Monday, May 13, 2013






"Whether it’s tax avoidance or tax evasion is an issue of semantics and one for the lawyers to argue over. But for the Islanders who rely on Jersey’s finance industry for their way of life, both indirectly and directly, we need to have a long, hard think about how our current economy was formed and where it’s going."

"We are all enjoying the gravy train (and, honestly, I can’t thank you bankers enough) but it might be prudent for us just to be aware that there might come a time when money doesn’t grow on trees in Jersey any more."

As I mentioned in my previous posting the Editor & Deputy Editor of the Jersey Evening Post (JEP) are leaving office.  Knowing that they are going are we starting to see a little more flexibility  up at the JEP? 

There are some very serious issues facing Jersey's economy. People need to start discussing these. Im pleased that Mr Cudlipp has taken the JEP's first peak at this. 

Jersey 2014 and beyond. 

Is there a plan B from our esteemed leaders? or will they be jumping ship when we finally reach the inevitable crossroads. How can Jersey diversify it's economy? - can it? Is it too late? We are reaching the end of a cycle but is anyone looking beyond tomorrow? I can not stress enough that we are heading for a very nasty crash unless something happens and happens soon. Im basing this mainly on my instinct and gut feeling. You can feel it. The high street is on it's knees - the construction industry is grinding to a halt - there are endless empty properties for sale and a stagnant secondary property market and Finance is shrinking - we could go on. 

This is what I said in my last posting: 

This is my first look at 2014 and beyond. I shared a very informative chat with a Deputy today. His political views are different to mine but yet we shared the same concerns about Jersey's future. I hope to be developing some of the issues we spoke about in later postings. Things must change. The JEP has its chance. I hope that someone from outside of Jersey is given the job. I hope they will come with integrity and ambition. A simple ambition of taking the JEP out of the mire it's been swimming in since 1890? Can this be achieved when it depends on advertising and the States of Jersey for survival? only time will tell. 

The Frank Walker and Jon Averty influence has been immense on this so called 'NEWS' paper. Have they been pulling the strings of Shipley and Bright all this time?

Jersey has one newspaper. It has a duty to the people of Jersey.  Being the only newspaper on the Island of Jersey must come with responsibility. I have heard that the Guernsey Post is not afraid of breaking the hard story. 

Jersey 2014 and beyond

We must be open and honest. This is not about being Left - Right or somewhere in the middle. This is about three things coming together. 

This is about the Moral, Social and Financial future of Jersey.

These three things must move forward hand in hand

I believe we are on a precipice. We can be blinkered if we like. The Jersey Media must step up like they have never done so before. 

The Retirement of Bright and Shipley is the start.

 It was very refreshing to read the below article by Ramsay Cudlipp. I hope this is the start. I hope that the JEP and their hacks are allowed to go out and start asking some questions. Questions to our esteemed leaders who have led us to this precipice. 

Do we bury our head in the sand or do we look for a solution to an inevitable problem? 

Rico Sorda Part Time Investigative Journalist


We’re dining at the tax avoidance restaurant
Sunday 12th May 2013, 3:00PM BST.

IMAGINE I’m in a posh restaurant.
I’ve enjoyed a nice bottle of wine, three courses of good food and generally made the most of the facilities. The bill arrives and it’s for £50. However, I choose not to pay it and instead take the waiter to one side. I offer him £30 cash if he can delete my meal from the system and let me leave out of the side door.
Now, in such a situation, would you say that I had avoided paying my bill or evaded paying it?
And does defining the difference really matter? At the end of the day, the restaurant is still out of pocket and still missing the £50 it should have been paid.
Whether people avoid or evade paying tax (and there is, as far as the law is concerned, apparently a huge difference) is an argument that seems to blur the issue when it comes to financial offshore centres.
This week Deputy Montfort Tadier and Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf have been at loggerheads, arguing over remarks made by the Deputy to a French newspaper which suggested that Jersey was costing the country millions in tax. Ignoring Senator Ozouf’s curious attempt to imply that Deputy Tadier was wrong to air an opinion of his own that did not tally with the official party line, I couldn’t help but notice that he also missed the entire point. It’s not just about whether our finance industry is legal – it’s whether it’s moral.
Senator Ozouf was again banging the drum by insisting how well-regulated, above board and generally squeaky clean these huge faceless companies are. I don’t doubt him. I have a few friends who have worked in finance both in the UK and Jersey and they say the differences are sometimes huge and that Jersey really is a well-run ship. But is that enough?
For those of us in Jersey who don’t work in the finance industry, I think it’s always been a bit of an uneasy relationship. We are almost like a rich mobster’s wife – we enjoy the lavish lifestyle and the perks that come from swimming in cash, but we don’t really know where the money came from and probably don’t want to know. It might not necessarily be outside of the law, but if it’s a practice that ultimately divests someone or some organisation of their fair share, I’m not sure it’s something to celebrate.
Look at the outrage generated when Jimmy Carr was ‘caught’ depriving the UK government of a healthy wodge of his huge earnings by having squirrelled away his nuts in Jersey. Most people couldn’t care less whether or not he had acted illegally – it was more that the traditionally left-wing comic had acted immorally by turning his back on the country that looked after him, that provided him with health care, education and new roads to drive his sports cars on, by choosing not to pay his way.
Consider the alternative approach taken by multi-millionaire author JK Rowling. In a powerful statement issued a few years ago, the Harry Potter writer explained how she had been offered several ways of paying less tax by financial advisers but that she had made a conscious decision to fork out the full amount to the UK Treasury – mainly because she had relied on the system when she was a struggling single mother and she felt it would be unfair of her not to pay her way now that she was so successful. It was a noble gesture and welcomed as such, but it seems a bit strange that we are at a situation where a person is lauded for paying their fair share.
A key question for Jersey, as Deputy Tadier asked during his heated radio debate with Senator Ozouf, is whether the Island’s finance industry will exist as it is now in 200 years. No one knows.
It could be argued that the vultures are circling. Senator Barack Obama is among many leaders who have warned that they are not going to tolerate the current situation (which includes several other offshore centres as well as Jersey) for much longer – especially while they battle on amid a recession.
And perhaps the reason for Senator Ozouf’s increasingly passionate defence of our current situation is that we don’t have a Plan B. He has no choice but to insist that the current system is sound, hardy and bulletproof because the alternative just doesn’t bear thinking about. If the EU somehow found a way of stopping Jersey from offering some of the financial services it does, the effect would be disastrous for the Island, leaving us devastated both economically and socially. We couldn’t rely on tourism or agriculture, our previous thriving industries, to bail us out, because we are driving at 90 mph down a one-way street with our eyes closed.
We are all enjoying the gravy train (and, honestly, I can’t thank you bankers enough) but it might be prudent for us just to be aware that there might come a time when money doesn’t grow on trees in Jersey any more.
It is the same reason I was always a bit wary of the fulfilment industry in Jersey – another example of how the Island was able to manipulate the system for gain. That entire business was founded on a loophole and was always destined to collapse once the people that were losing income found a way to stop it. Why on earth did we feel that we had a right to undercut everyone else? Imagine if Guernsey found a way of offering tax deals that blew Jersey out of the water – could we honestly complain if we lost all of our business?
Whether it’s tax avoidance or tax evasion is an issue of semantics and one for the lawyers to argue over. But for the Islanders who rely on Jersey’s finance industry for their way of life, both indirectly and directly, we need to have a long, hard think about how our current economy was formed and where it’s going.
We’ve all enjoyed dining at this restaurant for the last 50 years. But who’s going to pay the bill?


Anonymous said...

That is quite a dramatic venture toward objectivity for the JEP. However, Ramsay makes the incorrect assumption that everyone has been chowing at the same trough & enjoying the experience. The finance industry has cost some, individuals & alternative industries, dearly.

Anonymous said...

Comment of 7:41 PM is spot on. Ramsay speaks for those who have steadily benefitted, which does not include those who have seen prospects dimmed as Jersey's economy narrowed until captured by Finance. A startlingly decent article for JEP, nevertheless.

rico sorda said...

Ramsay hasn't just invented the wheel but he has just stated exactly why I'm thinking. It's so important that serious attention and scrutiny turns towards our economy. The questions must be asked. We are a one trick ageing pony. I simply don't know where the diversification will come from but we need something.

Most say it is pure blind greed that has led us to this moment.

It was not that long ago the Senator Ozouf was the Economic Development Minister. Senator Ozouf, who was a Deputy at the time was driving the economy forward like a formula 1 car. The rest as they say is history.

Anonymous said...

I guess what concerns me, is the fact that although Jersey is approximately number 12 in the top GDP per person in the world and with a low tax rate, that it has any poverty at all. Surely that fact alone, proves the monetary system very wrong.

Jersey, with a population of circa 100k and Guernsey with circa 64k, so Jersey's population is 55% greater than Guernsey, so surely like any larger company, the economies of scale should be so much more efficient.

However, it appears that Guernsey is more efficient, how come!

Well Jersey do see to spend a fortune on legal advice!!! and love paying off civil servants at 500k a time!

Anonymous said...

People discuss the future economy all the time, the IOD even have annual conferences on the subject interactive with an audience so what planet are you living on?

rico sorda said...

And what did the IOD come up with apart from a breakfast? I head those morning gatherings can be pure waffle. Nothing has changed so far. The planet i live on is looking a little skint at present. But I suppose we can weather the storm.

Zoompad said...

JK Rowling has been set up as a paragon of virtue, whose example all our children should aspire to copy, but I see her as a woman who has popularised and legitimised the "dark arts" in the UK. I don't like her books, I think they are immoral.

Anonymous said...

Anne Pryke's letter in the JEP yesterday, Monday 13th May, did not appear on line, unusual for a Minister. A political observer could take two views on this. The first being it was such a weak attempt at justification of the so called Snoopers Charter that it was embarrassing.

The second reason being that the Health Minister has defeated her own argument for this ridiculous heavy handed law to give her departments non-jobs work for years, which is probably the real intention.

The self defeating paragraph can be seen in the hard copy which reads,

" Our environmental health officers are called in to deal with poor housing and accommodation issues on an all to regular basis. It is not acceptable that some landlords continue to provide sub-standard
accommodation, often at high cost."

This tells the public that the Health department has the powers already to visit property after a complaint.

For islanders who are missing a brain completely or have the brain capacity of a five year old the Health Minister writes,

In respect to owner-occupiers it is envisaged these
powers would only ever be used in extreme circumstances. Indeed there would no need to enter an owner-occupied property unless invited….. the courts would not issue a warrant unless there was good reason.

There is no wish to interfere with the way people choose to live. However, people do not always appreciate that their property may be contributing to their illness or pose a risk to their safety. With owner-occupier properties it would be our intention merely to make them aware of such risks to make enable them to make informed choices about their lifestyle."

How long before the court part disappeared ?

In our society at this time from the Ministers own letter we are told poor rental properties can be visited by environmental officers, which is acceptable, but not enough for Anne Pryke and her civil servants who want to control everything including your private house and advice you how to live your life with no doubt a return visit scheduled to make sure you have complied.

E-mail or phone your Deputy Senator or Constable and expend a few polite words before this is taken seriously.

crapaudpinion said...

Digital Divide - not all are welcome

Deputy Trevor Pitman said...

Ramsay's article was a good piece and actually expressed some of the very same points I and others in the 'progressive' camp have made again and again.

A step in the right direction to be sure. Well done to him. Soon be on the shopping page with Holly?

or maybe he will be brave enough to tell the truth about his employers seeking to benefit from having a mate of a director sit on our case as a jurat?

But when a French TV crew have to ask me 'why are your politicians scared to speak to us?' you know that something here is very, very wrong indeed.

Anonymous said...

You really do write a load of deluded crap sometimes. You do realise that they keep a file of offensive e-mails you and Ian Evans have frequently written to them in which Evans has even threatened journalists of the paper? I am surprised the pair of you have not been pulled into the Police station for questioning because you certainly have had complaints made about you.

rico sorda said...

Then you must be a complete idiot for coming on here reading it and commenting on it lol.

When is your next letter going into the JEP?

Do bother replying

Ciao x

voiceforchildren said...


Turning a blind eye to Child Abuse is not illegal..........YET