Friday 16 March 2012
States of Guernsey statements issued on 16 March 2012 concerning the High Court's ruling on the application of Low Value Consignment Relief
Commerce and Employment Department statement:
Issued on behalf of the Minister for Commerce and Employment, Deputy Carla McNulty Bauer:
The ruling of the Administrative Court yesterday provides clarity on the EU law in how LVCR is applied and some principles of EU law that effect the island.
Importantly, the judge recognised that the trade was not tax avoidance and was a perfectly legitimate use of a trading opportunity. The UK decision removes this trading opportunity.
The Commerce and Employment Department recognised the problem that this legitimate market opportunity had created and proactively sought to address it through the adoption of a Code of Conduct and through voluntary restraint on trade within Guernsey's free market economy. These efforts, along with developing market forces, saw a decline in trading volumes in recent years.
The Department has been and will continue to work with industry and employers to assess the impact following this extremely disappointing decision. Any employee who is concerned about their current position can seek free, impartial and confidential advice from the Employment Relations Service at Commerce and Employment - tel.234567 (Monday-Friday).
The Department will work with other States Departments including Social Security, Housing and Education to gather intelligence on the potential impact of the decision on the sector and its workforce and will also work collaboratively to mitigate impacts.
The legal action has been worthwhile and has been handled in a professional manner and at a reasonable cost. The written legal opinion will require close analysis when it is available so that the States can consider its next steps.
Social Security Department statement:
Issued by the Chief Officer of the Social Security Department
Social Security has already been in contact with a number of the companies who will be impacted by the Court ruling on LVCR. This liaison will continue. Where redundancies are likely, Social Security staff will visit the firms with details of job vacancies placed at the Job Centre. Help will be given to find alternative jobs or to access the assistance of the Careers Service and College of Further Education.
The staff will also explain the unemployment benefit rules and help with the making of claims.
Notes to editors:
- The States of Guernsey will need to wait to hear what costs it will be liable for. However, we have received a discount on these costs because the UK changed its arguments half way through the hearing.
- The States of Guernsey asked for leave to appeal, this leaves open the option to appeal but does not bind the States to seek appeal. This will need to be considered by the Policy Council in due course