A revised version of the Economic Strategy has been published ahead of this month’s Tynwald sitting, emphasising the importance of robust infrastructure and services to accommodate a larger population.
Members will be asked to approve the latest document and back a clear, ambitious direction for the Island’s economy over the next 15 years.
‘Our Island, Our Future – Isle of Man Economic Strategy’ includes some key changes from a draft circulated in July, in response to feedback from residents, politicians, businesses and organisations.
An online consultation ran for six weeks during August and September and, bolstered by engagement through the inaugural Isle of Man Government Conference on September 20-21, attracted more than 450 responses from across the community.
The feedback generated through this process indicated overall support for an ambitious new approach and the key themes of the strategy.
There were, however, comments that expressed concern or suggested improvements around the detail associated with each of the Economic Shifts, which have been addressed in the following changes made to the strategy:
- At the heart of the Economic Strategy is a focus on the shape of the economy and a need to create and fill an additional 5,000 new jobs by 2032. This was originally the second ambition, but feedback from the consultation pointed to a critical need to sustain existing economic activity, as well as creating and filling jobs. As a result, it has been moved to the forefront of the Economic Strategy.
- The existing ambition around growing the population to 100,000 then follows, but has been re-named ‘Infrastructure and Services’ to emphasise the groundwork that needs to take place to accommodate an estimated population increase of 15,000 by 2037.
- The third aspiration on public finances stays as it previously was but now highlights how growth and diversification of Government revenues will create long-term financial sustainability, including the efficient and effective delivery of public services.
- Based on feedback from the consultation exercise, both energy security and maximising natural resources were widely considered very important. Consequently, the Energy Strategy has now been given added prominence.
Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK said:
‘This administration is committed to laying the foundations for investment and economic security in our Island for the next 10 years and beyond.
‘The revisions made to the Economic Strategy are made in collaboration with our community, and that is a critical step in this journey in a new direction. Importantly, we have listened to people’s views around prioritising infrastructure and services to accommodate a growing population, and altered the proposed approach accordingly.
‘In addition to the views which have fed into the changes made to the document, a large number of detailed comments and observations have been gathered and will be invaluable as we move into the delivery phase.’
The revised Economic Strategy document, a consultation overview and reports from consultants KPMG are all available to view and download on Tynwald’s Register of Business.