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Brian Stowell

Standing in Onchan

Candidate Details

Age: 59
Maritial Status: Married
Place of Birth: Douglas IOM
Childern: Two Boys
Occupation: Company Director


25 King Edward Park,

Contact Details

Tel 625276 or Mob 451357
Email stowell@manx.net
Website http://brianstowell.com/

Political History

I have been a member of the Board of Onchan Commissioners for many years and have served two consecutive terms as Chairman.

I have been President of the Municipal Association and have served on a variety of minor committees and groups.


Candidate Views

What is your view on health care provision on the Island?

It is disturbing to hear about any potential shortcomings in our health care provision. Because by its very nature, you need it most when you are least capable of coping with any problems. We must make health care a top priority and not allow anything to distract us from that. There can be no doubt that funding will be difficult and I stress once again, priorities are the key. With an aging population and new treatments, we have to find the resources to enable us to provide the service. People must feel confident that they are receiving the best possible treatment, otherwise it will have a detrimental effect on their recovery. I believe also that there is much room for improvement in the administration process, in hospitals there is no room for clerical error or oversight.

Does the Island provide a good education?

Education of the population should always be regarded as investment in our economic future. We need a well motivated, well qualified, and dedicated workforce that will attract the businesses to employ them. Home grown professionals will always have an inbred loyalty to their homeland and they will offer a stability factor to any business or service.

Should the Island be independent?

Independence is often spoken about without appreciating the complexity of the issue. There is no doubt that we must do a comprehensive evaluation and keep it updated on an almost daily basis. It would be a radical and possibly irreversible step, but that should not deter us from constantly monitoring the implications.

We must have contingency plans drawn up that are ready to execute in case we are forced down that avenue. But we should publish the difficulties and pitfalls, so that every member of our population has the opportunity to understand all the effects it will have on them and invite them to input their views. In short it is an option!

What are your views on the islands taxation regime and VAT?

The "Common Purse Agreement" has served us well since around 1979, but sadly very few of our politicians seem to have looked at all the details of it. It has been the major provider of the Island’s revenue for more than thirty years and now we are being told that we were over paid. Sadly with 40% of our future income gone, we must reduce our ongoing commitments accordingly. The Charles Dickens character, Mr Micawber springs to mind!

If for so many years we have been over paid by the UK, then why did we spend the cash and not keep ourselves ready for the time when they came back at us? It seems that our leaders expected the UK to over pay us forever!

Is inflation hurting the Isle of Man?

With earnings fixed and prices going up, it is inevitable that we will all be worse off. In particular, the lower income brackets will be very hard hit. They do not have the spare cash for luxuries now, so they will dip below the poverty line very quickly. That is all very clinical talk, but the real truth is, people who are on pensions or fixed incomes will be severely hit and will truly suffer if we do not act swiftly. I wish that I could give comfort and say that inflation is a thing of the past, but it is not, it is a problem for the future. Inflation is a double-edged sword. Whilst it helps over spending, irresponsible and wasteful governments by eroding their debts, it persecutes the already struggling and eats into the hard earned savings of many of our residents. So it stands to reason that we must stop and concentrate all our efforts on reducing the unnecessary waste, the silly bureaucracy and all unnecessary expenditure. We must concentrate on maintaining a reasonable standard of living for everyone.

Should there be state owned monopolies or free market competition (i.e. Water, Post, Gas, Electricity, Telecom's, Ferry Travel etc..)?

Nationalisation has never been a raging success anywhere in the world but then again privatisation is only selling the family silver and leaving us open to exploitation. I believe that the IOM should retain full control of all the utilities it currently owns, but we must adopt a much more business like approach to managing them.

Should we have an open seas policy like the open sky's policy?

For decades the IOMSPC served us well and we should recognise that the problems started with the introduction of a second carrier. The user agreement has caused many of the issues that prevail today, it has become a company asset rather than a restrictive document. I predict that when the base rate of interest starts to climb, it will trigger severe problems in this area and I cannot divulge my preferences now because it is possible that I might have to be part of a negotiation process if I am elected. I would be foolish to show my hand here and damage the process later. In the coming few years this vital link will have to be reviewed and government will have to be heavily involved in that process.

Does the Island do enough to protect its environment?

Protection of the environment is a real issue and we must act responsibly. Valid and worthwhile initiatives should be adopted and every opportunity taken to reduce our carbon footprint.

But we have to be realistic and not jump on any bandwagon for the sake of it. Anything we do must be carefully examined and applied to our unique Island environment. It saddens me that so many people are happy to accept that new big lorries calling at your door is helping anything.

It is a complicated subject and it must be thought through. I have seen far too many initiatives driven forward for political gain, without a care for any true benefit. Unhappily, people are too ready to believe anything they read and do not question the logic behind the proposals. All I ask is Think! Beforehand.

Where do you see the future of the Islands economy (i.e. Finance, Manufacturing, Service, Tourism, Film, Space etc)?

Diversification is always worth investigation, but it must be realised that the world is a very competitive place and we need to keep the share of the business that we have. The Financial services industry is the mainstay of our economy and there is nothing that can even compare with it available to us. We should always try to attract cash to our Island and encourage new and innovative enterprise, but keep in mind where the bulk of our wealth comes from.

Where do you think new jobs can be generated?

New Jobs are going to be increasingly difficult to secure. The world is full of Jurisdictions after our business and we have to be realistic and cut our cloth accordingly. Our regulations and taxes need to reflect our need to retain the business that will employ our people in the future. The licence application, for a truly international casino development has been held up by our Government for years. Costing over twenty million pounds, if approved, it would create new jobs and bring money to the island and cost us nothing.

Should the Chief Minister and MLC's be publicly elected?

I would like to think so but the public have to take this duty seriously and not just vote for candidates because they help in the community. Just imagine the situation if we selected airline pilots or surgeons in the hospital by a public election? Would you want to put your life in the hands of a person whose only qualification or experience was at being good with people.

The Chief Minister has a very important role and we cannot put him in place because "He Deserves A Go". Or because, "His father delivered our milk". Let us start putting people with experience and qualifications into positions of responsibility.


Details will appear here.


Details will appear here.