Tynwald Building
Tynwald Building Credit: Paula Funnell

Last year, ahead of the Isle of Man Government’s annual budget, the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance published a positive and proactive list of policy proposals to pre-empt last year’s surge in inflation. Unfortunately, the Isle of Man Government stupidly took a “wait and see” approach to the rising cost of living, with many people harmed by the Isle of Man Government’s bad policy decisions.

We think the Isle of Man is a great place to live – but can be even better. We think that our community should take action to mitigate the harms of the current fuel crisis, labour crisis and the goods supply crisis.

“The Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance is continuing to lead with innovative ideas to proactively tackle the challenges of the future. We’re proud to share a whole suite of positive new policy proposals that should be implemented in this week’s Isle of Man Government budget,” said Michael Josem of the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance.

“Throughout last year, the Isle of Man Government announced several belated band-aid attempts to address the symptoms, rather than the underlying causes. Meanwhile, the Manx TaxPayers` Alliance continues to advocate addressing the underlying causes.” said Josem.

As we have written previously, the current cost of living crisis is caused by a shortage of fuela shortage of goods, and a shortage of labour relative to the supply of money in the economy. Many of the Isle of Man Government’s responses over the last few months were not just slow, but wrong-headed: Pumping more money into the economy to subsidise demand does not address any of these underlying problems.

Boost travel by matching UK’s cut on domestic aircraft passenger duty

Currently, travellers to/from the Isle of Man pay higher taxes than people flying to most other airports in these Isles. This is bad for families and bad for businesses.

Eliminate the unfair and regressive tax sent to fund British broadcasting

People on the Isle of Man are slugged multiple times to fund broadcasting: through the hated TV tax to fund the British Broadcasting Corporation, through general taxes to fund Manx Radio, and through general taxes to fund Government advertising on various media outlets. The TV tax is a regressive fee which hits the lowest earning people hardest, and should be removed.

Remove 10% income tax bracket

For around the cost of half a dozen bicycle bridges, we could remove the 10% income tax bracket. This would reduce the tax burden on low income earners, and provide additional encouragement to (re-)enter the workforce. By encouraging more people to get into the work force, we can ease the labour supply crisis, reduce welfare costs, and help people to live happier and wealthier lives.

Deregulate tree planting

Currently, people on the Isle of Man suffer from excessive red tape which restricts tree planting. This leads to people being forced to navigate too much bureacracywith all of the costs that entails – to plant trees. This is an additional cost to people, a cost to the government, and a cost to the environment.

Allow mutual recognition of electric vehicles

The Isle of Man is currently lagging behind in allowing the development of various other jurisdictions in allowing the use of personal electric vehicles. The cost of complying with local regulation will impose additional costs on the people and environment in the Isle of Man. We can reduce those costs by allowing the use of personal electric vehicles in accordance with selected jurisdictions elsewhere such as the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the European Union.

Introduce mutual recognition of occupational licensing

Currently, we face a constrained supply of labour, with difficulties in many different sectors of the economy. We can automatically recognise occupational licensing qualifications from other jurisdictions more widely, and help to allow people to integrate into the Manx workforce more quickly and efficiently.

Restrict employee non-compete agreements

As a relatively small nation, the Isle of Man suffers from relatively less competition amongst employers for labour. Non-compete agreements further restrict workers from being able to earn higher wages by reducing the competition for their services. Restricting employee non-compete agreements can help with this.

Close many Isle of Man Government social media operations

Public Health IOM didn’t think that social media communications were needed during the peak pandemic period – so it certainly should not be needed now that the peak pandemic period has ended.

Cap all local government rates, charges and taxes at inflation, subject to a local vote

In the United Kingdom, local governments are able to increase rates by up to 5% – and any higher rate increases require local approval from voters. As a result, most local Government taxes in the United Kingdom are increasing by only 5% – while many local Government taxes in the Isle of Man are increasing by up to 10%. This is a further squeeze on many household budgets.

Automate as much traffic enforcement as possible

Enforcing traffic laws helps to protect all people of the Isle of Man: drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians and others. It should not require a court hearing to prosecute offenders for traffic infringements, with automated notices in other jurisdictions saving taxpayer money and improving efficiency.

Fix the housing crisis by allowing the construction of more homes for humans

Housing costs are a huge part of the household budget for most families on the Isle of Man. These housing costs are excessively high because of the heavily restricted supply of housing on the Isle of Man. Building more homes for humans will help young Manx families to build lives on the Isle of Man – and will also benefit workers and the environment.

Introduce budget accountability for senior Government officials

The Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance has long revealed various budget blowouts in various government units. The Isle of Man Newspapers revealed that the Villa Marina was over budget last year. Budget failures happen from time to time – but senior Government leaders should be held accountable for such situations.