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Phillip Dearden

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Everything posted by Phillip Dearden

  1. There is no fund. The PS Pension Reserve is an allocation of the General Revenue Account and there is no separate pot of assets manged by a trustee to meet to the pension obligation. The General Revenue Account has been funded out of tax receipts and and any shortfall will also be funded out of tax receipts ie all pensions are to be met out of (past or future) tax receipts (plus investment returns). The Pension Reserve Fund was a sensible move in that when times were good, money was being put aside to meet the unfunded Pension Obligation but the fund never became big enough and from 2013 has been falling. The Reserve was never a fund in the normal sense of the word but was an "earmarking" of some government cash to meet Pension obligations. These monies are less protected than the NI fund.
  2. Not quite. I have no evidence that anyone is currently softening us up for a raid/withdrawal. I was noting that it is possible and might happen in certain circumstances and some voters would even expect the fund to be drawn on in those circumstances, although others would not. There may be inter-generational disagreements.
  3. Don't we all fool ourselves a bit re the NI scheme? We like to think the fund is sacred and sits there to protect the future payment of state pensions (not CS/PS) and MHKs like to reassure us that the law insists the fund is protected and we then feel happy. However, MHKs can change the law and they will if they feel it is necessary and there might be circumstances where the voters insist on change. Whilst the economy is doing OK, there should be no (immediate) pressure on the NI fund. At the moment NI contributions and Investment Income fill it up and State Pensions and Benefits are funded from it. The various reviews done a few years ago showed that as time went on, unless we had perpetual growth (impossible) then eventually payments would exceed receipts and the fund would diminish. Dates of 2055 and 2047 were mentioned as dates of disaster if no action was taken. I presume those dates are now invalid as both state pensions and NI contributions have changed and investment returns have been good - it would be good to see a more recent projection. The government Accounts show the fund at £983m at 31 03 2021. This is a chunky number. If the economy stalled in a way that health and education were significantly underfunded whilst the NI fund contained monies of this order, I expect (some?) voters would eventually move to requiring the MHKs to use the NI fund to ameliorate immediate problems (and long-term change would be required re state pensions and benefits). There would be differing views between different groups and much angst but I can't see Tynwald allowing children and sick people to suffer while almost a billion sits in a fund for the future. If you agree, and I know many won't, then the separation of the fund is not as absolute as we would like to think. In considering whether State Pensions, Government Services, CS/PS pensions, benefits etc can be afforded, it is future government cash flows in their entirety that matter and I can't see that partitioning these into "funds" really helps. Nevertheless, we do have a separate fund and in our minds we have chosen to believe its separation is important and now, any attempt to change that would be controversial. In these circumstances perhaps some MHKs might think it appropriate to break down the barrier gradually and perhaps that process has begun?
  4. Josem I don't think I actually disagree but the position is not simple and there are a few points here I would like to expand on. 1. Re Reserves - these figures only make sense if you take all of the various Reserves, Funds and Revenue Accounts together. They currently stand at a negative figure. There are positive reserves but they are offset by a significantly negative Revenue Account (and associated Adjustments Account). The negativeness is much enhanced if you take out the NI fund, but I wouldn't. 2. Reserves are not cash. Much of the Governments assets are not convertible to cash. In order to assess ability fund expenditure and debt we would be better advised to look at cash flow, as opposed to reserves. 3. Whilst banks can expand the money supply by loan creation, they also require repayment which reduces the money supply. Most governments can expand the money supply to fund expenditure, whilst risking inflation/devaluation, but they rarely reduce their issued money so the increase in money supply caused by Governments is permanent. The IOM Government cannot do this and so it is in a different position from most governments. In fact it is in a tricky position as the UK Government might cause inflation whilst funding its own expenditure but the IOM Government receives no benefit but must suffer the higher costs. 4. It is not reserves which allows expenditure but cash flow. If you look at the Government accounts you will see that cash flow does vary from positive to negative over recent years and in 31/3/20 was negative ie there was a net cash outflow but very positive in the prior year. 5. The Government does have a significant asset which is not on its accounts and thus not reflected in reserves, which is the power to tax. If I were a credit rating agency I would be looking at projected cash flows - we don't see these but the ratings agencies might. 6. Whilst the IOM Government could expand its Balance Sheet and increase demand and so put upward pressure on prices I can't see that this effect could be significant. Most of the prices we face are determined elsewhere and the IOM Govt's effect must be small. I am using the audited accounts as these are presented in a conventional format and are audited.
  5. I think the law works the other way round. Someone who sits in the house of Lords is regarded as UK resident and domiciled for UK tax purposes. I expect this is quite separate from the question as to whether they are IOM resident for IOM tax purposes. A person could be resident in both jurisdictions.
  6. I knew him in a few roles, including AG. I always found him amenable, affable, sensible and good at his job - also pleasant to be around, a nice guy. A sad loss.
  7. But would he? He would own an IOM property and might intend to live in it indefinitely so it would become his home and he would become IOM resident. However, when does it become his home? When it is available, when he decides it will now be his home or when he commences to live in it? I don't think that this is clear, especially for the Covid-Regs. However, my tentative suggestion, based on tax-cases, is that the property would become his home when he commenced living in it, which would mean it was not his home when he was travelling, so he could not enter the IOM, so he could not become resident.... This interpretation does seem harsh but I think we are talking about a relieving provision which removes a ban on coming to the Island for people who already live here, not a relief for people who are going to live here or who intend to live here or who want to live here ie it is for current residents. This is just a tentative view, I am far from certain on it.
  8. How were they arbitrary? At the time, he could only enter if he was resident. "Resident" is not clearly defined but there are lots of old cases and they all revolve around the place you live. His IOM house was rented out so he could not live there. On what basis could he be IOM resident? I think the officers were very diplomatic. I can understand why Mr B was a bit upset but there was a world-wide pandemic going on which all administrations were struggling to cope with and a lot of us were inconvenienced. If he had got to he house and occupied it, post-tenancy, he would then be living in a home he owned in the Isle of Man and would have a good case for being IOM resident. Whilst this seems an attractive way forward, was it achievable? I think he could not enter the IOM until he was living in the IOM property and so he could not achieve resident status. My reading is that Deemster Corlett was sympathetic that this point was not addressed and thus gave Mr B the benefit of the doubt. To my non-legal trained mind this seems a very generous interpretation.
  9. Is that true in the Isle of Man? In some countries, money can be created by accounting entries (agreed, inflationary) and destroyed by taxation (deflationary). However, the destruction happens because money is (usually) a debt due by the Government and money the Government owes to itself is a big nothing. In the Isle of Man we use UK money. IOM tax transfers a debt due by the UK Govt from individuals and businesses to the IOM Govt. The debt still exists, money has not been destroyed. I can't see that this reduces inflation.
  10. I looked at a similar-ish issue. How do the constituencies compare in their ability to distinguish between candidates. For this I looked at the Standard Deviation of votes in each constituency. The results were as follows; A&M and Glenfaba and Peel come top of the Standard Deviation tables but their results are different. A&M has two clear winners and 5 candidates who got significantly less votes. G&P has one clear winner, one who just beat two fellow contenders and three who were some way off. The lower end of the SD table, ie the constituencies where votes were not widely dispersed includes all four Douglas constituencies and Garf. Looking at the votes here, it does seem that the difference between winning and losing is not so pronounced. 3 of these also had the lowest voter turnout (as % of eligible) – does this suggest less voter engagement or more closely matched candidates? A&M provided more candidates than anyone, a higher proportion of their eligible voters actually voted and this was a repeat of 2016 (ie the highest voter turnout) and the Standard Deviation calculation suggests they are the best at distinguishing between candidates they like and don't like. They seem to be good at this democracy stuff...but not perfect, theirs is the only return of votes not yet available on the Government web-site. Whether the stronger distinction between preferred and less-preferred candidates is as a result of better voter ability to identify the qualities they want or whether it actually reflects a difference in quality of candidates is a good question, to which I don't know the answer.
  11. Agreed. I will update when we get current figures.
  12. What Declan has done is rank candidates by % of votes available ie Registered Voters. This does have merit but all of these analyses have some kind of bias and in this case the top rankings are occupied by candidates in the Constiuencies where voter turnout is greater ie the non-Douglas Towns. The Ticks show Prior.Sitting MHKS. The preponderance of ticks at the top shows how existing MHKs tend to do better than new entrants. Messrs Crowther and Quine get into the top 20 on this list but did not get elected - they were close. If vote-ability was a relevant factor, Alf C and Juan W might think they had a shot at CM. [Just an observation, I think the role should go to whoever can get an effective team working together] The lower ticks are the MHKS who did not get re-elected and I think this reflects the difficulty of taking on a difficult job (Comin/Minister) . That is what they are there for but sometimes it does not make you look good.
  13. In the ranking by % of votes obtained, all but two of the top 16 were prior MHKs or MLCs. This does suggest prior experience is a big help. I would expect this, the incumbents have access to information and have gained appropriate experience. Sarah Maltby and Tim Glover did well to break into this group. Peel was tight, both Ray Harmer and Trevor Cowin were not far behind Tim Crookall. Geoffrey Boot was.
  14. Thank you for your kind comment. I don't know.
  15. It does not look as if the voters were desperate for change. Most of the previous MHKs who stood, were voted back in. All (2) of the current MLCs who stood were elected. 3 constituencies voted all of their existing MHKs back in and one (Peel) voted for former MLCs/MHKs. 8 Novice (only in the sense that they were not previously MHK/MLCs, I ams ure they have great experience otherwise) were elected out of 33. This suggests that once in, the candidate has an advantage at elections. However, MHKs who had been MLCs did not fare as well. This might reflect higher profile and the spotlight that then gets applied to tricky matters.
  16. Roger ranked candidates by proportion of votes obtained in constituency. I think this makes sense. A far blunter analysis would be to rank by Number of Votes, this ignores size of constituency and number of candidates and so is a very unrefined statistic. However, it does have some power as the number of people you have persuaded to vote for you is some measure of your electability. If you accept this number has some value, then the following table may be useful; I suspect it is very comforting to Juan W to know he got more votes than anyone else. It is also an incredible result that Kate Lord-B, a new candidate got the second greatest amount of votes. If you thought volume of votes and being a recent member of Comin counted towards Chief Minister qualification, then Alf C would be feeling quite happy. Note, 9 of the top ten were prior MHKs or MLCs which raises the question as to whether being a sitting member is an advantage. I will look at this next.
  17. Who Voted? There is a bit of a pattern here, ranking the constituencies by voter turnout produces three groups. The rural towns vote the most, the areas on the periphery of Douglas (Middle, Douglas S and Onchan) are mid-table and central Douglas votes the least. I attach 2016 results which are similar. There are movements within groups but the broad picture is similar. Ayre and Michael are the best voters! (In terms of exercising their right to vote, no comment on who they select intended). The numbers registered to vote vary quite a lot. This caused me to look at the changes in voter numbers. From Jan 2017 to April 2021, this is the growth in the number of eligible voters. This is quite a lot of growth and, as you can see, some areas have grown a lot faster than others.
  18. That article refers to properties on the IOM. Not IOM companies or IOM Bank Accounts. I think that if a property was acquired they would have to use an advocate and the advocate would have to be happy with the source of funds used to buy the properties. It is also possible that the article has left out details so that IOM companies or bank accounts were used. I can confirm that opening bank accounts for companies with non-resident owners does involve a lot of jumping through hoops.
  19. You still have not told us what you think.
  20. 2 big points here need addressing. 1. The economy is based on our tax position (agreed) and will therefore fail in 8 years. What happens in 2029 that spells curtains for the IOM? 2. How does joining the UK help. given that the economy is based on our tax position, becoming part of the UK will have a big and negative effect. We would become like a Hebridean Island, a few hundred crofters and some sheep. I do not deny that that the world is changing and that the advantages of being based in the IOM are under constant challenge and some of those advantages are chipped away at regularly. This does mean new types of business are needed and the Government needs to become more efficient but that was always the case. Perhaps you are BJ?
  21. Ann You throw out links and you make vague references but you consistently do not say what it is you believe or what you are trying to persuade us of. Until you actually make some kind of point no-one can either disagree or agree with you. As yet, all you have done is link us to some non-mainstream commentators and all that tells us is that there are some non-standard thinkers posting stuff on the internet. What is the point?
  22. I think its better that these discussions are out in the open. Also, we/I/you don't want to be accused of shutting down debate. Having said that, Ann still avoids telling us what she thinks and keeps producing links to non-mainstream thinking without telling us what her aim is. That's not really much of a debate, is it?
  23. I don't think this is right. I do agree that a dumb government can ruin the environment so that commercial business cannot function eg Venezuala or Zimbabwe. However, successful economies need wealth creating businesses (for us Financial Services and Gaming and a small contribution from manufacturing) and these need a suitable environment which means transport links, property rights, educated workforce, legal and technological infrastructure, employment law, stable money supply and exchange rate, low crime and so on - these all require a functioning government. Thus, a thriving economy is a partnership between businesses which produce wealth and government which creates the right environment for the businesses to thrive. I am not suggesting that the Isle of Man is perfect, far from it, I can think of many unresolved issues but the fact that the economy has done well for many years must mean that this partnership has been reasonably successful.
  24. If you know we are too impatient to read the article, perhaps you could summarise for us in a sentence or two. Given that the WHO believe that 204m people have caught the bug and 4.4m have died with or from it, is it really tyranny to offer a vaccine against it? Perhaps I don't understand the meaning of tyranny?
  25. You are still not telling us what your message is? The links are very interesting but I can't tell if you are trying to highlight that a small minority of the world believes in some very peculiar ideas or if you believe that we are being fooled and need to think again. If the former, your work is done. If the latter, you need to tell us what you think is happening and why and we can then ponder and consider as we see fit. To just throw out links is wasting everyone's time.
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