• November 14, 2015


Greed is a subjective word. I thought this when I read the report of a case where a benefit claimant was found to have falsified here circumstances to such an extent that she pocket tens of thousands of pounds whilst at the same time inheriting a tidy sum which would have put her above the benefits threshold for sometime.

She was quite rightly convicted it was when we came to the sentencing comment with which the Deemster embellished his decision that I felt the hair rise on my neck it was he said ‘greed’ and he was right.

However somehow the word ‘greed’ does not sit well in the mouth of any Deemster on this Island because when it comes to legalised greed they are in the first division.

I highlighted sometime ago how Judges in the UK (and by analogy the Isle of Man) are over paid. In my Manx Independent OUTSIDE LEFT column I said:

“Why are the Manx Judiciary, arguably the pinnacle of the public sector, inured from all the privations and pressures of austerity that Alan and his COMIN buddies’ demand of public sector workers and others.

Salaries paid to UK Judges (including Manx Deemsters who are analogued to UK scales) are the highest in the World. Ireland, which the Chief Minister said we can all take lessons from following a recent ‘fact finding’ mission, had Judges only slightly less well of than the Brits until the Dublin government acted.

Several years ago Enda Kenny, Irelands Taoiseach announced that the ‘be-wigged ones’ could not expect to escape that axe of austerity that was falling on everyone else. Despite much opposition from a group used to privilege and getting its own way Kenny and his Justice Minister Alan Shatter pressed on with the reforms. The result was that by 2013 the Irish Judiciary were claiming their salaries had been cut by a third.”

I continued:

“Kenny had to overcome not just opposition from the Judiciary themselves but also constitutional difficulties that required the issue to be put to a referendum. Not surprisingly the public, given the opportunity to express an opinion on the salary and lifestyle of Judges, overwhelmingly supported the move in the referendum by 4 to 1.

Of course no similar cuts have occurred in the Isle of Man, and the Judiciary here continues to enjoy the cosseted life style analogued to the UK they have always had although everyone else is suffering the privations of austerity.

In these difficult economic times, as other classes of public and private workers have had to endure real time cuts or freezes in pay, this chosen few lolling around in the High Court have been immune from such realities.”

Salary arrangements remain the same on the Island today. Given the work load and the complexity of the case loads these people both Doomster’s and High Bailiffs are grossly overpaid and yet no one seems willing to challenge it.

In the benefits cheat case the Deemster was right the defendant was ‘greedy’ however the person doing the sentencing was also a greedy sod!

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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