Policy and Reform Minister Ray Harmer’s plot to impose a new tax, euphemistically called the “Community Infrastructure Levy” (IOM Examiner, p.21, March 23) will probably make housing more inaccessible for more young Manx families. Even before he introduces his new tax, the final quarter of 2020 saw a surge in average Manx house prices by 6% in just three months, correlated with surging interest globally for a Manx lifestyle.
As his Government knows too well, imposing higher taxes on something reduces its availability. That’s why his government introduced a tax on sugar (to reduce sugar consumption), that’s why people advocate a carbon tax (to reduce carbon emissions) and why his government imposes high taxes on polluting vehicles.
Consequently, if Mr Harmer and this government impose their new tax on constructing new housing, we can expect to get less new housing. This will further exacerbate the Manx housing crisis, it will reduce the number of good Manx construction jobs, and it will retard the environmental benefits offered by building modern, eco-friendly, housing. Worst of all, it will push more young Manx families to consider moving abroad instead of building happy and healthy lives here on our island.
The Isle of Man should be a place where our children can hope to become owners of their own homes as stakeholders in a happy and healthy property-owning democracy – and Mr Harmer can help by withdrawing his wrong-headed tax slug on building new homes for Manx families.
Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance