IF ever more proof was needed with regards to my petition to ‘stop the double taxation of the Jersey Old Age Pension’ than the truly brilliant exposé of the real tax burden and who pays what was exposed in all its madness by the JEP in the special report on Saturday 26 June.
It can now be clearly seen just why Treasury Minister Susie Pinel in pure desperation rejected my petition (and yes this was to try to stop you folks signing it, but sign it and show your colours) in a statement in the JEP before it had even run the full term to October 2021. It shows just why this government is so desperate to keep hold of the double tax on the Island’s pensioners.
Why? Simply because of the ‘perfect storm’ that this and previous governments have created.
What do I mean by the ‘perfect storm’? Well, put simply it is this – we now live in an island where the cost of living and especially the cost of housing is causing large numbers of Jersey-born residents, and very sadly especially the young people, to leave their island home simply because they cannot afford to live here anymore. This is what is causing the ‘perfect storm’.
According to our Treasury Minister, 50% of pensioners pay no tax, but the numbers of pensioners in Jersey are growing year on year and with many Islanders deciding to leave it means the real tax-paying base is shrinking, and I do mean shrinking, because if we get to the point where far more than 50% of taxpayers are pensioners where on Earth is the real money for all the grand schemes this and future governments embark on is going to come from?
So, what is the answer? Well, it has been staring us in the face for years and it is simply this ‘the more you earn, the more tax you pay’ (ie a normal tiered tax system). Right, so now I hear the usual rubbish ‘if we raise tax for the wealthy, they will leave and go elsewhere’. The answer to that is simply ‘no they will not’. Why? Because they know only too well that Jersey is perhaps the most beautiful and secure place this world can offer, full stop, and someone paying more tax on more money than they can seriously need is not going to make them ‘get on the next boat’.
So, as a pensioner myself, I can only assume that with a large increasing pensioner tax base the new tax form will soon read as follows:
Your tax from now on will be the full amount you earn. Please forward this amount to the tax department immediately to avoid any massive penalties we would (hopefully) impose without any hesitation, as it is essential we get this money and in order that we can continue to allow the government to waste the amount you send.