The Chamber of Commerce has distanced itself from a petition launched at the weekend which calls for a vote of no confidence in the Council of Ministers.

A chamber spokesperson said: ‘Following recent news reports and some social media posts about a petition which calls for a vote of no confidence in the Council of Ministers – including some reports which link the petition to an open letter sent by Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce to the Treasury Minister – we wish to clarify some very important points.

‘Firstly, we feel that Chamber has been misquoted and misrepresented, and we are deeply concerned that this could cause damage to our members and all local businesses.

’Secondly, we want to make it clear that the reference to a vote of no confidence in our open letter was only in relation to the Budget and was representative of our members’ feedback. At no point have we called for a vote of no confidence in CoMin or any MHKs.

 ‘Chamber’s priority is, and always will be, to represent our members’ interests when it comes to building a robust and sustainable economy for the island.’

The petition, on, was started by a person named Jonathan Smith, and criticises the government imposing a 10% tax increase for working people while not imposing a high tax increase on the very wealthy.

At the time of writing the petition has over 1,300 signatures.

The comments that were posted with the petition state that the Island’s Chamber of Commerce ‘publicly expressed absolutely no confidence in the island’s tax strategy and its Council of Ministers’.

The Chamber is now refuting the latter claim.

Mr Smith’s comments continued: ‘’Many individual taxpayers are also very concerned about the impact of increased personal income taxes with the introduction of a new higher rate of tax (an effective 10% increase in the Islands normal rate of income tax). But this new high rate of tax does not apply to traditional high earning taxpayers as it might in other jurisdictions but essentially to most Island residents earning over the Islands living wage.

‘Under the Council of Ministers Act 1990 Tynwald can pass a vote of "no confidence in the Council of Ministers" which means that under Section 2 of this Act the Islands Chief Minister automatically goes out of office upon a successful vote, as does the islands entire Council of Ministers (effectively the Islands entire Cabinet).

‘Despite a lot of empty noise there does not seem to be one Member of Tynwald in the Island who is prepared to call this vote (which would require the support of 13 MHKs in order to be successful) or represent public opinion.

‘This is despite clear public feedback from businesses and individuals that they have no confidence in this current House.

‘If you support the calling of a vote of no confidence in the Council of Ministers to test public opinion then hopefully one of our highly paid MHKs might actually do something about it.’