Attac Jersey is a Member of the International Tax Justice Network. We are Members of the Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions for the Benefit of Citizens, (ATTAC) and the Tax Justice Network, (TJN). The aims of both organisations are to research, educate and campaign to further public awareness. We are seeking to alleviate poverty through the creation of just taxation systems to fund social goods.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

blog archive June 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Allies

Pat Lucas

When I look at our Jersey Government I see that, apart from a couple of
exceptions, the "Council of Ministers" at the top of the States Assembly and
those with power, wealth and influence who work closely with them to run this
Island stand shoulder to shoulder with one another like a solid wall of steel.
They rarely listen to anything of importance ordinary residents of Jersey have
to say. They make a show of asking our opinion on certain issues but most of
us know that we count for little or nothing in their scheme of things. They see
themselves as the Extremely Important Ruling Party. Anyone who dares to
contradict this “absolute truth” runs the serious risk of being ridiculed, rubbished
or discredited.

Please tell me why most of you ignore the needs of our people who struggle
to keep pace with the high prices of property, rents and goods and services?
And now you want to hike up the Goods and Services Tax to 5%. What are you
trying to do to our people? Introduce a fair Corporation Tax onto UK and foreign
Companies so that they pay the same rate of tax as our Jersey companies have
to pay. That should bring in enough to be going along with for a while! Are you
afraid they might leave? Don’t be. Have the courage of your convictions. That’s
what we want. Why do you close your ears and your minds when our people
ask you to stop covering large parts of our Island including the Waterfront with
concrete eyesores. We love our beautiful Island and it breaks our hearts to see it
ruined a bit more day after day. And why can’t you see that the over expensive,
and possibly highly dangerous, new incinerator being built at La Colette was not
what most of us wanted? We tried hard enough to let you know. Again we were
ignored.

Don’t talk down to us. As I pointed out in an earlier blog, we are not stupid. We
see the unfairness and the gross injustices inflicted on this Island and its people
and we would appreciate a few straight answers please. Don’t take what I’m
saying too personally. I want answers to my questions because right now you are
in positions of power but it’s not about you as individuals. It’s about our Island.
Our whole system of Government is a mess. It doesn’t work, it’s not going to
work and needs changing as a matter of urgency. Perhaps taking another look
at “Clothier” might help.

We need a complete overhaul of Jersey’s Government. Meanwhile, until that
happens, those who are elected to represent us still have to work in it. For this
reason I have the utmost respect for those people - the States Members who
are aware of what is happening to Jersey, try to change it for the better, look
after their constituents and battle on year in year out for democracy, fairness and

justice for the rest of us. It amazes me how they have the strength and the heart
to go on sometimes. I must emphasise here that I’m not referring to a particular
Party. I’m talking about a sizeable group of politicians who regularly speak up for
the rest of us in the States Chamber. Believe me. Such men and women do exist
and they need our support. To clarify my point I’ll call them “the Allies”.

I am appealing to “the Allies” to look for a way of working together much more
closely than you are doing at present. Perhaps the ideal way would be to form
yourselves into one single, strong, highly disciplined Party allowing for just a few
Independents who support you whenever they feel they can. That would be the
basis for an honourable Opposition – goodness knows we need one if you want
to penetrate that wall of steel without knocking yourselves out entirely.

If you can’t or are not prepared at this stage to form a strong Opposition Party
then, above all, please recognise and thrash out your grievances in private and
then put them aside. I’m not asking you to put on one another’s uniforms or
become little clones of one another. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m asking
you to stand shoulder to shoulder with your colleagues whenever you possibly
can. You really have to present a solid, strong united front or risk being far less
effective than you could be. Together you will be strong. That is what so many of
us are expecting from you. Please do this for us.

As for the rest of us – the ordinary people of Jersey - I believe we must do much
more to support those States Members who work on our behalf. We could at
least find out more about what each candidate stands for and get out there
and vote at election time if we haven’t so far. Some of them have really put
themselves out in their own time and at their own expense for individuals in their
constituencies and those people still didn’t bother to vote. How would that make
us feel if the boot was on the other foot!

We could also put forward our views and suggestions or send them a message
once in a while. We won’t always agree with what they do or say. So let’s tell
them what we want. Phone them up, e-mail them, take an interest in what is
going on in our Island, learn all we can. United and working together with us we
will be strong. More than that we might even open our eyes and see that these
politicians are made of flesh and blood like we are. OK so they’re paid to do a
job. I get paid for my job too but that doesn’t mean I don’t need a nudge in the
right direction or a kind word sometimes. I respond well to that sort of treatment.
So do we all. That can’t be asking too much can it?

Posted by Attac Jersey - at 1:10 PM 10 comments

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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Denise Carroll said...

Can I change the topic of conversation and ask you to reflect
for a moment on events especially over the last week here
in Jersey. We have two so called parties Time for Change
and the JDA who seem to be singing from the same hymn
sheet but are currently so busy bickering between themselves
that they seem to have lost sight of the fact that whilst this
is happening the establishment are able to do what they
want. The establishment are no doubt sitting laughing and
working out which candidate they will place where in the next
election.
The chances are that unless somebody locks these two
parties, pretty damn quickly, in a room until they have sorted
out their differences and can act like statesmen none of them
deserve to be in government.

Neither party will succeed in anything until they can prove to
the public they are worthy once again.

June 21, 2010 10:00 PM

Posted by Attac Jersey - at 1:13 PM 14 comments

Friday, June 18, 2010

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Time for Jersey to discuss Plan B?

John Heys
June 18th 2010
In Jersey we are constantly told that we cannot survive without the Tax
Avoidance Industry. Without them we’re warned that we’ll suffer from
unemployment, increased crime and a collapse in house values so how could
we possibly entertain the hope that they might leave?
As Pat Lucas has said elsewhere, “…undesirable though these problems are
the real problem is not primarily crime or unemployment or rising house prices
or any of the other evils which may befall us. The root of the problem here is
tax avoidance and corruption. It’s that which we need to get rid of.
Now, please don’t talk down to us or say we don’t understand anything
because we do. When the tax avoidance industry leaves Jersey - and it will-
we’ll need to completely restructure our economy with professional advice
from our friends and colleagues.”
Even now huge money-making vested interests do not want to acknowledge

the demise of the self-centered finance industry. They even have the gall to
hotly deny that the set-up is not a tax haven!

Of course it is a tax haven which has ruined this once beautiful Island with
sheer greed, avarice and concrete. Now with 0/10 we the people are paying
the tax the Finance Industry should be paying. Particularly since finance has
been the dominant industry here the price of housing has risen well beyond
our children’s reach at £470,000 for a basic 3 bedroom starter home. Many
in the business are from the UK and will, when they’re ready, simply leave
having had a great time and having built up a healthy bank account. Already
much of the backroom work has been hived out to places where labour costs
are less.
Certainly it will be difficult for those remaining when it all goes. Along with
others I have been calling on our Government for years to diversify in
preparation for the inevitable, only to be sniggered at by Chief Minister Le
Sueur and his cronies.

So what do we have? Two other industries - Tourism and Agriculture which
have been allowed to shrink to about 3% and 1% of our GDP. This in itself is
a disgrace while at the same time the States of Jersey have pumped millions
of pounds into the finance industry - and remember this is a private industry.

We need to take another look at Tourism and offer the kinds of holidays that people
really want to enjoy. Walking around our beautiful cliffs, horse riding, nature study,
learning more about the Island’s history, enjoying delicious local produce – these
are the things that many visitors enjoy, savouring the unique quality of life of each
location. Reading this you would imagine that Jersey would generate some income
from Tourism but there is a problem.
The way the Tourism Industry is structured at the moment means that Jersey
makes a mere pittance. The airlines which bring visitors here make money for
the UK; the hotels which are mainly UK owned reap all the profits. Again the
money goes to the UK. Due to the Chief Minister’s policy on taxation of 0%
corporation tax UK owned businesses do not pay tax in the Island. As a result
most of the profits made in the High Street go straight to the UK as well.
To remedy this situation we need radical political change. Party politics
seems to be the only way to go. We need a General Election and a clean
sweep to start again. Our Island must look to the EU and the UK for help
so that we can start afresh. The longer we are persuaded that the so-called
finance industry is the Holy Cow the less time we have to prepare for the
inevitable crunch.

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