Michael Josem

Earlier this week, the Government was reported as saying that there “isn’t the money available to give Island teachers the pay increase they want“.

If that’s true, then I, as the candidate for Douglas South, have a simple message: “If there’s not enough taxpayer money to pay teachers more, there’s not enough to pay me more.”

If I am elected as the member for Douglas South, then I will refuse to accept any salary uplift in connection with serving as a political member of a department for the rest of the life of this Tynwald. Rather, I will be a strong voice for the people of Douglas South, full-time.

At a time when so many people in our community are stuggling with unemployment, paycuts, business failures and financial distress, I can’t in good conscience accept being paid extra to be a political member of a department. So, I won’t accept any such payments.

Currently, most members of Tynwald take a role as a political member of a department. That role comes with an additional payrise of 30% or 40% for that member. I will not accept that payrise.

In addition to being an excuse to pay most politicians more money, this creates a conflict of interest with most members of parliamentary branch of government also serving as members of the executive branch of government.

The Lord Lisvane report of 2016 criticised this situation:

This lack of evident separation of roles between Parliament and the
Executive means that the Isle of Man may be seen to fall short of the
highest standards of parliamentary governance. This has wider
reputational risks.

Lord Lisvane Report, p.45

Thus, let me be very clear, that for the life of this Tynwald: I will not seek appointment as a political member of a department, I will not accept nomination as a political member of a department, and if appointed against my wishes, then I will refuse to serve as the political member of a department.

Instead, I will serve as the full-time member for Douglas South. I will not be seeking any external employment, and I will not be managing any external businesses. I will be focused entirely on being a strong voice for the people of Douglas South as their dedicated, full-time, Member of the House of Keys.

Here, I discuss this issue with Paul Moulton just after the four-and-a-half-minute mark of this interview:

Is this the right decision? Or have I got this one wrong? Either way, you can let me know by email to michael@michaeljosem.com or Whatsapp to me on 488557 or phoning 488557.