• February 14, 2016


If ever there was less appropriate time to start tinkering around with Isle of Man work permit legislation it is now.

Unemployment is up again (albeit marginally) on last month with 873 people out of work.

However this being the Isle of Man where every story pitched out by the ‘Ministry of Truth’ has to have a positive spin the rise is actually ‘good news’. Here’s how they spin it:

“873 persons were registered as unemployed at the end of January 2016.

“This is an increase of 12 persons from the previous month (December 2015)

“However, when compared to the same time last year (January 2015) it is a decrease of 100 persons. It is the lowest January figure since 2012.”

So there you have it although it’s up its better than this time last year so that must be positive.

Except of you look at long term trends the 873 figure is about four times the all time low of 2001/2002 and indeed in the years 1998 – 2008 the January figure never got above 650 and was as low as 244 (I must admit at this point I’ve been plagiarising government documents because there are some in the media who have a fetish about this at the moment).

All in all despite the government spin its not good news especially if your one of multiple applicants chasing one vacancy.

It also seems a strange time for Eddie Teare and Bill Henderson to be attempting ‘to hep people escape the benefits trap and realise their full potential’ by getting some UK agency to reassess those with disabilities as fit for work.

Strangely another thought occurred to me when I looked at the long term trend in unemployment. Figures started to creep upwards in 2010 shortly after the work permit system to use government parlance was made ‘more flexible’. Later in 2013 the regulations were further relaxed.

Now Laurence Skelly wants to extend exemptions to other sectors. It’s alright for Laurence he has a job – at the moment! However Isle of Man workers for the most part regard the permit system as an employment safeguard.

Perhaps before any further relaxation of Control of Employment we should have an independent review of just what the impact of changes over the last decade has been on IOM workers job security!


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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