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code99

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  1. Thanks Gladys. I guess the new Duke of Westminster (and his accountants) can avail loopholes... https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/aug/11/inheritance-tax-why-the-new-duke-of-westminster-will-not-pay-billions
  2. Thank you for clarifying. I thought if a non-UK property was purchased by a UK resident via a non-UK company which is held in an offshore/non-UK domiciled trust, then the actual asset i.e. non-UK property is not subject to IHT...sorry my fault.
  3. In the IOM a large contingent of residential property investors are buyers from the UK, who are buying up IOM properties for various reasons e.g. hoping that by investing here their UK kids will inherit their assets free of UK Inheritance Tax (IT). I reckon that even a Tory Chancellor/ HMRC will eventually twig as to what is going on and will make some adjustments. As with the proposed universal 15% corporation tax, they could simply legislate that if a UK resident inherits an asset in a place with zero IT, then this transaction will be assessed as if the asset was located in the UK, hence UK tax rate(s) would apply. I realise that this idea might sound a bit far-fetched, but never say never because the ‘Covid bill’ has to be paid for somehow. Should this change occur, then the UK investors’ demand for the IOM properties would plummet, our house prices would fall and the local people would be able to purchase their own homes without mortgaging their guts and soul for eternity. Of course, the next IOM administration could always go down the route of the CIs, Australia, New Zealand and ‘significant others’ where foreigner property byers are either severely restricted or prohibited outright from investing in local residential property markets. This initiative would also have a price-supressing impact, and would therefore make IOM residential properties more affordable. Clearly, if the IOM population grows, then this measure alone will not be adequate to solve the housing affordability problem, and more social houses will have to be built. One of the options is to re-develop 'brown sites' or dilapidated buildings, even by a way of ‘compulsorily acquisition’ by the IOMG, and/or penalising property owners who refuse to cooperate. Needless to say, taxpayers’ money would be required to make this idea work. My concern is that if history repeats itself, then the next administration could be just as easily capable of squandering taxpayers’ cash as the present administration. Where are we, as a community, then?
  4. code99

    Manx Care

    Indeed. But then again, the Australians appear not to have Googled Katie Hopkins either.
  5. Sure, there is some farm land here which is very boggy and would not be suitable for growing crops. But, the Island has a lot of different landscapes and different types of soils. I imagine that the vast majority of this would be suitable for growing some kind of crops. This is not something that I am greatly familiar with, but it seems to me that as consumer habits are clearly changing, it might be something the IOMG could look at more seriously.
  6. Regardless of where one stands on Brexit (dreading or rejoicing), everybody knows that there will be influx of cheep-ish meat products from those Antipodeans who can grow their livestock on vast farms. How this will affect British farmers, including the IOM’s, remains to be seen. Another aspect to consider before committing taxpayers’ money, besides costs, is the longer-term outlook for meat consumption. There is a whole raft of reasons behind the reduction in meat consumption. Should our meat plant be more plant and less meat? The reality is that even many diehard carnivores have altered their dietary habits, mainly for health reasons. Obviously not everyone is going to become vegans/ vegetarians overnight, but the trend is quite clear, especially among people under 30 - their life style choices will determine the future of farming. As part of our ‘green sustainability’ ambition, would it be worth/cost effective to move away from animal farming and instead invest in organic crop production? Alternatively, my understanding is that the IOM has a blanket ban on GM crops. Given the enormous technological advances that have been made in this sector over the recent years, is this ban still justified in all cases? Needless to say, food independence is an invaluable strategic asset for any country, and this is particularly true during turbulent times. My conclusion is that in order to avoid turning this meat plant saga into a mini-sequel to MEA/MUA farce it seems to me that all relevant proposals should be evaluated in the context of a bigger picture; i.e., an overarching agricultural policy.
  7. Thank you for your explanation. I have indeed missed your previous post on this subject, sorry. I certainly understand that very vulnerable people can be negatively impacted by even small changes from their usual environment. This is one of the reasons why I believe that climate change/global warming is a real threat to human existence, and that it is already hitting weakest and vulnerable people. My issue is that both articles (MR and IOM Today) have stated that there is a rise in people attending A&E without giving an explanation as to why this is occurring. If the warmer weather is the main reason, then presumably the even hotter weather will increase the number of people presenting at A&E, only to be subsequently hospitalised. It is all very well for Manx Care to put something out on Tweeter, but these articles should have made specific reference to people experiencing health issues because the recent warmer weather, hence alerting the general public to take precautions. Just to say that more people are attending A&E and not saying why is a bit irresponsible on the part of our media organisations, IMHO.
  8. I am still perturbed by the turn of phrase from the article: “a rise in people attending the Emergency Department who were then admitted for further treatment”. Somebody on MF mentioned that a possible reason behind the increased attendance at A&E could be due to a recent ‘heat wave’. I agree that the last couple of days have been uncomfortably hot, and that, because of global warming this is IOM’s warmest July ever, but I am not sure that 25C meets the definition of the ‘heat wave’, even though I strongly beleive that humans are heating the planet. I have no doubt that the pressure for ‘reuniting families’ was a factor in the IOMG decision to allow ‘2 plus 2’ visitors to come to the Island without any restrictions, as was the political pressure for the IOM to be ‘free’ on Tynwald day. My view however, is that the IOMG have decided to transfer the responsibility for ‘Covid-management’ from the government to individual residents so that IOMG could reduce the amount of financial support they were giving to struggling tourism and hospitality sectors. The Council of Ministers have become the new sole custodians of Covid policies. The net result thus far has been an incredible rise in daily cases (over 650 in the last 3 days alone) and quite a lot of anxiety throughout the entire community. I bet the ‘wise men of Tynwald’ did not see this coming (but the EAG did) i.e., the 111-line being overwhelmed, the government’s Covid dashboard data misleading, etc. All of these abject failures are happening whilst the Chief Minister is indulging in a bout of self-pity as he still ruminating about what he perceives to be his ‘unfair treatment’ by MR. Our leaders seem unable to handle the truth, but this must not scare off the media outlets from reporting it, or is it too much to hope for? ETA. Technically speaking, temperatures between 24C and 29C are classified as 'warm', above 29C they use the term 'hot'. A heat wave would not be declared until temperatures reach 31C, like what has been happening in the UK. Hence, I doubt that IOM A&E admissions are due to hot weather.
  9. code99

    Manx Care

    “Manx Care has confirmed a number of elective orthopaedic procedures have been shelved due to a lack of beds. It's blamed it on a rise in people attending the Emergency Department who were then admitted for further treatment. We're working with all of the patients affected by this to reschedule their surgery as soon as this can be done." Who knew when Neil Kinnock made that speech “I warn you not to fall ill…” all these years ago he was right not only about the UK then, but that he was also prophesising about the IOM health system in 2021? I hazard a guess that these latest cancellations/postponements cannot be solely attributed to Covid. Or maybe they are? Because if this situation is an indirect consequence of Covid, then surely a question must be asked, ‘Is IOMG Covid mitigation strategy working?’
  10. My personal preference for our ‘El Presidente’ would be Frankie Boyle, also a Scotsman like the current one, but much funnier. For a country with a population of 85,000 people we seem to be absurdly over-governed; i.e., the Lieutenant Governor, the President, the Speaker, the Chief Minister, and yet somehow there is a general feeling that we have a democratic void. Perhaps we should have fewer ceremonial roles and more hands-on peoples’ electives that are in real terms accountable to people of this country, and who achieve something other than perpetually ‘learning lessons?’
  11. code99

    Manx Care

    To Gladys and Apple: I agree with both of you. What this place needs is a ‘code of best practice’ to replace the current complaints procedures, which are not fit for purpose, IMHO. The current process risks legitimate complaints being whitewashed. The prevailing ethos seems to be to defend the system no matter what, and try to make out that whatever happened was never due to negligence. When they do grudgingly admit that there was something wrong then there seem to be only two possible types of interpretation: a) it was somehow patient’s fault, or b) minor mistakes were made and lessons have been learnt. On this Island, one gets the impression that some medical practitioners view treating NHS patients as doing them favours, as opposed to doing their (well-paid) jobs. It goes without saying that the attitudes quickly improve if you are a private patient. Whoever is going to be the next Health Minister must address this stark inequality in delivery of health service, and also the deficiency in accountability among the medical staff of all ranks.
  12. The problem is that when the nation’s leadership is prone to be both cowardly and hypocritical, it is sometimes difficult to judge whether they are being inept or just too ‘occassionally’ erring. Not only they appear to be incapable of making the right decisions, what is even more galling is that their personal insecurities/egos seem to be preventing them from taking advice from those who are capable and competent. The ‘Dr Glover fiasco’ seems to be a blueprint for how this beleaguered government deals with tough issues (they appointed EAG and evidently took no notice of their opinions). They opened up the borders and then they hide themselves behind Zoom, whilst the rest of us are meant to be living with (lower) risks associated with Covid…, but it does not seem to be low enough for them personally. That said, I suspect ultimately it is our collective responsibility as voters for electing the wrong politicians. Hope we, the GMP, will do a better job next time.
  13. You mean 'Chris Thomas MHK'?
  14. In the aftermath of the WW2 one of the key doctrines of governing, in the western world at least, was the protection of all citizens. In the UK, successive Labour governments, especially Attlee’s, saw part of their role as making life better for ordinary people. This policy was in many ways, the birth of the so called ‘nanny state’. The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a proverbial spanner into this principle. The question now is - How and where do you draw the line between the governments’ responsibility to protect its citizens and individuals’ personal responsibility to look after themselves? What chagrins me about the IOMG is that they abruptly changed from protecting their citizens from Covid to prioritising government’s finances. The new mantra seems to be that the government only has so much money and therefore people (citizens) can’t expect the IOMG pay for everything. Presumably a loss of circa £200m in the 20/21 FY has scared them a bit. It is a pity that they do not apply the same prudence to the salaries and pensions of CSs (and MHKs), or wasteful projects committed to by the incompetent DOI. Note about Covid: Just because most kids with Covid do not display severe symptoms it is still highly likely that some will incur some kind of damage to their organs and others will experience Long Covid. This statement is not scaremongering, it is a statement of the actual science. Personally, I would rather my taxes contributed towards compensating individuals and businesses that suffer financial hardships due to Covid, than to see young people contracting the virus and potentially enduring months of debilitating Long Covid. In the meantime, “England’s Covid unlocking is threat to world”, say 1,200 scientists. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/16/englands-covid-unlocking-a-threat-to-the-world-experts-say
  15. Thanks for clarifying that. If it is actually true that some of them did not know that their names would 'go down for posterity' on the Prom, then how poorly managed is the DBC? Surely this 'oversight' indicates that the leadership of the Douglas Council is keeping their fellow councillors in the dark regarding pretty important decisions? It seems that the place could be even more dysfunctional than some members of the public had feared.
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