MILLIONS of pounds in tax and National Insurance have gone off the island through the use by government of self-employed contractors and consultants paid ‘off the books’.
Tynwald was told that concerted efforts were now being made to ensure specialist staff were treated as government workers, with their taxes paid to the Manx Exchequer.
Economic Development Minister John Shimmin successfully moved an order to allow three key vacancies in his department to be filled by non-civil servants treated, and taxed, as government workers.
Following unanimous approval by Tynwald, the department is advertising for a new head of e-Gaming and two business development managers – for retail financial services and corporate financial services.
All three roles are non-Civil Service and are offered on a two year, fixed term basis. Remuneration will be negotiable based on skills and experience.
Speaker Steve Rodan said that having staff ‘off the books’ was nothing new, with specialist consultants and contractors often brought in from off-island - specialist medical staff being a good example. ‘Millions of pounds of tax and National Insurance have gone off-island,’ he said.
‘Concerted efforts have been made by the Income Tax Division to ensure that ITIP and National Insurance, large sums in many cases, actually stay on the island.’
Alfred Cannan (Michael) said he was ‘very supportive’ of the move to fill the new DED vacancies with non-Civil Service appointments. ‘When you are dealing with multi million-pound industries it is vital you get the right people as your business development leaders.’
Richard Ronan (Castletown) said it sent out the wrong message to the private sector but his claim of ‘jobs for the boys’ brought a swift rebuke from Chief Minister Allan Bell who insisted ‘nothing could be further from the truth’.
Mr Shimmin said he would expect some of the applicants for the vacancies to already be based in the island.
DED chief executive Chris Corlett said the Isle of Man is seen worldwide as a centre of excellence for e-gaming, a sector which now accounts for more than 8 per cent of the island’s national income, and employs more than 700 people.
Director of Financial Services John Spellman said while it was a challenging time for the financial services sectors globally, they still represent a third of the Manx economy.
All three posts will be funded from savings made following a review of the department’s structure which resulted in some managerial and administrative roles being lost.
Details of the vacancies can be found on www.gov.im/jobs. Closing date is 5pm on Monday, March 11.