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Raymond Harmer

Standing in Peel

Candidate Details

Age: 43
Maritial Status: Married
Place of Birth: Norfolk, England
Childern: One son Nathan who is ten
Occupation: Business Analyst


6 Oak Road

Contact Details

Tel 07624 215577
Email yourviews@rayharmer.im
Website http://rayharmer.im/

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Political History

Following my election as a Commissioner, I have been chairman of Peel Commissioners from May 2010 to May 2011 and am currently lead member for Finance as well as being on the committees for Regeneration and Peel Heritage Trust.

I have always had a keen interest in economics, politics and world affairs. I also studied economics as part of my final year at Cambridge and completed an MBA in Business.


Candidate Views

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

It is vital to be more proactive in health care and support needs to be maintained for the most vulnerable.

There can be better spending on drugs by creating an approved drugs list with the medical profession. Then economies of scale can be achieved in purchasing.

The cost of long term care for the elderly is far too high. We need to ensure private firms charge fairly and are well managed. We should encourage more patient and carer support groups.

Does the Island provide a good education?

Yes in many areas the education provided is good. In other areas such as nursery places there are problems.

We need to ensure Education is continued to be made a high priority. This starts from an early age when the government needs to support pre-school by assisting with paid nursery places for all. This support should continue throughout school life including the continuation of paid tuition fees for all degree courses; financial support is also important for young people with learning difficulties, who want to do specialist further education courses. Short term budget cuts affecting teaching staff and teaching assistants need to be resisted.

It is important to partner with business to expand further education and provide vocational training which will maintain a range of industries.

Should the Island be independent?


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

VAT Agreement -- We have been far too passive and obliging. The government needs to be much more vocal in its opposition to any change in the VAT, and we need to take the fight to the UK rather than wait for the next raid.

We need to create a dedicated team to tackle this issue. We should base our negotiation on the VAT the Isle of Man generates and the service the Isle of Man gives to London’s financial sector.

Negotiation is based on relationship and our government needs to have better relationships with the corresponding ministers in the UK government.

Means testing has many pitfalls, such as high administration costs, tends to hit the middle incomes the most, and can create poverty traps.

However, if removing benefits for very high earners can help the Island’s finances, it should be considered. The tax cap for the very wealthy should be removed.

Is inflation hurting the Isle of Man?

Inflation hurts pensioners, low wage earners and the vulnerable the most. We need to endeavour to reduce inflation where we can. For example this can be achieved by promoting competition, and reviewing current commercial practices where the customer is deprived of choice.

On housing we need to tackle high rents in the private sector through an increased supply of rented property. To further increase housing supply, the government should purchase land and encourage small builders through grant schemes.

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

We should not replace state owned monopolies with privately owned monopolies.

However, where private enterprise can flourish and completion exists we should support these sectors such as Telecoms or privatise commercially failing areas such as the MEA shops.

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

Yes - We need to encourage competition on Ferry Travel.

Does the Island do enough to protect its environment?

We can do more to protect the environment.

We need to encourage better use of energy, providing incentives to reduce consumption. We should allow households to supply the national grid with their solar energy for example, and then allow them to be paid based on the amount produced, rather than as a one-off fixed payment.

We should provide incentives to reduce waste by offering water metres for householders to reduce bills.

We should encourage recycling and reuse, for example encouraging shops to charge a levy for plastic bags.

Longer term we need to keep a watchful eye on renewable energy such as wave technology as to whether this could become a viable alternative for the Isle of Man and help to secure our energy supply.

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

The finance industry has served the Isle of Man very well over the last 30 to 40 years. However there are threats to it, such as an attack on the 0/10 tax arrangements, which means we need to diversify into areas that do not rely solely on the zero tax rate, such as through the service industries and skilled, niche manufacturing.

One example is to support the IT service sector, by investing further in the IT infrastructure.

We need to provide grants and tax breaks for entrepreneurs wishing to set-up niche businesses. We could provide sponsorships for those employed in these areas to become skilled.

We need to partner with business to expand our further education to provide vocational training to support these industries.

Within the finance industry we need to develop mitigating strategies with the industry against the possible abolition of the 0/10 tax arrangements.

Where do you think new jobs can be generated?

New jobs need to be generated from a number of sectors, such as service industries, high end tourism and manufacturing.

We need to provide grants and tax breaks for those wishing to set-up niche businesses. We could offer sponsorships for those employed in these areas to become skilled.

We need to partner with business to expand our further education to provide vocational training to support these industries.

Within the finance industry we need to develop mitigating strategies with the industry against the possible abolition of the 0/10 tax arrangements.

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

No. The Chief Minister needs the support of the majority in Tynwald.

The role of an MLC is different to that of a politician and therefore need to be selected specifically for that role.

More importantly regarding democracy, the key issue is that trust needs to be restored through a fair voting system.

A vote in Glenfaba should not count twice as much as a vote in Middle. There should not be disparities where some of the electorate, such as in Onchan, have three votes, whereas others have one vote. The present system is clearly wrong.

We need to create equal sized single seat constituencies based on population, where each MHK is directly answerable to his electorate.


Details will appear here.


Informal chats in the Corrin Hall in Peel