Mannin: ‘An Outstanding Place To Live’ or ‘Allan In Bloody Wonderland’!


‘Islanders are a proud people it is likely that some feeling the strain are suffering in silence’.

The Isle of Man, says the Chief Minister (CM) Allan Bell MHK, ‘remains an outstanding place to live, work and do business’.

Well it depends what standpoint you are viewing it from.

It may well not be such an ‘outstanding place to live’ if the freeze on incomes and the hike in energy charges such as that recently announced by Manx Gas kick in. I bet Tony Nicholls and the Board down at Manx Gas probably do think this is an ‘outstanding place to live’ and make money! They don’t the face the prospect of the cold or missing a meal this winter.

Energy, or fuel, poverty together with more measurable indicators of poverty such as the growth in demand for food banks present a somewhat different picture from the rather rosy perception the CM lays out. The true position is also very likely clouded by the fact that Islanders are a proud people and it is likely that some currently feeling the strain of the current cost of living are suffering in silence.

Bell’s government via the cuts already announced in relation to JSA has also indicated that it expects those less well off to bear the brunt of austerity. It will not just be the unemployed, indeed in his latest ‘missive from Prospect Hill’ Bell says:

“Further reforms are needed to manage the growing pressures on our frontline services, reduce bureaucracy and generate new efficiencies and cost savings across government.

“This will call for some tough decisions in the time ahead, but we are approaching these challenges from a position of strength.”

You can bet your bottom dollar that these efficiencies and tough decisions will impact on those least able to bear them.

For example, the government, via its £50 million Economic Development Fund, has indicated that business, particularly its buddies at the Chamber of Commerce, can come with outstretched hands and be rewarded.

Meanwhile those with more immediate and pressing needs will find their dire circumstances exacerbated even further.

There is a growing divide in this Island a sort of ‘beggar my neighbour’ attitude that sees those in line for government handouts and the generous subsidies already in place plus the new EDF, pitted opposite those to be squeezed. 
It’s not just low income its middle income households that are being hit as well.

One also wonders if sometimes the government does really need a reality check as Bell goes on:

“Internationally, the Isle of Man is respected for its professionalism and long-standing policy of positive engagement with global initiatives and standards.

“We remain at the forefront of work to promote tax cooperation and transparency and support efforts to combat money laundering, fraud and corruption.”

Really! The main international profile of late has been the ‘mire’ of the Northern Ireland NAMA scandal and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation tax evasion allegations.

It makes you wonder should it be ‘Allan in bloody Wonderland’ not ‘Alice in Wonderland’.


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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