Following Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan’s delivery of the Budget last week, the Manx Labour Party has outlined a list of measures which they would have included in its own budget had it been in government.
In terms of housing, the party says it would invest in quality social housing, for example by setting up housing investment bonds.
It also says it would ’facilitate a housing equity scheme for home improvements, particularly to help people who own property but are fairly cash poor’, pointing out that some retired people are in this situation.
Lastly in this area, Manx Labour said it would ’revive the Home Energy Conservation grants scheme that was dropped in 2014, to tackle fuel poverty, make homes warmer and cut carbon emissions, for homeowners and renters.’
As for the environmental focus of their ideal budget, the party stated that it would ’invest in education and training to help a "just transition" to a low carbon economy - for example by training in home retrofits and energy saving’.
The statement continued: ’[Manx Labour would] start to set up renewable energy investment vehicles, for example community energy co-operatives and energy investment bonds.
’It would revive and increase the profitable Energy Initiatives Fund for energy conservation and renewables within government, fund the first steps of the Climate Action Plan (funding is already set aside), and fund air quality monitoring in towns.’
’We would love to see these happen to help make life better for the great Manx public.’
’For instance, we know there’s a definite need to improve some of the housing stock, and for affordable good quality homes, so these are some tried and tested ways to start tackling this.’
The party says that it will release a more detailed set of policies ahead of the local authority elections in April.
The party fielded two successful candidates in last year’s local elections.
Devon Watson and Samuel Hamer -both for Derby Ward in Douglas - and having been ’encouraged’ with the public support from the high percentage of votes won by them, hopes to field a greater number of candidates this month.