Last week, the Isle of Man Government paid for Gef the Mongoose to publish an article answering the question, “What is the multiplier effect“? in economics. The article includes quotes from the ironically-named Head of Economic Affairs for the Economic Affairs Division, Adam Smith. This article was correctly disclosed by Gef as paid content in a disclaimer at the bottom saying, “This article is sponsored by the Isle of Man Government.”

To begin with, it is weird for the Government to portray on Twitter that Gef “asked the Head of Economic Affairs for insight on the multiplier effect” – when the truth of the matter is that the article was sponsored by the Government. Why would a Government pretend that they were asked questions, when the Government actually sponsored the article?

Gef appears to have done the right thing here, while the IOM Government has sought to create a different public perception.

In the article, Gef is shown to ask, “Does £1 spend (sic) on the Isle of Man equal £1.83 in the Manx economy?”. Mr Smith answers falsely, saying “That £1.83 was a very specific figure that the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) calculated relating to local food production and is not the multiplier for any other sector or the economy as a whole.”

This claim by Mr Smith is not true. Carl Hawker, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Department for Enterprise, has said, “There are a number of different calculations of the multiplier effect of spending in the local economy. The food matters strategy, linked below quoted a value of £1.83 on Page 3 of the report, based on research done by the New Economics Foundation in 2008.”

This research by the New Economics Foundation related to the overall multiplier that they claimed applied to a series of councils in North-East England.

Thus, Mr Smith’s fake news is wrong in these ways:

  1. This £1.83 figure was not “a very specific figure that the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) calculated.” It was calculated by an English think-tank.
  2. This £1.83 figure was not calculated for food production.
  3. This £1.83 figure was not even calculated for the Isle of Man, but rather, it was created for North-East England*.
Fake news being funded by the Isle of Man taxpayer

Meanwhile, the Isle of Man Government claims it doesn’t have enough money to pay teachers

Let me leave this here.

*The New Economics Foundation appear to have removed the report finding the £1.83 multiplier from their website. If anyone can share a link to the actual document, then feel free to share it with me.

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