing from La Motte Street.