I feel obliged to respond to the article in Isle of Man Examiner of May 14 (Mothball the Gaiety and cut back pensions?).
I feel that the main problems are being totally ignored and not being addressed by Tynwald instead of simply trying to cut expenditure.
We should also be looking to increase income in order to minimize the adverse effects of reduced funding availability.
I say keep the Gaiety. It provides an awful lot of people with a regime of civilised culture as well as ensuring an outlet for the many hugely talented future entertainers including our young people with a challenging outlet for the undoubted talents of those born and living on this fantastic island, drawing out the best of their entertainment skills.
Why should our pensioners, many of whom have worked on the island for most of their lives, be reduced to the same depths of despair as those across?
The existing pensioners having worked for most of their lives and paid in to the State scheme for over 40 years.
Many of those across will receive full pensions in the future after only 30 years of paying in, or the latest is by simply staying at home, to be imposed on the island via the various protocols with the UK.
The cost of living here is quite a lot higher than across.
The proposed higher retirement age and increased pension rates for new retirees will help them and the delays in retiring ages will help public finances.
Existing pensioners will not be affected by the Uk proposals. So this group will need even more protection. The existing uplift from the Isle of Man therefore needs to continue for existing pensioners.
By looking at the whole picture reductions in provision in many areas by the Isle of Man government could be minimised by visiting some of our sources of income.
Let’s have some answers from ministers and MHKs. I believe others have asked some of the following questions in the past without getting a proper response.
I believe Anne Craine, the previous finance minister, set in train a research document to look at the whole question of statistics regarding our financial arrangements with the Uk. Why has that report not been produced? Surely it is in our own interest to be able to argue our side of the argument with some sort of statistical analysis
I am told that UK companies do not pay corporation or indeed any taxes on their Isle of Man profits here in the island where the profits are derived.
All our Isle of Man based companies pay taxes here (Corporation tax is zero for most companies in the island - Editor) and also in the UK on UK traded profits
Why does the island pay excise duty and VAT to the UK Government? (In fact, we share a pot of income from these duties. The percentage we get was changed in the UK’s favour when the reciprocal agreement changed - Editor.)
Could we not unilaterally withdraw from the VAT and other agreements (some of OUR VAT no doubt going to the EU Fat cats) Unilateral action seems Ok for the UK government. (The Isle of Man can abrogate from the agreements if it chose to, as could the UK - Editor).
We could then create our own customs duty regime plus we could create our own SALES tax regime for the island. The UK could then keep our £50 million without further rancour (no doubt they are waiting to pounce once more) it’s good enough for Jersey and Guernsey.
The VAT registration numbers that some UK-based Isle of Man trading companies use are in fact UK VAT registration numbers. Does that mean the figures used in the VAT agreement are unfairly skewed against our island when it came to the unilaterally worked re hash by the UK?
Instead of building lots of council houses, other than perhaps sheltered housing or retirement homes, why not use the newly-to-be-licensed private sector?
Once properties are approved, the standards will be up to or beyond those in the social sector.
Properties could be leased on long term basis or rents guaranteed.
The capital outlay savings could be huge, the rents may have to be a little more only the most deserving of cases should be allowed social housing.
Economic rents need to be applied across island, thus cutting out housing subsidies from central government, as in Onchan, which I believe is totally self-funding,
Government needs to look at how people from across, including those from the eu manage to continue their signing on from time spent in the UK. I understand that the UK pays their dole and social but not their medical needs or schooling for their children.
We seem to have got roped in to many of the bad agreements with the EU, eg excessive health and safety regulations.
The travel taxes are probably fiscally non productive. Visitors would spend far more than we get in airport taxes.
As it is now visitors and wealthier investors are being put off from coming to the island.
They would be spending at least £100 per day each producing net profit in the region of £10 per day.
Hundreds more could be employed in the tourist industry.
Government in the UK is abysmally poor. I know our MHKs are much better. Please prove it for all our sakes.
Be brave and imaginative
I left the UK to come to a better place.
Which of you MHKs are prepared to ask the right questions?
Which of the ministers are prepared to right that which appears to be so wrong?
Name and address supplied