John Imber, who ended five years as head of the Policy and Resources Statistics Unit last Friday, predicts rocky times ahead and is unsure whether the Island will survive the major tax change in 2009.’I think it’s difficult to see how Jersey is going to cope with the perceived need of a severely reduced corporation tax and the shift of the burden onto the individual resident,’ he said.’There is going to be strong resistance and I am not sure how well Jersey is going to weather that.
I can’t see where the money’s going to come from in a way that is acceptable to democratic society.’And he has attacked the lack of high quality economic information, saying important political decisions are being made without the facts to back them up.
He says lack of funding is leaving dangerous holes in the government’s knowledge and its ability to plan for the future.’We have a problem.
About the only things we know about are prices and employment.
We do not know much about migration.
We try to estimate it.’We do not know much about economic activity.
They (politicians) do not have enough information.
We really do not know what’s happened to the Jersey economy in a general sense since about 2001.
‘The danger is that you put your emphasis on misguided policies,’ he warned.
Mr Imber, who is 59, is moving back to the UK to take early retirement, although he is likely to take on consultancy work.