Guernsey Press

Limits to windfall largesse

What has the EU ever done for us?

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This is no time for a Monty Python sketch, or indeed, to evidence an impressive legislation of laws which may or may not have made our lives better and the island a better place.

But in the last few weeks its most bounteous gift to these not-always-so-loyal subjects of these islands has been an apparent windfall of £20m. or so.

A remarkable and convenient gift to the States of Guernsey, and it could turn out to be worth even more in the future.

But it comes couched in caveats about sustainability and, even though today’s global tax message is becoming ‘you can run but you can’t hide’, concerns about how corporates may react.

We can speculate on how valid current inflated estimates of tax-take are and indeed how it came to pass that they changed so markedly on the arrival of the new Policy & Resources Committee.

But the Treasury remains cautious.

Those looking and hoping for a route away from the apparently-inevitable adoption of a goods and services tax may take heart at this stroke of good fortune, but we should not be over-optimistic on the prospects of being able to continue to rely on the golden goose of corporate taxation to avoid a further burden being levied on the general public.