• October 8, 2015


The Isle of Man government seems to have parked its controversial decision to ‘reform’ the rating system.

When earlier this year rates demands dropped through Islanders letterboxes they were accompanied by a statement saying the government wants to consult on a new rating system. The government said they wanted the system to be more ‘accurate and fair’. We immediately christened this Orwellian double-speak for ‘they want it to increase’.

For sometime the Manx government have been slipping stealth charges through at a time when incomes are declining in real terms.

There is no doubt that this is probably the most unpopular government in living memory and many MHKs recognise that fact. Some, like Chris Robertshaw, have jumped overboard from COMIN (Council of Ministers) and the cynicism of his move has only been bettered by those who have ‘gerrymandered’ the system using their ‘in house’ contacts to secure vacant seats in the unelected Legislative Council.

Through all the disquiet two men seemed unfazed the Chief Minister and the Treasury Minister aka ‘Steady’ Eddie Teare MHK.

But now even ‘Steady Eddie’ seems to realise that rate reform may mean curtains for any further attempt by him to hold a Keys seat. It also seems likely his COMIN colleagues were uncertain of whether the move would get majority support at the ‘fag-end’ of the most unpopular Tynwald in history.

Of course in announcing the delay to the ‘reform’ the Treasury Minister have said its not now possible because the changes would require primary legislation first, and there continues to be a shortage of legislative draughts people at the Attorney General’s Chambers, although there have been attempts to recruit more. Now at best this seems a specious argument at worst it indicates that events in the legislative engine room of government are in complete disarray.

Either way once some of the current crop of MHKs get themselves re-elected you can bet your bottom dollar that rates reform will be back on the agenda. The Manx ‘poll tax’ hasn’t been cancelled it’s just been deferred


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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