Treasury Minister David Ashford presented his first Budget in Tynwald last week.

It was not only his first, but also the first of the new administration - with the last five being delivered by the now chief minister Alfred Cannan.

The government’s Treasury team now consists of Mr Ashford, Sarah Maltby MHK, Andrew Smith MHK and Bill Henderson MLC.

So, how was taking on the challenge of the Budget after dealing with the pandemic for the past couple of years as Health Minister?

Mr Ashford said: ’Every day is a learning day in Treasury as they say, it was in Health and Social Care as well.

’I think obviously having a knowledge of the highest spending department in government really, in terms of service delivery, I think actually does help.

’Because I understand the quirks within health and social care and the pressures that they’re under.

’But there are other government departments under different types of pressures as well, so it’s about a Budget of balance, and ensuring we can actually maintain the services that the island needs to provide.’

It was also the first Budget for Douglas South MHK Mrs Maltby, who is also serving her first term as a Member of the House of Keys.

Mrs Maltby represents the Manx Labour Party, and said that it was ’very important to me for real people to feel an increase of money in their pocket’.


She said: ’As part of the Manx Labour Party, it is essential that our social security net is one that gives people the best opportunities to feel that they actually are valued and they are being supported by the government as best as we can.

’We’ve had lots of very bad rainy days on the island and now we kind of are moving forward and investing in our island’s future and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

’So as a Manx Labour Party representative, I feel so lucky that I am a part of it.’ She added: ’But more than that, just being a mum, who’s the youngest female MHK in the House at the moment, I do feel like I’m representing a lot of normal working people, and I feel like it was important that we were able to get the money prioritised to the places where actually people would feel they are being invested in, to be able to secure our island’s economy.’

But will the key benefit increases announced last week actually make an impact when the inflation rate is so high?

Mrs Maltby hopes so.

She said: ’I hope so and I really wanted people to see that this is the direction of what the new Treasury board looks like.’

The process of writing up the Budget is an intense one, as Mrs Maltby explained: ’It’s always a bit of a strange one the first year because there’s lots of transition from one minister to the next minister, one treasury board to the next treasury board, so there is going to be a bit of an adjustment until the new members get a feel for each other and sort of see what they can bring together.

’But it’s a different approach. Probably more social policy than maybe you might have seen before and lots of investment in education, the Climate Change Fund, you know these are all really important matters that people have mentioned on the doorstep from canvassing, and I was really really pleased to be supported by the minister and the team with some of the revenue bids that I was able to be a part of to approve.’

She added: ’I feel really fortunate that way, that I had the opportunity to be around the table and have those conversations. You can challenge things in the House of Keys, you can challenge things in Tynwald, but to sit around the table and actually work with the officers together, to be able to be a united team and able to move things forward, I think, is actually more productive.

It’s challenging from within, and sometimes you get more things done that way.’