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Roger Mexico

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Everything posted by Roger Mexico

  1. Well they have started, but only it seems to 'correct' the Passenger Survey (to make the Government look better) as we discussed earlier in the thread. But it's something that should already have been done for several decades. Indeed I remember happening to mention this many years ago to someone high up in the relevant Department ( and assuming they were already getting the information from the carriers) and getting a strange look and no clear reply. I suspect it's some sort of cultural thing you often see with the Manx Civil Service - a belief that they know best and that any contact with information from outside (except under existing and formalised routines) will somehow sully them. Add to that the idea that tourism is somehow downmarket and we don't want these plebby types polluting our modern HNWI-fawning island and actually trying to do anything effective to encourage people to come on holiday is seen as low-priority beyond token actions to keep the locals quiet.
  2. Roger Mexico

    Beer Tent

    It depends what the contract says. I suspect the way they went to get the licence this year, although they must have known they would get turned down with no security etc, may well have been to get round any contractual obligations. They can at least say that they tried to run it this year, but were unable to because of not getting the licence, and that might be enough for them to not break the contract formally. In any case, I linked earlier to a DBC press release that stated: So they seem determined to try again - if only so as not to look stupid.
  3. The figures for Visitor Impact in the Report give an average of £757 per person, but that includes travel of £191 (which seems about right[1]) and accommodation of £157 (which for seven plus nights seems very low, unless there's a lot of camping and lower-priced Homestay). This leaves £409 per person for other spending, which is plausible at £50 per day, given that the event itself is basically free. There is some query over the reliability of these figures as they are based on the 2017 Passenger Survey figures and they only interviewed 369 people in the relevant category (PVPA) in the whole of May and June. If they interviewed pro rata across the TT period, that would only be equivalent to around 100 in that time (say 17 days out of 61). If you consider that normally you need a 1000 or so for a meaningful sample, any results will be pretty dodgy. Furthermore normal interviewing will be biased towards the airport (more people come to the Island by air) while during TT that is reversed. Add to that the problems of interviewing people travelling with their own transport by sea, and there may not be much information to go on. [1] Bike plus one pax is £242.50 on the boat, but airfares are lower and additional boat pax £102.50. At about 25% of total spend perhaps 'a lot' would be a better descriptor that 'much', but it is substantial.
  4. Tourism has always been known as a low-pay sector with many seasonal workers, so there's not much income tax and not much spend for VAT to come from. Much of the TT spend is on travel which attracts no VAT (and if it did it wouldn't be paid here) and accommodation is only rated at 5% for VAT. Smaller units will be below the threshold anyway and not only will no VAT be paid on Homestay, but most people won't be paying any income tax on it either. The latest Report is based on the Passenger Survey figures, which are highly dubious at the best of times and particularly over TT and, as Declan pointed out, there are then all sort of implausible assumptions made to justify the economic benefit. You get the impression that even those writing the Report weren't convinced.
  5. As so often it's worth actually going to the source to get all the details. Moorhouse has asked How many Government employees have received golden goodbyes of above £100,000 in each of the last five years and got (in part) the answer from Thomas: There were a number of requests for extra information and clarification, most usefully from Hooper who got the reply: Although they wouldn't have been included in these figures, this all makes it clear that it's possible for resignations such as Couch's come with a (possibly substantial) 'golden goodbye'.
  6. Actually Wiki is pretty accurate on most things, simply because the world is full of smart-arses only too happy to correct people when they get it wrong. There are occasional instances of vandalism, but you can usually spot those because they don't 'look' right (they're also often written in a different style from the rest of the article) and there are classes of article that you need to be cautious about: very new ones for example or those about certain areas of popular culture which can get opinionated. For some controversial subjects it's worth checking if they are 'locked' by one of the various protection statuses that Wiki has eg that only trusted editors can alter them under consensus. In this case the article has been around a while (since 2010), there are plenty of references given to where the information came from, and a variety of sources are given. The main contributor to it appears to be a trusted one and it passes the plausibility test - closing in 1993 after the end of the Cold War is what you would expect.
  7. It's not well worded, but the dispute was actually resolved yesterday and that piece is just the Union's self-justification for their actions. The equivalent piece from the Post Office is here.
  8. Actually cyclists have to obey the same regulations as other vehicle users, unless specifically told otherwise as with contraflows.
  9. Actually the funniest thing about that article comes just after that quote: Now Harmer lives in Peel, so is he donning the lycra and pedalling his way to Douglas? Is he rising at the crack of dawn to walk it?[1] It doesn't look like it, despite his claim to "cycle or walk to work". if you read the following sentence he's talking about a rather lesser journey. What seems to mean is that he walks from his car to his desk. As to walking between the Sea Terminal and Tynwald, given that most individuals without designated parking spaces wouldn't dream of driving that in any case[2], it hardly seems as if enormous physical effort is being invested. [1] Obviously he's not going to mix with the plebs on one of his Department's own buses. [2] I make it only about 0.4 rather than 'one' mile, which suggests that Harmer doesn't walk it that often
  10. It's delightfully bonkers isn't it? Apart from ignoring the fact that cyclist will presumably want to cycle both ways along North Quay, they may think that they should not be used as some sort of mobile traffic calming feature. Actually what is going on here is probably the usual Manx Government habit of discovering something that was fashionable about a decade ago and trying to introduce it just as everyone else realises it was a bad idea all along. What they seem to be suggesting in their cack-handed way is something known as 'shared space'. The idea is that you let motorists, pedestrians and cyclists all share the same space without any segregation or direction, and they will all respect each other and drivers will operate carefully. The classic trial of this was Exhibition Road in Kensington. This is the road that leads from South Ken Tube Station up between the Natural History and V&A Museums to Hyde Park. The shared space scheme was designed and implemented from 2003 and cost about £30 million. So you can see why it would appeal to the DoI as spending a very long time putting down incredibly expensive paving is one of their core skills. Having used the road before and after this scheme was put in, it doesn't actually have made much effect as the cars still go down the centre of the road quite fast and the pedestrians walk on what were always pretty spacious pavements. Except where it crosses the Cromwell Road (where this scheme doesn't apply, and maybe in the morning rush hour, it's not normally that busy a road in any case. And it doesn't really seem to work as the traffic still moves fast. Even if most car and commercial vehicle drivers are considerate, it only takes one to make other road users cautious and the traffic calming effect stops. Which makes sense if you think about it as 'shared space' describes the way that roads are used in a lot of the Third World and traffic accidents and fatalities are much more frequent there. Still the sellers of Chinese granite are happy. Which is what matters.
  11. At lest 40 I would think. Actually only about 25 (finishing in 1993) according to Wiki.
  12. Roger Mexico

    Beer Tent

    Are you sure? That would mean the Corpy gave a five year lease based on rent plus percentage take to a firm without a track record of running the tent over the firm that had been running it for the previous twenty years. At the time Bushy's put up a copy of the Minutes of the meeting that awarded the deal to the Hooded Ram (All actual minutes from 2017 have already vanished from the DBC website). This says that the Committee was reminded that "the Council are not obliged to accept the highest tender" and also adds "Members noted that the Bushy's tender was qualified in that it specifically excluded the supplemental fee". Which suggests the Corpy did exactly as you say, even though Bushy's offered more money, some official at DBC got greedy and decided to add in a percentage as well. And no doubt got a pay rise for their wonderful business skills.
  13. Roger Mexico

    Beer Tent

    The Corpy issued a press release last Friday: Which doesn't actually resolve what the contract says, though clearly they don't regard this year's disaster as breaking it. Given the hints I found earlier, I do wonder if a lot of what the Corpy expected to get paid was related to the takings or profit of the operation, which may explain HR's lack of enthusiasm.
  14. This appears to be the official website for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. For a mere $25 (inc p&p) you can be ordained a minister, which probably a cheaper option than Living Hope. And less likely to have you end up in the Courts.
  15. Roger Mexico

    Beer Tent

    There were several threads in 2017 when this started, but the main one was this: https://www.manxforums.com/forums/index.php?/topic/62228-bushys-to-lose-tt-site/ though Albert started one later: https://www.manxforums.com/forums/index.php?/topic/62498-who-tried-to-kill-bushys-tent/ there's obviously something about the topic that makes people see double. For what it's worth most people backed Bushy's because they had built up the business and there was some suggestion that Hooded Ram was not the top-bidding contender. I now wonder if the Hooded Ram bid was mainly turnover-based and of course if it's not run DBC won't get anything more than the basic yearly fee (if that depending on how the contract was drawn up).
  16. He became Assessor of Income Tax in 2004, having previous worked as a tax manager/consultant for various companies (so a poacher turned gamekeeper). The tax cap was introduced in 2006, and that news report says 66 were claiming it, which is roughly what there were when it was brought in. When figures went above that, it was mainly because it was being abused with people pooling income into one tax year.
  17. Presuming the Department got all excited and agreed to release it early. Tynwald order papers are usually published on Thursday lunchtime along with all associated reports and documents The Manx Radio version has "Embargoed 6am 9 May 2019" watermarked on every page, but there was a press conference yesterday and the associated press release[1] was made available this morning with a version that is easier to read. Presumably the idea was for journalists to have time to digest and analyse the Report rather than just cut and paste the press release as usual (stop laughing at the back). To be fair to MR they do seem to have made some effort, but it's not possible to know if they were spoonfed that privately or not. Reports to discussed in Tynwald do usually get published in advance of appearing on the Order Paper. It's not like the Commons demanding to see things first and that doesn't usually apply to full reports, just ministerial statements. It also makes sense, given that Tynwald only meets once a month. Actually what usually happens (and has almost certainly happened here) is that the need for it to appear with the Order Paper forces them to publish something that they've been sitting on for weeks.
  18. Taxation strategy success? Like what?! The VAT negotiations? The Film Industry? The race to the bottom (i.e. zero/10)? The Public Sector Pension Liability? Attrition (Dividends)? Which bits are his success? I wonder how old he is? I actually have no idea, but I bet it's around 55. You forgot the HNWI tax-cap which reduced the amount of tax that the wealthy were previously happy to pay while managing to attract few if any extra HNWIs. Couch started his degree course in 1979 according to his Linkedin, so that would suggest he was born in 1960-61, so about 58-59. (He actually spent very little time as a doctor after qualifying).
  19. Certainly not everywhere - in fact the Isle of Man is pretty unusual in demanding registration and inspection for all tourist accommodation. Of course there may be other requirements such as change of use or fire certificates elsewhere, depending on how big the premises are etc in many places. But for smaller properties, providing you're not violating any other agreements, such as tenancy or insurance conditions, you can just let a spare room or even a property out on Airbnb without any other permission. That's why some cities, such as Barcelona, have started putting local restrictions on. The IOM VAT limit is effectively a turnover of £85,000 per year, so someone letting out a couple of rooms or even flats is unlikely to breach that. Of course it would have to be declared for tax. Airbnb do offer some insurance etc for their hosts as part of the service (plus dispute handling and so on) but as far as inspection goes rely on guest feedback.
  20. It's certainly not new, but looking at the (well hidden) figures from the latest Chief Constable's Report, there does seem to be a bit of an increase in assaults (though not a massive one). Reporting can often be skewed by the need to put out a request for information, whereas incidents where it is clear what happened and who did it may get less coverage.
  21. I agree with the rest of your comment, but most of their 'domestic' routes are actually from England to other countries (NI, IOM, CI or Scotland) or between those places. Travel by land and/or sea would be pretty lengthy and expensive. I haven't checked all the figures but I suspect these have increased in line with short-haul travel . I think the only all-England flight easyJet operate is BRS-NCL which has similar distance problems. But they don't do 'classic' domestic flights. Of course this makes the static figures for IOM even worse as easyJet have only just compensated for the fall in other operators whereas elsewhere may have actually added extra pax.
  22. Don't be daft - we're keeping him off the streets.
  23. Yes but on the Island these properties have to be registered as tourist accommodation and inspected and so on. They say: (Their weird formatting)
  24. Well airlines certainly love to blame governments for everything that goes wrong, rather than themselves. That FT article certainly contains the usual cries that companies would make loads of money if only government would give them a lot of the taxpayers[1]. But if APD was such a problem then it would be hitting short-haul international flights as well and that's the area that has been going up by a lot - especially to Europe. It's only really domestic travel that has problems. Some of the reasons for that decline,such as the increase in train travel, are given in the article, but some others may be even more important. The first is the decline generally in business travel as more can be done electronically. Some still goes on, but people tend to make fewer trips. Secondly the increase in security and the time spent getting through (and to) airports means that the time advantage in flying gets taken away for shorter flights and going by train or even road become as quick and less hassle. Thirdly the ability to take international flights from more regional airports means there is less need for connecting flights - you can fly direct from Manchester, Glasgow or wherever, rather than flying to Heathrow and connecting. The article is clearly part of a publicity drive to abolish APD on domestic flights post-Brexit (assuming that ever happens). They couldn't do it when in the EU because they would have to do the same on intra-EU flights as well, and that would be a lot of revenue for the government to give up from routes where there is no financial pressure. I doubt it will be successful as the Scottish Government has only just announced that it is no longer planning to reduce the tax there, on environmental grounds. [1] Actually airlines do quite nicely out of APD because they collect it for cancelled flights, but rarely pay it back. And can still re-sell (or over-sell) the seats.
  25. I thought those particular slots can with the condition they had to be used for domestic (effectively connecting) flights. You're probably right about the current service being a holding operation though - they've not exactly been doing much to push it. It may be that they want to stop its use as domestic though, because one truth rarely discussed is that the number of domestic UK flights (which statistically includes those to/from the IOM and Channel Islands) has actually been falling over the last decade, even as UK originated flights have risen. This is from the FT last month which saves me having to unzip CAA files: (Some para compression. Pasted in full as it's always random whether FT links get over the paywall or not). It's interesting that only three weeks ago they were bragging about routes they are already stopping. It may be more related to political posturing to support the third runway than anything else.
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