Maintaining economic strength, enabling growth, protecting the vulnerable and supporting working families were the key themes when Treasury Minister David Ashford MBE MHK delivered his 2022 Budget in Tynwald on Tuesday 15 February.
Emphasising the opportunities and challenges facing the new administration, the Minister provided a comprehensive update which included an initial five-year financial plan to build on the aims of Our Island Plan.
Government revenue spending for 2022/23 is budgeted at £1.15 billion, representing £14,044 for every person on the Island.
The personal tax allowance has been raised by £250 to £14,500 for an individual and by £500 to £29,000 for jointly-assessed couples, while targeted increases have been made to benefits and allowances for parents, carers, pensioners and people with disabilities.
A new Housing and Communities Fund has been established with a balance of £2 million to support the work of the Housing and Communities Board.
Mitigating the effects of climate change and helping the Island reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will receive £42 million across both revenue and capital budgets.
Health and social care
Meeting the required growth funding for health and care services will be achieved by using a proportion of investment income generated by the Manx National Insurance Fund.
The Department of Health and Social Care will be provided with an additional £8.25 million to fund Manx Care, and will have access to a further £5.08 million of contingency funding to address cost pressures which may arise during the next year.
The Healthcare Transformation Fund will be topped up by a further £7 million to support the ongoing implementation of recommendations from the Sir Jonathan Michael report.
An in-year capital programme set at £174 million will provide a firm base for Isle of Man Government Departments to fulfil the objectives of Our Island Plan, while new internal funds have been created to support priorities around creating a Secure, Sustainable and Vibrant environment.
A review is to be undertaken by the Treasury in order to provide a clear direction for the scope, policies and funding strategy for the National Insurance Fund.
A project to transform the Island’s social security system has been relaunched – after being paused during the pandemic – aimed at streamlining processes and modernising the way it delivers services, while ensuring it remains both equitable and affordable.
An overhaul of the way the capital programme is established and funded will take place, aimed at modernising this element of the Budget process.
This will be achieved during a period of transition which will be used to assess how the Government’s property assets are used and maintained, and how the accounting process behind it can be simplified.