With several Members of Parliament (MP) visiting from the United Kingdom for the Tynwald Day celebrations over the weekend, I took the opportunity to raise several important issues with Bob Stewart MP, and David Morris MP.
Hosting Tynwald Day visitors should not just be about wearing fancy clothes: we should use these opportunities to fight for the interests of the people of Mann. Thus, I took the Westminster MPs to a fine Douglas East institution, the Manx Legion, and we discussed the following issues:
Protecting our environment and combatting fuel poverty
The people of Mann face three key electricity supply challenges as electricity demand is expected to significantly increase in the long-term: making our electricity greener (currently, the vast majority of Manx electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels), making our electricity more affordable (currently, our community suffers from high levels of fuel poverty) and maintaining high levels of reliability (electricity is not just essential for modern conveniences, but also, literally, modern life).
It was good to discuss the opportunity for improvement on each of those issues, especially in the context of UK carbon emissions per capita being almost half of the carbon emissions per capita in the Isle of Man.
Extension of VAT cut on hospitality
The Government should extend the VAT cut on hospitality. Cutting the VAT on restaurants and hotels was good for the people of the Isle of Man. Manx consumers benefited from a cheaper night out and Manx businesses benefited from lower taxes. As we recover from the many effects of the pandemic, an extension of the VAT cut would likely help the recovery of our community and rebuilding important community institutions.
Honouring and supporting Veterans
Many Manx people served in the British armed forces with distinction, and we discussed the men and women who have served these isles.