Monday 19th October

Morning meeting with Kevin Groom, Isle of Man Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, an interesting insight into the way services have changed over the years. Recent media attention centred on the lack of fires that the Fire Services now attend due to better awareness and building regulations. Victims of their own success…..no….this is what its all about, making our Island a safer place and the clue is in Fire and Rescue Services as much of their work now centres around the latter – think road traffic accidents etc.

We will shortly see a combined centre in the south linking paramedic services with Fire and Rescue and I was also surprised to learn that we only have one full time station in Douglas, the rest are manned by retained firemen.

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Chief Minister

Lunchtime meeting with the Chief Minster Alan Bell. He has been busy over the last few weeks attending party conferences across, building bridges and making contacts. Our talk was wide ranging and there is a lot going on behind the scenes that gives me reason for hope in the future, obviously much is confidential. I guess my future appointment to any departments is now in his hands – watch this space!

National Insurance Benefits Review

New boys myself and Ray Harmer attended a briefing on the National Insurance Benefits Review as existing members have already had a comprehensive brief. Lots of facts and figures to absorb but the graphs tell the story that if we go on as we are with existing retirement ages and predicted life spans our state pension system is unsustainable. The good news is we have time to fix it and at the moment they are trying very hard to make sure that no one loses out as a result of changes which will merge the Manx supplement with the basic pension.

Nothing is set in concrete yet, they are still proposals but the report is well worth a read.

https://www.gov.im/media/1348580/2015-gd-0036.pdf