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Mini-Budget has no surprises

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UK Chancellor George Osborne has promised a new offshore strategy and a new unit to tackle offshore tax evasion.

While recent headlines about tax evasion and the dispute between Jersey and the UK over an account-information sharing treaty may have had workers in St Helier's finance industry nervously focussed on TV screens during Wednesday's statement, there were few new developments included by the Chancellor.

In his Autumn statement, a mid-term mini-Budget statement, Mr Osborne signalled a new strategy on tackling offshore tax evasion next Spring, reiterated plans for a new unit to tackle offshore tax abuse and referred again to the long-awaited General Anti Abuse Rule (GAAR) in his update to MPs in the House of Commons.

But although the response to the statement has been hostile in the UK, with attention focused on growth forecasts being downgraded and low rises promised for pensioners, there was nothing that took Jersey's finance industry by surprise.

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