I am 38 years old and own a demolition and civil engineering company currently employing twelve full time staff. Although born and educated on the Island, I spent several years working in Australia and now hold dual nationality. I am married with four children.
WHAT I HAVE TO OFFER
I am from a long-established Manx family and care deeply about the future of the Isle of Man. With a proven track record of getting things done in the private sector, I offer a “hands on, can do” approach to politics. I am enthusiastic, committed and hard-working. As a common-sense working person who is in contact with a wide variety of people, I pride myself in being in touch with the needs and aspirations of the community. I offer a fresh style of politics.
My principal concerns for the next five years are:
At present the Island is enjoying great prosperity which, on the
face of it, is benefiting everyone Pensions have increased this year
by Over 20% and generous personal allowances mean a Working married
couple can now earn £300 per week without paying Income lax. There
are eight times as many job vacancies as there are unemployed and
the strength and diversity of the economy is allowing our Young people
to find jobs on the Island without having to move away. We must be
continually looking at ways to maintain Our competitiveness vis-a-vis
other offshore jurisdictions For example Consideration should be
given to reducing the lower rate of company tax from 12% to 10%.
The Island needs to maintain its reputation for financial propriety
and continue to raise its profile throughout the World. We need to
have vision and a global marketing Strategy. As an employer I believe
the minimum wage should be raised immediately to £5 per hour.
I am totally opposed to the construction of a mass burn incinerator. : : £43 million has been allocated by Tynwald to build the facility at Middle Farm in Braddan. Mr. Gilbey is the minister in charge of progressing the scheme. . .
(a) HEALTH My principal concern is that I believe incineration poses a serious threat to our national health. A report published last year by 40 experts from the Environmental Protection Agency in the U S A showed strong evidence that although most dioxins and furans are filtered out by the activated carbon filters in the chimney stacks of incinerators, some are released into the atmosphere. Independent research commissioned by the Friends of the Earth showed that dioxins attack the immune system, accumulate in body fat and can also reduce fertility.
One conclusion is clear Dioxins cause Cancer.
In addition to dioxins; very fine particulates of heavy metals are also released from incinerators. Work done by Profess&Howard of Liverpool University shows that these particles are then absorbed in the lungs and stay permanently in the bronchi, the particulates also settle on the grass of the fields surrounding incinerators and are then ingested by grazing livestock. As a result traces of lead and mercury can be found in meat and milk. A breast-feeding mother will then inadvertently pass these contaminates on to her baby .
France, Spain and the Netherlands have banned any further building of incinerators. These countries are acting on the Precautionary Principle” i a on the principle that if you are not 100% sure you shouldn't do it I believe we should do likewise.
Kewaigue Primary School is less than half-a-mile away from the proposed site of the incinerator the Douglas/Onchan conurbation where over half the Island’s population reside, is about one mile away. I am gravely concerned about the addition of carcinogenic toxins from an incinerator to the cocktail of vehicle emissions and smog already periodically experienced in the Pulrose basin.
b) COST: Fact — recycling is cheaper per tonne than incineration. ...I believe we need an integrated system of reduced packaging streaming of refuse from homes maximum recycling in a safe landfill. Recycling is an opportunity for government and citizens to work together for a better environment. I personally do all I can at present to pursue recycling
(c) APPEARANCE: Because the incinerator Will burn wet garden and household waste there will be a visible plume from the chimney stack. Is such a conspicuous emission over’ our capital the right image for a tourist industry which promotes the beauty of the Island? . .I hope you agree with me that the mass burn incinerator must not be built Although Mr. Gilbey has signed a contract with the private contractor, and there are penalty clauses should the project not proceed, it is still not too late to stop the scheme. A change of mind is a small price to pay for the well-being of our community If elected, I will be seeking a fresh vote on mass burn incineration in the new House of Keys.
As a person who has constructed a number of properties, I have personal insight Into the Islands current housing problem.
The average house price last year was £120,000 the average weekly earnings of all workers £335. However, many workers’ earn less than this average wage. For these members of our society it is almost impossible to buy a home. Like any other product the price of housing is determined by the forces of supply and demand House prices are governed by the price of land the cost of materials and the profit margin of the builder At present because building land is in short supply the cost of plots is high The cheapest building plot is around the £60 000 mark.
The government's answer Is to offer cheap mortgages. I believe this to be tackling the problem from the wrong end
My proposal: .THE FIRST HOME scheme. .Instead of offering cheap money to buy overpriced houses, more land needs to be re-zoned for housing then affordable plots offered to first-time buyers.
Under my FIRST HOME scheme, government would buy land currently not zoned for residential use then tender with private contractors to install main services. Plots could then be sold off on a needs basis within each parish or town district for, say, £25,000. Home owners could then negotiate with the builder of their choice for a design that is appropriate to their present needs and budget. Aside for making homes affordable, the other benefits of this FIRST HOME scheme would be:
(a) greater choice of: styles (not limited to several standard “types”);
Agricultural land is currently selling at £2,000 per acre, land
zoned for residential use at anything from £150 000 per acre But
whereas labour and material costs have risen broadly in line with
inflation developer led property prices have rocketed. The average
house price in 1994 was£61 000 so in six years house prices have
doubled! I believe government could negotiate with landowners for
the purchase of un-zoned land for use under this new scheme, This
would allow plots to be sold at the discounted price. At present
there is £13 million in the Land Acquisition reserve Fund. A government
that cares for its people should have the political will to take
The Islands most important natural resource is its outstanding beauty and relatively clean air. We need to protect and cherish this. The M.E.A.’s £10 million investment in wind energy, and the I.R.l.S. sewage scheme are to be welcomed. However, I have two concerns:
(a) Beaches. Our wonderful beaches are often spoiled by litter and debris. Local authorities have the power to clean beaches but lack the resources. All that is required is a team of two workers, with a tractor and trailer. Such a unit should be able to cover all accessible shores once a fortnight, transferring any litter gathered into strategically placed skips. For less than £100,000 we could have beaches we would be proud of.
(b) Sustainability. Substantially greater use should be made of
renewable resources in buildings. The Planning Application form should
have a section enquiring whether the applicant intends to make use
of solar energy. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on energy efficient
design and we must encourage the
Farmers are our guardians of the countryside and play an important role in society. However, there are long-term structural problems in the industry. One of the aims of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (G.A.T.T.) is the global harmonisation of state subsidies to agriculture by 2010. This will entail the gradual reduction of government financial support. The idea is to create a “level playing field” in the world market for agricultural products.
Farmers will have to be competitive and market conscious in order to survive. Whilst supporting this move away from guaranteed prices and direct state support, I believe we should assist and encourage our farmers to diversify. Land can be used for many recreational purposes, derelict outbuildings converted into holiday homes and farmers co-operatives established selling goods direct to the consumer. Financial assistance should be gradually redirected towards maintenance of the countryside.
Public Services and Administration
I realise that some of my proposals will involve extra expenditure.
The project management of the new hospital is a prime example of wasting taxpayers money. We should have had a fixed price for the whole job, a “turn-key" package. As it is we are saddled with an open-ended contract involving ongoing tendering which will ultimately cost the taxpayer much more than the fixed price arrangement.
I believe government should spend taxpayers money like a prudent person would spend his or her own money. Is the expenditure necessary? Can it be justified? Can it be done cheaper? These are questions an individual or private company always ask.
I am in favour, over a gradual period of time, of the increased
use of private contractors. Road building and repair, school maintenance
and the upkeep of national glens are just some of the areas where
substantial savings could be made; savings that can then be spent
on other public services.
Net expenditure on the Legislature last year was £2.6 million. The U.K. has a parliament of 659 MR’s for a population of 55 million. Tynwald has 33 members for a population of 75,CIJO. I believe we are over-governed and that the Legislature should be slimmed down. I support the abolition of the Legislative Council. Further I am in favour of reducing the number of M.H.K.’s from 24 to 16.
I believe the time has come to have a means of controlling immigration.
We need a fair and objective mechanism, perhaps similar to the “points
system” used in Australia. Such a credible regulatory procedure will
help economic management and allow for controlled growth of the population.
Do you agree with me that the detailed practical policies I have outlined are necessary and important”
Do you wish to be represented by a younger person from a different generation
Do you want a fresh, dynamic approach to politics
I make only one promise: You can trust me to do my very best
There are many topics which I have not discussed in this manifesto. You can contact me about any issues that concern you or about the subjects I have raised by telephoning 844422. I am here to help and you will find me approachable, open minded and willing to listen. If you share my passion for positive change please vote for Alan Kermode on 22nd November.
Published by Alan Kermode
Printed via the IOM Elections Website. www.iomelections.com
REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1995