The Isle of Man Government has today published a Draft Economic Strategy which sets out a 10-15 year vision to secure prosperity for the people of the Isle of Man and the future security and sustainability of the economy.
The ‘Our Island, Our Future: Isle of Man Economic Strategy’ brings to life a clear vision to develop a strong and diverse economy, which is sustainable, ambitious and built on firm foundations to provide economic success, rewarding career opportunities and prosperity which positively impacts all residents in the Isle of Man.
To achieve this vision the Economic Strategy outlines four economic aspirations and shifts:
- Population: Grow the Island’s population to 100,000 residents by 2037, driven by the inward migration and retention of economically active people and the recruitment of key workers
- Shape of the economy: Reach a GDP of £10bn by 2032, across existing key sectors and new business sectors, with 5,000 new jobs created and filled
- Public finances: By 2032, to generate over £200m of additional annual income to reinvest in services and improve the quality of life for all residents
- Sustainability: Substantially decarbonise the services parts of the Island’s economy by 2030, supporting an overall reduction of 35% in the Island’s greenhouse gas emissions
Alfred Cannan MHK, Chief Minister, commented:
‘This is a significant moment for our Island as we set out our high level ambitions for investment, incentives, and ideas that will help change the shape of our economy and bring greater opportunity for the people of the Isle of Man.
‘The draft Economic Strategy comes from months of research, stakeholder engagement, and economic analysis that has shone a true light on the current trajectory of the Island’s economy and demonstrated a new approach that is necessary to ensure our resilience and success over the next 10-15 years.
‘As it stands, our economy is in reasonably good shape and many of our sectors remain successful. Although there are fiscal pressures, Government income is steady and unemployment remains at record lows. However, there are a growing number of headwinds coming that are beyond our control. Global challenges such as digitisation, taxation and increasing demand for skilled workers are highlighting the precarious nature of our current economic model.
‘We have always prided ourselves on our ability to adapt and as an Island, we have so much to be proud of. But we have reached a point in our economy where we must evolve again if we are to create longer term economic success. It would be unwise to maintain the status quo whilst so much change is happening around us. If we do not address critical challenges facing the Island in terms of our demographics, finances and public services we run a substantial risk of gradual decline which would create significant uncertainty. We should also recognise that our young people demand new job opportunities and modern, attractive facilities.
'We must now bring forward an ambitious and bold series of initiatives and policy changes that will ensure the future resilience, sustainability, and prosperity of our people and our Island.’
The draft Economic Strategy also presents plans for a £1bn long term public and private investment programme, supported by an initial £100m Economic Strategy Fund to help stimulate shifts and develop supporting initiatives.
Dr Alex Allinson MHK, Treasury Minister, commented:
‘The draft Economic Strategy lays out a framework for change, investment, and new ideas that will help make the Island more attractive, vibrant, sustainable and competitive.
‘The substantial scale of work done to date has provided us with a clear evidence base to build a strong business case whereby initial investment will see significant long-term returns, ultimately meaning the Strategy becomes self-funded, with a return on investment after 10 years.
‘Treasury will be working closely with the Department for Enterprise and the Chief Minister to oversee a structured delivery programme that will ensure activity is results driven, efficient and puts economic policy at the heart of all our decision making.
‘As we consult over the summer we will be building on the objectives and ideas laid out in the strategy, ready to bring an updated version to Tynwald in November.’
The draft Economic Strategy is available to read here: gov.im/economicstrategy
More information regarding the consultation will be available in due course.