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Quintin Gill

Standing in Rushen

Candidate Details

Age: 51
Maritial Status: Married, to Joy
Place of Birth: Blackburn, Lancs
Childern: 3, Laura (22), Emma(20) & Alison (18)
Occupation: Formerly Social Worker, full time MHK since 2001


Endfield Avenue
Port St Mary

Contact Details

Tel 832673/489592
Email quintingill@live.com

Political History

I served as a Port St Mary Commissioner before being elected to represent Rushen in 2001. I have worked in many areas of parliamentary activities and in several Government Departments during my decade in Tynwald. I am presently a political member of the Department of Community, Culture & Leisure, I am the Chairman of the IoM Arts Council and am also the Chairman of the MEA. I am Vice Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and Deputy Speaker of the House of Keys.


Candidate Views

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

Generally good, however despite the fortune spent on a Drug & Alcohol Strategy services for patients in these areas, and in Mental Health services are still short of all they should be.

Social Care is also patchy in the quality of services provided, Adult Social Services are generally well run, and in Rushen I am glad that my efforts to get Southlands fully utilised have been successful.

Children's services however,have a troubling reputation and Ifirmly believe an independent professional Ombudsman service is neccessary to get some genuine accountability back into this important area.

Does the Island provide a good education?

Yes. Our primary and secondary education is of a very high quality. We should be especially proud of our record of supporting university students by way of tuition fees. UK students typically graduate with debts of around £30,000; Manx students are supported to such a degree that this is not their experience. Given the rise in UK University tuition fees we need to undertake an informed and honest debate about how we can sustainably manage this important matter in the future.

Should the Island be independent?

In my 2006 manifesto I wrote; Our principal relationship is with the United Kingdom and it is crucial that we maintain this in the most positive manner possible. This remains as true as ever. The next Government must make serious and concerted efforts to promote a better understanding of the Isle of Man generally and especially within Westminster.

Full Independence in my view is a non-starter; we are simply too small to go alone and our efforts should be made towards maintaining and enhancing our working relationship with the UK whilst also working hard to maintain our autonomy. These two views are complementary.

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

The VAT sharing negotiaions which this Government has been conducting for several years amost led to the severence of that agreement. This would have quickly resulted in economically catastrophic consequences with, among other things, customs barriers between the Island and the UK.With significantly diminished VAT receipts over the forthcoming years the next administration will need to live within means which must make a contraction of services a matter of honest and urgent debate. This should have commenced at the outset of each of the VAT sharing negotiations but for whatever reasons the last Government has failed to make serious inroads into this important area.

At a time of 6 - 7% inflation and global financial uncertainty our tax regime needs to remain competitive whilst also meeting the necessary services Government will provide. An overdue and very important policy debate about what it is Government will and will not do in the future must take place as a matter of urgency.

Is inflation hurting the Isle of Man?

Inflation is presently circa 6 - 7%. At a time of no or low wage increases and with many individuals on fixed incomes then of course inflation is affecting individuals in the Isle of Man. Businesses are also feeling the pinch and in certain sectors - such as medical inflation the rate is in double figures. There is no one economic or political mechanism to address such a situation; once again the first an most important matter to resolve is for the next government to decide what kind of governmental model it wants for the future. This may well be an acrimonious debate and painful decisions will almost certainly flow from it, but I believe it is absolutely necessary.

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

I have always firmly believed that utilities such as the MEA and WASA should remain in public ownership. As we move towards a low carbon economy, electricity will play a vital role in our domestic and commercial lives. Water is also, of course, a fundamental commodity for our community.

The Review of Scope & Structure of the Isle of Man Government is an important documentwhich considers the advantages and benefits of a variety of comprehensive changes. I believe that by refusing to even consider this the last government has missed an important opportunity - this debate MUST now take place as a matter of urgency.

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

As a former Chairman of the OFT I cannot follow the purported logic of the last Government to discontinue their investigation into Steam Packet passenger and freight prices. I fully acknowledge and value the service IoMSPCo provide for what is a small community with a small harbour in Douglas; this precludes many, indeed the overwhelming number of ferries which pass by the island utilising our route. The steam packet also provide a level of service which is well above the minimum level laid down in the User Agreement.

All of this suggests to me that we, as a small island with our particular circumstances, are in a position where we should maintain our User Agreement with robust and regular meaningful reflection about the details of such an arrangement.

Does the Island do enough to protect its environment?

The benefit of the IRIS scheme has been to limit the incidence of discharging raw sewerage into the sea. This basic principle must be welcomed, environmental considerations have never been higher in our thinking and this is reflected in legislation and working practices.

One of the blessings we all enjoy is living in an Island which has an abundance of natural beauty; we must all do what is necessary to maintain this.

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

This election takes place against a global backdrop of financial uncertainty and instability. Our main trading parters deal in GB£ or the ill starred and problemeatic Euro. Issues for these economies which we have absoultely no control over may adversely affect our trading opportunities.

Where we have been successful is in identifying niche markets and playing to our strengths and making the most of our flexibility and speed of response. I have personally witnessed this as the political member in the DTI with responsibility for the Ship and Aircraft Registries.

In each case my role as a politician was to facilitate and support the excellent professional practice of our officers and their private sector counterparts. We must re-engage this 'can do' supporting mindset rather than the jobs worth mentality/bureaucracy which has become prevalent is certain parts of the public sector. This is an absolutely pressing matter which the next administation must adress robustly.

Where do you think new jobs can be generated?

Despite all of the understandably worrying issues facing us we whould guard against unwarranted pessimism; our economy is worth over £3Billion annually and it is still growing and diversifying. Our financial foundations, including our international AAA credit rating will need to remain strong to support the next Government's overdue and pressing financial re-modelling programme. All parts of the private sector can benefit from Government support (please see previous question)but this does not just mean expenditure of public money. Government must actively become more responsive to the needs of industry - in short listen and respond better. One simple example is the interpretation of hygiene regulations which in the Isle of Man ban dogs from bars and cafes. In the Lake District, where they have the same legislation, this lucrative market is encouraged and is worth millions to their economy - the next Manx administration needs to change this attitude and make the growth and securtiy needs of our private sector their priority.

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

I believe that it is a duty and responsibility of elected Tynwald members to decide upon the best person for the role of Chief Minister.

The requirement to be elected to become a member of the Legilative Council is a stern one; a candidate must achieve at least 13 out of 24 MHKs votes - this a much stiffer test than most if not all Keys members. If a workable way can be found to bring forward an arrangement which will allow for MLCs to be required to face a popular election then I would welcome it. No-one has managed this so far and the system we have works pretty well in my experience. Ditching this for a system which the mover of one Bill acknowledged as ' not perfect' is bizarre - you wouldn't buy a used car on such a recommendation - so why interfere with our constitution in such a reckless and ill-considered way?


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Details will appear here.