Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tax, lies and videotape

NGOs and activists from across Europe visited Jersey this week to push G-20 leaders to adopt comprehensive measures to promote financial and fiscal transparency.
See photos of our public meeting at Saint Pauls Centre in Saint Helier here. And the photos from our guided tour of the banks are here.

Journalists accompanying the visit were less than happy with what they heard from island officials. One financial journalist from a major European newspaper interviewed Martin de Forest-Brown of the States of Jersey. Now Martin has a nasty little habit of casting personal aspersions - see postscript below - about TJN staff (always the last refuge of the desperate) but this time he also opted for spinning a web of misinformation. Three times Brown was asked whether Jersey fully participates in automatic information exchange in the EU STD regime. Three times Brown answered to the affirmative. The journalist in question knew full well this isn't so: Jersey opted for a combination of withholding tax and information exchange (with the majority of bank customers choosing the former: a sure-fire indication that their intentions were not entirely legal).

And finally, the videotape.

20th March 2009 And a postscript: a journalist friend from one of the world's major newspapers called today to say that a senior Jersey official told him this week that our director, John Christensen, is a communist. The journalist has known John for years: he was so surprised that he says Jersey is no better than Soviet Russia with its habit of labelling dissidents as "enemies of the state".


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