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Jersey's Frank Walker Delivers Budget

by Jason Gorringe,, London

05 December 2002

Jersey's Finance and Economics President, Senator Frank Walker this week delivered a feel-good budget, according to reports in the local media.

The Jersey Evening Post revealed on Tuesday that Senator Walker - in what is likely to be his last budget, as he is to run for presidency of the Policy and Resources Committee - insisted that the Island had come a long way over the past year, but hinted that new taxes will be necessary in order to plug the budget hole which will be left by the introduction of a zero corporate tax rate for most of the jurisdiction's companies.

'We have made major strides forward and are beginning to develop our own international personality,' the newspaper quoted the Finance President as observing. 'Two years ago we were threatened with being on the OECD blacklist of so-called harmful tax havens and threatened with international sanctions. Not much more than a year ago, even the UK was suggesting possible economic sanctions against us. We reacted positively and vigorously to these challenges.'

Senator Walker dismissed suggestions that the Island's finance industry is heading for a downturn, revealing that bank deposits, company incorporations, and employment in the finance sector all continue to grow.

esponding to suggestions from Senator Stuart Syvret at the beginning of Tuesday's budget debate that it was 'probably an inevitability' that a value added tax would need to be introduced, Senator Walker announced that:

'Although VAT is something I would wish to rule out, some form of sales tax may need, I emphasise may need to be considered at a later stage.'

According to the JEP, the F&E President also revealed that this year's budget is the first for some time to stick to pre-agreed States spending limits.

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