The recent focus around the world on draining the tax ocean is a direct consequence not just of the financial crisis but of governments demographic and social challenges. Challenges that are shared in Jersey; an ageing population, rising healthcare costs, the need to raise education standards, and to find jobs for young people in an increasingly digital age, where business can migrate across the globe at the press of a computer keyboard.
Nations are competing intensively to offer the best tax rates and incentives to attract foreign investment that will create jobs, growth and new sources of taxation to support ever more stretched national budgets. High value per worker, low resource impact, environmentally friendly businesses, are the crock of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow that all countries want to attract.
So how does our Finance Industry fare against this criteria? The infographic tells the story;
With an annual value per worker more than three times the average for non-finance sectors the picture is pretty clear. Financial services produces more revenue, requires fewer people, and pays more tax than any other sector, and as a service industry is leading the way on environmentally friendly building design. What is more, gender diversity is better, as is the balance between young and old, providing employment opportunities for our young people.
Then there's the less visible side of the industry; the funding that businesses rely on, the framework that keeps foreign trade working. Almost every item we buy, everything we eat, everything we wear, every device we use has found its way into our shops and supermarkets as a result of manufacturing, trading and transport systems made possible with the support of financial services.
The Capital Economics report "Jersey's Value to Britain" demonstrated that our finance industry supports 180,000 British jobs, and generates £9bn in GVA. We shouldn't forget that the contribution of our financial services industry to Jersey is proportionately much greater.