• September 13, 2015


Manx politicians it seems are good at kicking people when they are down. This week the Treasury announced cuts to unemployment benefit not just for people out of work but also for those technically unemployed who do try to break the cycle by doing part time work during the week.

The move was announced by Bill Henderson MLC one of the political subordinates to Eddie Teare MHK at the Treasury. Paradoxically Bill knows what its like to lose a job as Eddie sacked him two years ago (January 2013).

Bill also opposes cutting people’s incomes especially when it’s MHKs. When Phil Gawne MHK suggested (January 2010) politicians take the lead and cut their pay by 10% Bill said that Gawne was ‘grandstanding’ and ‘he could not afford to take such a cut’. However the cuts that Bill announced to the benefits of the unemployed are considerably higher than 10%.

To be fair to Bill all politicians and a fair number of members of the public like to demonize the unemployed and those on benefits.

The most vociferous criticism is reserved for benefit cheats. There’s nothing worse on the planet you would think than a benefit cheat.

Now there’s a curious double standard at work here. A few weeks ago Canadian Broadcaster CBC came to the Island following up allegations about a tax scam that could be costing the Canadian economy millions. They said that the one case they were looking at ‘could’ be complemented by many others and if this does turn out to be the case the Isle of Man and its government ‘could’ be cheating the Canadian people out of hundreds of millions.

Now you would think in an administration that contains so many political figures who like to pontificate about taking a hard line on ‘cheats’ CBC would have found one MHK/MLC to say:

‘If this is true its dreadful I will put down questions and if what you allege is correct we will deal with the cheats and send them and their companies packing’.

CBC couldn’t find anyone. They did doorstep (literally it was at the Lych Gate at St Johns on Tynwald Day) the Speaker of the Keys, Steve Rodan SHK, who mumbled some gibberish about calling us cheats being ‘abuse’ before he rushed of back to the 19th Century for which he was dressed at the time.

Rodan could have said this sounds serious we don’t like cheats here but CBC were making their allegations about business and corporate cheats so that’s different.

Meanwhile despite Eddie Teare saying when Bill Henderson was sacked two years ago:

‘I am sorry to say that as minister I no longer have confidence and trust in Mr Henderson as a member of Treasury and I cannot continue to work with him.’

Eddie decided to give Bill another chance and now he is once again a valuable member of the Treasury team. Perhaps Eddie and Bill would like to give the unemployed another chance and revisit the decision to impose crippling cuts on their benefits?

Surely Eddie Teare and Bill Henderson would be more productively involved turning their attention to alleged corporate cheats than giving the unemployed a kicking. Why not pick on someone who may put up a fight?

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Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues



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