It’s about pace and delivery - Quayle unveils Programme for Government

Howard Quayle MHK

Howard Quayle MHK

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Chief Minister Howard Quayle has launched the Council of Ministers’ Programme for Government.

Entitled ‘Our Island – A Special Place to Live and Work’, the 24-page document to be presented for approval at next week’s Tynwald sitting, sets out strategic objectives, themes, outcomes and initial actions to shape the work of government over the next five years.

However, the CoMin says the programme is ‘the first step on our journey’ and is a living document which will evolve over time.

Departments, boards and offices will develop further plans to support the outcomes, and performance indicators will be published quarterly by Cabinet Office.

There will be an annual update on the programme providing an opportunity for Tynwald to debate the progress and direction of government.

The document includes clear deadlines for some policies.

There’s a commitment to set out a full plan for rates modernisation by October this year and to bring forward proposals for flexible options for private pensions by the end of this year. It says a high level policy for means testing will be developed by May this year.

Hospital waiting lists will be published by April and a border security policy developed by June.

A new Manx State Pension will be introduced in 2019 and a year-long event celebrating the island as a special place to live and work will be organised for 2018.

The Chief Minister said: ‘It really has been a marathon job. As a Council of Ministers it’s about pace and delivery. We’ve done pretty well to get the plan to Tynwald so shortly after the general election.

‘We’ve working really closely with Tynwald members. Our plan is ambitious. It provides a blueprint for departments to follow.’

The documents sets out three strategic objectives - an inclusive and caring society, an island of enterprise and opportunity and financially responsible government.

There are 20 outcomes groups in five main themes supported by a number of policy statements. One such statement is a commitment to identify and bring forward proposals to Tynwald to address the public sector pension legacy funding gap.

A number of actions have already been agreed by CoMin. For example, a team will be created to ‘identify oppportunities, efficiencies and savings in public finance expenditure to meet cost reductions’ which will be identified in the 2017 Budget.

Policy and Reform Minister Chris Thomas said: ‘We are going through those services government provides and prioritising them, It’s a first step.’

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