Today’s announcement by the Isle of Man Government that they would be taking taxpayer money to give money to taxpayers is a circular attempt to obtain short-term headlines, rather than a serious attempt to address the current cost of living crisis, according to the Manx TaxPayers` Alliance.
“As we have been saying since last year, the fundamental cause of this inflation is that the supply of goods and services is unable to keep up with demand. As a result, goods and services cost more: £1 doesn’t buy as many goods and services as it used to. This is caused by a shortage of fuel, a shortage of goods, and a shortage of labour. Pumping more taxpayer money into the economy to subsidise demand does not address any of these problems,” said Michael Josem of the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance.
“Today’s announcement is merely a band-aid attempt to address the symptoms, rather than the underlying causes. Ahead of the IOM Government budget earlier this year, the Manx TaxPayers` Alliance published a positive and proactive list of policy proposals which sought to address the underlying cause, while the Government made a silly decision to ‘wait and see‘,” said Josem.
For example, the Manx TaxPayers` Alliance advocated:
- Abolishing the 10% income tax bracket. Initial estimates indicate that this would cost a small fraction of the Government’s proposed electricity price subsidy, give more relief to the poorest members of our community, and simultaneously increase the rewards for working, helping to partially ease the labour shortage crisis on the Isle of Man.
- Allowing people of the Isle of Man to build more homes to ease the housing supply crisis. For many people, the high cost of housing is their biggest on-going expense. Whether it be through paying rent, paying a mortgage, or saving for a deposit to buy a home, housing costs are very big part of most household budgets on the Isle of Man.
- Allowing vehicle tax to be paid monthly. Currently, Manx drivers are required to pay for vehicle tax in a lump sum annually. Figuratively every other bill in life can be paid monthly through direct debits: insurance, mortgage, rent, phone, gas, electricity, donations to the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance, and so on. Spreading the cost of vehicle tax on a monthly basis will ease the squeeze on the cost of owning a vehicle.
“These three policies involve relatively small costs to Government, but very big benefits to the people of Mann. This is the sort of proactive and positive policy thinking that we need from the Government to address the underlying causes of the cost of living crisis, rather than trivial band-aid solutions,” said Josem.
24 August update: Changed “this year’s IOM Government budget…” to “the IOM Government budget…” in paragraph three to improve clarity.