Taxation of corporate parking places (FOI)
Taxation of corporate parking places (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 17 November 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Under Schedule 2 of the Income Tax (Jersey) Law 1961, the provision by an employer to an employee of a free corporate parking space is not taxed as a benefit in kind.
Exemptions from benefits in kind
Since 2015, what consideration has the Government of Jersey given to taxing the provision by employers to employees of such parking spaces (either as a benefit in kind or through some other means)? Please disclose any information relevant to such consideration such as minutes, correspondence, reports and so on.
The Government of Jersey signalled its intent to review the taxation of benefits in kind within each of the 2016 and 2017 Budget Statements. An internal review of the taxation of benefits in kind followed – which included the provision of parking spaces by employers to employees.
Moving forward the matter will be included as part of the wider government consideration of environmental measures in response to the declared climate emergency. On 31 December 2019 a framework for a Sustainable Transport Policy was lodged au Greffe P.128/2019. This document includes a high-level overview of work to be carried out under four key delivery plan areas – one of which is the Parking Plan.
Currently, no papers are available for release under the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 as they relate to the development of proposed policy by a public authority and are therefore qualified exempt information under Article 35 of that Law.
Article 35 Formulation and development of policies
Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority.
Public interest test
Article 35 is a qualified exemption, which means that a public interest test has to be undertaken to examine the circumstances of the case and decide whether, on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Although there is a need for transparency, accountability, financial and good decision making by public authorities this information relates to policy development. The SPA, and indeed good government, requires Ministers to be provided with full, frank advice from officials about the possible impact of proposed policy, and for Ministers and officials to be able to discuss and test those proposed policies in a comprehensive way.
The following considerations were taken into account:
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure
disclosure of the information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public, providing confirmation that the necessary discussions have taken place
disclosure to the public fulfils an educative role about the early stages in policy development and illustrates how the department engages with parties for this purpose
Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information
in order to best develop policy, Officers and Ministers need a safe space in which free and frank discussion can take place. The need for this safe space is considered at its greatest during the live stages of a policy. Sharing views is important to ensure that all relevant considerations are taken into account in developing and implementing policy. Disclosure at a time when these views are still being considered would negatively impact the Department’s ability to fully consider the information
release of the information at this stage might generate misinformed debate in areas where future options have yet to be finalised. This would affect the ability of officials to consider and develop policy away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately
disclosure of this information may limit the willingness of parties to provide their honest views and feedback in future. This would hamper and harm the policy–making process not only in relation to this subject area but in respect of future policy development across wider Departmental business.
Taking into account the various factors, the SPA decided in favour of withholding the information.