Positive Action Group - Possan Jantys Jarrooagh

Open, accountable government, rigorous control of public finances, and a fairer society for all.

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PAG public meeting: Towards Smaller, Smarter Government

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PAG Public Meeting

'Towards Smaller, Smarter Government'

A talk by

Chris Robertshaw MHK

7.30pm Monday 28th September 2015

Manx Legion Club. Market Hill, Douglas



Last Updated on Thursday, 17 September 2015 13:13

Public Sector Pensions (Part Two) - The Way Forward

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The History –The Government Unified Scheme (GUS) was introduced in 2012, following lengthy negotiation with staff.  It simplified the administration of some 15 different public sector pension schemes and increased some employee contributions, but made no substantial difference to their affordability or sustainability, nor indeed their fairness to taxpayers and the private sector. It followed tortuous negotiations with the unions and their members (and at a cost of well over £1 million, paid to the consultants Hymans Robertson). Shortly afterwards, it was proclaimed by government spin as a major success story, quite forgetting both the financial implications and that it constituted a desperately sad situation of "pensions apartheid" - dividing the public sector (where 90% of workers have a salary linked pension heavily subsidised by the taxpayer) against the private sector where less than 50% now apparently have any form of pension scheme applicable at all.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2015 22:16

Public Sector Pensions– A Review (Part One)

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pensionsThe Problems - Put in its simplest form, the problems with public sector pension schemes are two-fold – their funding arrangements and increasing life expectancy.

  1. The schemes, with defined benefits relating essentially to salary and years of service, have origins dating back to the 1920’s and 1930’s – when life expectancy of approx 60 years was considerably shorter than today’s expectation of perhaps 85 years, and thus pensions – if paid at all - were paid for relatively short periods following retirement. 

  2. As a result, staff pension contributions of typically 5% of pay, and matched by the employer, were historically sufficient to fund the liabilities of these schemes. However, because life expectancy has increased so significantly and so rapidly in the past 2-3 decades (with resultant increases in long-term pension payouts) but with funding arrangements (via employee and employer contributions) having remained unchanged, these schemes are today proving to be too generous, and requiring massive additional “top-ups” from the taxpayer.  They are thus unsustainable.

Last Updated on Friday, 04 September 2015 15:39

Single Legal Entity Consultation Response

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iomgovt'The real reason the 'Single Legal Entity' is being promoted locally is because senior civil servants in the Isle of Man sense an opportunity to grab more power from the politicians. The reason it is being promoted from Scotland is because of vested interests waiting in the wings to market, in the Isle of Man, lucrative performance management programmes created in America.'


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Download this file (Single Legal Entity consultation response.pdf)Single Legal entity Consultation response271 Kb749

Election of Legislative Council

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legco indoorThere has been much controversy but little resolution as to how the upper chamber of Tynwald should be elected. However, one clear objective is apparent in that it must be publicly elected in the future – the electoral college route being deemed as anachronistic.

Keys members are jealous of their primary legislative role and are reluctant to sanction any election procedure which lessons their primacy. Council members on the whole do not want constituencies as they feel that they might then become bogged down by local problems.

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 July 2015 16:08

Legislative Council Elections 2015

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If at first you don't succeed........

Try again...

Freedom of Information Act 2015 receives Royal Assent

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That was the announcement given at the start of June Tynwald but no celebrations yet, as before the public can make use of it, an Appointed Day Order is required. So watch out for that!

Also remember to start with FOI requests can only be submitted to DEFA and The Cabinet Office.

In the meantime to find out information from the rest of government we must resort to the 1996 Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

That's what one PAG member has recently done to the Department of Infrastructure - here it is:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 21:01

PAG 2015 Tynwald Byelection Questionnaire

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Every-Vote-CountsOver the last week Positive Action Group sent out a questionnaire to all candidates standing in the Douglas North and Douglas South byelections.

The intention was to survey candidates views in a manner that allows voters to easily compare against their own opinions - as good as Manifestos sometimes are, they are rather difficult to compare side by side.

To make the questionnaries as simple to complete as possible they feature a series of straightforward statements against for which the candidates may select one of six preset responses:

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Don't Know

Click here for the report on Douglas South candidates

Click here for the report on Douglas North candidates


Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 May 2015 18:03
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