Ministers electioneering over the rebate issue

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HOW quickly predictions come true.

On May 19 I wrote to you predicting that the present government must have notice of further changes to the VAT rebate and sure enough it’s now, according to your headline, crunch time.

As this is a critical issue for the Isle of Man’s future, I am highly concerned that the present administration are electioneering with this complex agreement.

There seems to me two rationales at work: one is they’ll be able to say, ‘oh we’ve solved it and it’s not as bad it could have been’, and the other is ‘well, we did our best for the Isle of Man’.

Frankly, that doesn’t wash.

With a little over two months to a general election the present government frankly has no popular mandate and should not be committing a future administration on such an important matter.

I wouldn’t be surprised if UK politicians are not fully aware of the implications of the dramatic budget decreases occasioned by the VAT rebate reduction and that there is element of the previous Labour administration still tainting the Treasury team that’s negotiating on the matter.

I think it is beholden upon our negotiators to say the matter should be deferred until the new administration is sworn in and there has been an opportunity for that administration to lobby the UK politicians prior to any decision being made.

I sincerely hope that that is what will happen but I am doubtful, having seen what’s happened in the past.

GEOFFREY BOOT

Prospective MHK for Glenfaba

St John’s

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