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Home Opinion Tynwald The Budget and Mr Bell

The Budget and Mr Bell

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Chief Minister Alan Bell 'got carried away' (his own words) in Tywnald's Budget debate.

We have long been aware that, like Peter Mandelson, he is 'frightfully relaxed about people being filthy rich'.

But unlike Peter he doesn't like to use the 'r-' word.

Usually he prefers to clink the odd coinage 'individuals of high net worth.'

(This could be taken to imply a superior morality in such folk.

And such a usage is of course less likely to stir the resentment of those of us who aren't well off.)

But towards 'the end of the day' (another favourite phrase of the reflective politician)...
he opened up his vocabulary, urging that more effort must be given to enticing  'the wealthy' to come here.
(Lures of course being the tax cap and scope to sidestep planning regulations and
dwell in mansions reflecting their splendour.)

Such 'wealth creators' and 'entrepreneours' would not idle away their time
with 'golf' and 'gin and tonics' according to Mr.Bell.
(At  least, not with both at the same time, one hopes - could put them off their stroke.)

Instead they would of course create wealth not only for themselves but also
spread some around for the rest of us. (So that's all right, then.)

And while  'wealthy' still somehow sounds a teeny bit more cuddly than 'rich'
it is at least sidles a little closer to acknowledging that the government prides itself on presiding over
two nations on our Island.

As if one was not enough!



+1 #4 FairnessGuest 2012-02-27 16:56
I agree with the theory within your first paragraph Tristram, but that's as far as it goes.
Like Roy I need convincing with facts and figures that the tax cap policy has been successful in the last 5 years. How many rich, wealth creating people have been enticed over here? Have they started businesses here? How many do they employ?
If the answer to these questions is a substantial number, then I applaud Bell. If not why on earth should we significantly change a Strategic Plan that was developed following considerable consultation with the public?
The recent Budget was about fairness. A progressive tax system is fair to all - after all our highest tax-rate is only 20%.
0 #3 Proofroy 2012-02-26 23:39
The problem is that Mr Bell doesn't appear to have any evidence that the tax cap is working.

And why does Mr Bell believe there is a shortage of expensive properties? Is it based on some evidence no apparent to anyone or an alleged closeness to developers?

Tax should not be based on envy or greed. It should be fair, equitable, progressive and based on reality not some pipe dream.

Show us taxpayers the evidence!
0 #2 TristramTristram 2012-02-26 08:02
I have heard local people complain about many things since I moved to the Isle of Man. But complaining about gainful employment is not one of them. If you look around you the wealthy estates in the Isle of Man are supported by a range of little cottage industries. All these provide jobs for local people. So if, say, another twenty large houses are occupied by people who have an expensive lifestyle which, in turn, stimulates local employment then I think folk will be glad of that.

Evidently, any new houses must no despoil the countryside so the planning consents will have to be very well thought through.

But, as a measure to keep the local economy going without significantly increasing the size of the population, I think attracting very rich people to live and spend in the Isle of Man is a reasonable idea.

Greed and envy are unattractive - but I don't see too much of either in the local culture. People are, in my experience, fairly down to earth about such things over here.
0 #1 PlutocracyGuest 2012-02-22 13:58
I agree Ealish.
We have a progressive tax system which stops at the tax cap of £120k. CoMin now want to alter the planning system to allow rich people to come here and build big houses.
Just examine estate agents websites - there are hundreds of expensive properties for sale.
We are a plutocracy

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