From Clive Tomes.
I SHOULD like to thank Deputy Southern for taking the time to respond to my recent letter (JEP, 3 April) and for correcting my error in using the word ‘all’ before ‘redundancy payments’. I apologise for this error.
However, it takes nothing away from the underlying theme of my letter, which was that Deputy Southern’s actions increased States spending, while he also attended a meeting whose sole objective was to close down tax havens such as Jersey, hence the aim being to destroy our main industry.
Deputy Southern’s suggestion that his attendance at such a meeting was in support of charities and Jersey’s finance industry was very imaginative, to say the least. Perhaps the States should sack the PR company they employ, as they clearly have a master of spin within their own ranks.
His letter also states that he is, and he is sure I must be too (how can he presume to know what I think?) against tax evasion and avoidance practices. Well he is half correct, in that tax evasion is illegal and Jersey’s laws already impose a legal duty on anyone becoming aware or even suspicious of such illegal activities to report this to Jersey’s authorities. The organisers of the meeting he attended, of course, ignore such facts, as they do not support their cause.
As regards his reference to ‘avoidance practices’, we are all guilty, including presumably Deputy Southern, so no, I am not against these. I claim my tax allowances every year, as do all taxpayers, and this is tax avoidance, being the application of existing laws to reduce your tax liability. As Deputy Southern is against this practice, as he stated in his letter, presumably he will refuse to take advantage of these allowances in future.
The underlying theme of my letter, which seems to have by-passed Deputy Southern, was that he (and, to be honest, most other States Members) seem to only bring forward proposals that increase States spending, yet he was happy to attend a meeting that, if successful in its objective, would have ensured that States income reduced dramatically. This is not acting in the interests of his constituents.
Finally, I suggest that Deputy Southern, and all other States Members, should spend their undoubted talents and energies in finding ways to reduce States spending rather than ways to increase it. Perhaps a detailed examination of Home Affairs spending would be a good place to start, as the police clearly have so little to do that eight of them and four cars can waste their time going east to arrest one of Deputy Southern’s colleagues, when a phone call would have had the same effect.
4 Mount Tay,
St John’s Road,