‘Hunkering down’ through rising costs of living is not an option, says Chief Minister

Monday 21st November 2022 7:00 am
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Isle of Man Chief Minister Alfred Cannan hosts a briefing on the Omicron variant of Covid-19 (Isle of Man Newspapers )

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The chief minister has said that ‘hunkering down’ is not an option in the current economic climate.

Alfred Cannan presented the island’s economic strategy this week, which has been backed by Tynwald.

With a draft of the strategy having been put forward for public consultation in July this year, minor changes were made to the document before putting it to Tynwald this week.

Mr Cannan said: ‘Hunkering down, whilst indeed a strategy for survival, in my view presents real risks for the island and is absolutely not a strategy for growth.

‘We don’t know and understand really how long this period of pressure will last – it could be one year, it could be two years, it could be longer – and whilst we are hunkering down, others will be getting busy.

‘If we hunker down by the time we start reacting, others will be far ahead of the game.’

Part of the plan is to create 5,000 new jobs for 2032 and then increase the population by 16,000 by 2037. Douglas North MHK David Ashford had concerns about this, explaining that the island will need to develop more than 5,000 jobs if it’s bringing in 16,000 more people.

He added: ‘Though it’s ambitious, surely we need to be looking at a higher target if the people we are going to attract to the island are going to be economically active.’

Though the strategy wasn’t on the Register of Business for the required six weeks, Tynwald were of the view that the importance of progressing the document and the fact there were only minor changes made moving it before Tynwald was ‘critical’.

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