• January 27, 2016


Some people on the Island frequently refer to our ‘government debt’ which generally mean’s the MUA loan structure and the pension liabilities (both public and state).

It’s a narrative the Manx government like to play to because if we all think there’s this ‘terrible’ debt burden then it allows them to get away with inflicting all sorts of hardship on people.

The Chief Minister was at it this morning in the Keys he couldn’t manage to contribute to a debate about the horse trams without warning about doom and gloom. The term I think he used was ‘we are not out of the woods yet’ or such like.

The only problem is if Allan (and his successors) have their way we’ll never be out of the woods because it suits them to keep the population wandering around in the thicket worrying about ‘our national debts’.

The problem really is unlike a real country the Isle of Man has to balance its books. It has not got real sovereignty and therefore for it to run a real National Debt like for example the United Kingdom would be well nigh impossible.

If they insist on calling themselves a ‘government’ but running their ‘country’ as if it a domestic house we’ll always be ‘in the woods’! You sometimes wonder if Eddie has a few tins in the Treasury marked MUA loans, Pensions, Tynwald Xmas Party into which he puts a few pounds every week!

In the UK the Conservative government of David Cameron also hypes fears about the National Debt but in their case they have something to worry about because as of Q1 2015 UK government debt amounted to £1.56 trillion, or 81.58% of total GDP, at which time the annual cost of servicing (paying the interest) the public debt amounted to around £43bn (which is roughly 3% of GDP or 8% of UK government tax income).

They aren’t really concerned about it though because they are ploughing ahead with renewing Trident and building aircraft carriers that have no planes to go on them – that will ensure their debt rises further.

Other global economies (most notably the US) also have massive debts and yet they still invest, function get by without Barack Obama getting a daily slot on NBC Morning to wail and weep like our Chief Minister. I don’t know about you but I’m bloody sick of it!

The Manx budget is just around the corner and you can bet your life that Eddie Teare will also play the debt card particularly if he has to dole out something unpalatable.

When people hear this they should pause for thought and remember that an essential attribute of all governments is to misrepresent the true situation. If Eddie warns about doom and gloom take it with a pinch of salt or you’ll end up wandering around ‘in the woods’ for ever, which is just what they want!

Finally, I know this is getting hackneyed, but if things are so bad why aren’t we paying down some of the debt instead of ladling out £50 million of the reserves to spivs from the business sector!

Photograph: Allan Bell Chief Minister.


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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