Avoiding tax is legal – so what’s the big fuss?
Thursday 20th December 2012, 11:00AM GMT.
ONE of Guernsey’s greatest self-proclaimed ‘unofficial ambassadors’ has told the financial services industry that he ‘doesn’t get’ the big fuss over tax avoidance issues dogging the islands in the national media.
On the eve of a high-profile Panorama investigation into the islands’ role in tax evasion, Digby, Lord Jones, told the Guernsey Financial Services Commission’s industry presentations that the moral dimension, often referred to by politicians in recent months, should not come into the equation.
‘If people are playing the game, what’s wrong with that? If you don’t like it, change the rules,’ he said.
At the height of the furore over the tax affairs of comedian Jimmy Carr, who used an avoidance vehicle in Jersey, Lord Jones, pictured, was asked to comment on Sky Television. An argument ensued.
‘My argument was, if you can have your income, tax free, completely legally, with a letter from the Inland Revenue saying that’s fine, of course you would do it,’ he said.
‘If you don’t like it, change the rules, but, until you do that, don’t go on about it.’