19th Jan 2016
The first Tynwald Court sitting of 2016 which we managed to finish in one day. There were a number of interesting questions, the Chief Minister was able to confirm that we are in the 31st year of constant economic growth with a 4 1/2 % increase in GDP for the last year – not all bad news.
Another question centred on the VAT sharing agreement and what account was being taken of the increased growth of online purchasing and its effect on the VAT agreement. We are assured that there are ongoing negotiations.
Our lack of EU membership means that  we do not benefit from the cap on roaming fees for mobile phones and that any agreements have to be negotiated on a separate basis by Manx Telecom with the relevant countries and this is not likely to change in the near future.
Many of the items on the Order Paper were amendments to existing legislation although item 16 ‘Review of Committees and Quasi Autonomous Entities’ resulted in a vote for a complete review before the end of the current Parliament. Apparently at the last count there were over 108 different committees and bodies, some rationalisation is required.