£656,370 – legal cost of failed tax relief move
Tuesday 10th July 2012, 3:00PM BST.
THE legal bill for the States’ failed bid to overturn the UK’s decision to scrap a tax relief for Jersey’s fulfilment industry is nearly double the original estimate and nearly nine times the sum Guernsey paid.
Earlier this year the Jersey and Guernsey States appealed to the High Court to overturn the UK government’s decision to end the controversial Low-Value Consignment Relief, which allowed Channel Islands firms to export cheap goods to the UK VAT-free. But the High Court ruled against the islands.
It has now been revealed that Jersey’s legal costs stand at £656,370 – well above the original estimate of £360,000. And the bill will increase further when the UK government submits a claim for its costs, which are to be paid by the two islands. Jersey’s costs are also significantly higher than Guernsey, which has spent just £75,000.
Economic Development Minister Alan Maclean said that costs increased after the States’ legal team decided to compile extra witness statements ahead of the case.
Senator Maclean said: ‘The initial estimate was an assessment by the Law Officers department. However, since then, there was significant additional work which had to be undertaken in preparing for the case, and this led to an increase in costs.’