Treasury Minister Alf Cannan’s fifth and (probably) final Budget of this administration has been called a “budget of resilience” which the gov seeking to stabilise the economy, protect jobs and invest in vital public services while providing a platform for economic recovery from the pandemic.
It will see £1.161 billion of public money being spent throughout gov, an increase of 3.3% on last year’s Budget. This includes £8m for restructuring the deficit in the payroll budget and £4.9m to offset the impact of covid-19 in respect of the Harbours and Ports divisions income. Other key investments include £4.5m awarded to DHSC following recommendations made by the Sir Jonathan Michael review of the dept, this includes enhanced dermatology services and a significant number of new posts created by the island’s new healthcare service Manx Care which comes into operation on April 1.
Mr Cannan said: ‘Against the economic backdrop of the pandemic, we are fortunate to be able to deliver a budget that not only maintains spending on public services without having to increase taxes, but which also provides new, focused investment in health and social care. That we are able to do this is testament to the resilience and strength of the Manx economy, our public finances, and the Manx people.’
The gov says the Budget is ‘far from a standstill position’ as it includes £23.3m in revenue bids, including £18m of new funding for Health and Social Care as it transitions to Manx Care and also adds £15m to the capital programme. The capital programme is a taxpayer funded investment programme that seeks to improve existing services or assets of the gov.
However, this isn’t a Budget full of fireworks, it reflects where we’ve been over the last year and us all seeking to return to normal. While that will delight some who are merely seeking economic stability, in this election year, the Budget offers little in the way of excitement for younger voters hoping for a hand up onto the housing ladder or quicker action on climate change. However pensions are going up by an above inflation rise of 2.5%.
The gov says that the Budget spending equates to £13,740 per head for every man, woman and child of the GMP.
The gov says the per person figure includes:
£4,015 for social security payments such as the state pension, income support and child benefit
£3,229 for health and social care services, of which £1,407 relates to Noble’s Hospital, £869
for primary care, £529 for social care services, £199 for providing free or subsidised
prescriptions or drugs and £231 for treating Manx patients in the United Kingdom
£1,420 for education, including £128 for university fees
£1,325 for former Government employee pensions, of which around £383 comes from
current employee contributions
£431 for the police, fire, prison and other parts of the Department of Home Affairs
£249 for supporting the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, including the
Office of Fair Trading & Road Transport Licencing Committee
£192 net expenditure (after income) for public transport and heritage railways
£143 for waste management, in addition a further £75 raised via local authorities or
business waste charges
£72 for sports and the arts, including subsidising regional swimming pools.
As any of the mathematicians amongst you will notice, the Treasury’s figures do not add up to £13,740.