CRINGLE: Taxing issues

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IT’S not always an unalloyed pleasure to hear from Dr Malcolm Couch, Isle of Man Assessor of Income Tax, in spite of the fact that he is a decent, kindly and thoughtful man, which I can say honestly because I have met him personally and not once has he asked me for some money.

But I was only too happy to hear from him, or one of his devoted staff perhaps, last week.

It was a letter from the Manx Treasury sending me some money instead of me sending them some.

It was an income tax refund, a cheque for £463.57.

This is now safely in my bank account; well, it’s as safe as can be in these grim days of the rising cost of drink and other life essentials.

In the event I have been getting such rebates for the past few years and I don’t really understand why when the Treasury needs all the jack it can pack into its coffers in order to keep the Isle of Man afloat

(I made a point of asking my accountant, who is also a friend of long standing, why I was getting these rebates. With professional diligence he explained the reasons in detail, even while knowing full well that I wouldn’t understand a word of it.)

I am also on good terms with the Manx government in another important way at the moment.

I have had a newsletter from its Pensions Division saying that, along with all other public service pensioners – yes, I am one – I am getting an increase of 3.1 per cent.

Mine is in the Third Division North of such pensions but 3.1 per cent is still money, even if I can’t work out how much.

The newsletter went on to tell me that something called the Government Unified (Pension) Scheme is about to be introduced – ‘affectionately abbreviated to GUS’.

Gus seems to be one of the new friendly faces of government and I would like to tender him my sincere thanks for my increase, modest though it may be.

I would further like, while I’m on about it, to offer my sincere thanks for my tax rebate to the good Dr Couch and the Treasury Minister, Mrs Craine, as well as Gus and anybody else who might have been involved in sending me all this money.

But I feel constrained to say that if the going really gets tough for them all in the near future, what with the UK Government expected to give us another good kicking any time now, and they want me to give it all back to them in the national cause, there is only one answer I can give as a good and faithful citizen of the Isle of Man...


THERE is a new supplier of Songs for Swinging Manxmen. She is Jill Moore of Port Erin and one of her offerings is ‘Cringle Cringle Little Star.’ Some others are:


‘Cubbon Through the Rye’

‘Dhoon by the Riverside’

‘Kerruish Sorry Now?’

‘Kewaigue Nothing But a Sound Dog’

TAXI driver Frank Kershaw tells me he had an American in his car going up Blackberry Lane and passing the football field with the sign saying: ‘DHSOBFC.’

The American recognised FC as Football Club. But he added: ‘We Americans all know what an SOB is. But what’s a DH?’

Frank has also been working on Films for Swinging Manxies. They are for the future.

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