“I can give the Assembly a categoric assurance that I will not bring proposals to increase G.S.T.”
Thus said Senator Ozouf when answering a question during the hustings in the States for Treasury Minister. Of course it wasn’t a hustings with the public, but when you say something in the States, on the record, then you are speaking to everyone in Jersey too.
When you look at the full exchange, then the later breaking of this election pledge – for that is what it is – is even more inexcusable:
“2.1.2 Deputy D.J. De Sousa of St. Helier:
What guarantees can the Senator give that if the economy really does slow down, as expected, that he will not raise the rate of G.S.T.?
Senator P.F.C. Ozouf:
I can give the Assembly a categoric assurance that I will not bring proposals to increase G.S.T. We have created the Stabilisation Fund and this Assembly has agreed to put some £120 million to £140 million. That is the Fund that will enable us to take the economy through difficult times and I will have no hesitation in preparing scenarios for a downturn to keepJerseypeople in jobs and our economy thriving. Unlike most other jurisdictions, we have the wherewithal to do that.
“Source: Hansard Thursday 11th December, 2008
So the question included the context of the world-wide recession happening at the time. The answer included that context also.