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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Jersey

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Immigration and Emigration
Money: Jersey's all important currency
A state of isolation

As is usually the case with tax havens and small, independently wealthy island states, Jersey is something of an anomaly in its surrounding political landscape. The island is a British island but is not part of the United Kingdom. The British monarch is the head of state, but it is not generally governed by the British legislature. Finally, and all importantly for any self-governing body, the Jersey parliament, known as ‘the States,’ sets its own tax levels quite independently from the British Treasury.

Jersey’s method of controlling incoming population, most of which comes from elsewhere in the British Isles, has worked mainly through regulation in the housing and labour market. The States can’t stop citizens from the European Union entering Jersey, but without a place to live and a means to earn a living, they wouldn’t be staying long.

Indeed it was post-war irregularities in the housing market that hastened the need for the tight regulations that exist today. Following the departure of the occupying German troops, a population influx of mainly British people drove demand for the island’s limited housing stock to the extent that rocketing prices effectively made it very difficult for future generations of locals to afford to stay on the island. The States’ legislative response came in the form of the Housing (Jersey) Law of 1949, which, following another British influx in the late 1960s, was bolstered by several new regulations in 1970. These regulations currently stipulate that a person must be resident on the island for a full 16 years before permission is granted to buy or rent property.

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