Wednesday, October 18, 2017
You are here: Isle of Man > Isle of Man News
Isle of Man News
General News
Tynwald Sitting 20-22 June 2006 7 July 2006

Question 22 | Question 23 | Question 24 | Question 25 | Question 45

The question number refers to the question order specified in the official Tynwald Question Paper. To read the answers, scroll down this page or select a link to a question from above.

Question NumberSubjectQuestion from
22European Health Insurance CardMr Corkill, MHK
23 Children and Young Persons Act 2001Mr Corkill, MHK
24Intensive Therapy bed Mr Houghton, MHK
25 Pension Provision and Retirement AgesMr Quayle, MHK
45Resources provided at SouthlandsMr Gill, MHK

Click here to go back to Press Office

Click here to go back to Parliamentary Question and Answers

Question 22 - Mr Corkill, MHK

For Oral Answer: The Hon Member for Onchan (Mr Corkill) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

  1. Are you aware that Isle of Man residents intending to take up residence in an EU State are being advised by the United Kingdom DHSS that they are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if they have made 10 years of National Insurance contributions within the United Kingdom during their working life; and
  2. how does your Department reconcile this fact with your previous answers regarding Isle of Man residents being barred from EHIC’s?

Answer

Mr President, May I first of all comment that the scenario set out in Part (1) of the question relates to persons who will be claiming residency in another European Country and therefore will no longer be classified as Manx residents.

In relation to the specific point raised by the Hon Member I would advise that after seeking advice from the UK Department of Health the DHSS understands that there is no direct link between the payment of National Insurance Contributions and qualification of a UK resident for the issue of a European Health Card.

However, there is an indirect link in that should a Manx resident wish to take up residency in an EEA state or Switzerland they may be entitled to “benefits in kind” earned whilst a UK resident from the UK Government.

It is understood that the UK Department of Health may consider granting “benefits in kind” to such a person if they have made sufficient NI contributions whilst a UK resident and have reached the UK state pension age. One of the “benefits in kind” would be the issue of a European Health Card.

Referring to Part (2) of the question, previous answers provided referred to the situation of Manx residents and the Department advised that Manx residents are not eligible to hold a European Health Card.

Question 23 - Mr Corkill, MHK

For Oral Answer: The Hon Member for Onchan (Mr Corkill) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

Will your Department consider promoting an amendment to the Children and Young Persons Act 2001 so that unmarried fathers can elect to attend the registration of their child’s birth and have their name included on the birth certificate, thereby acquiring the right of parental responsibility as defined in the Act bringing Island law into line with UK law?

Answer

Mr President, The UK legislation referred to is the Adoption and Children Act 2002, which from 1st December 2003, made it possible for unmarried fathers to get equal parental responsibility by registering the birth of a child together with the mother.

With regard to Adoption Legislation, the Isle of Man has traditionally followed the example set by the UK in order to maintain reciprocity with neighbouring jurisdictions. Currently, the Social Services Division is undertaking a review of adoption legislation and practice in the Isle of Man in conjunction with the Isle of Man Adoption Society, specifically looking at the implications of new legislation introduced in the UK. This matter will be considered as part of that process and new legislation will be brought forward in due course.

Question 24 - Mr Houghton, MHK

For Oral Answer: The Hon Member for Douglas North (Mr Houghton) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

Why is an intensive therapy bed being used for kidney dialysis purposes?

Mr President, The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Noble’s Hospital is a six bedded unit, funded to an establishment that allows for two ICU beds and 4 Haemodialysis Unit (HDU) beds. Within the unit are two isolation rooms, one designed and equipped to accommodate both paediatric and haemodialysis patients.

This room is being used appropriately for two Island patients requiring haemodialysis who cannot be dialysed on the Haemodialysis unit.

This is an effective use of hospital resources while alternative plans to increase existing resources for Renal Services are considered and realised.

The current haemodialysis unit has 6 dialysis stations, one of which is an isolation room. Shift patterns in operation allow two patients to be dialysed at each station per day (12 patients per day). Most patients dialyse 3 alternate days per week (either Mon/Wed/Fri/ or Tue/Thur/Sat); this results in a maximum patient caseload of 24 patients.

Recent additions to the patient caseload have resulted in this LEVEL caseload being exceeded.

The hospital has responded by commencing dialysis within ICU. They are utilising the isolation room which is designed & designated for use for either Paediatric or Dialysis patients.

They are currently dialysing 2x patients Monday/Wednesday/Friday both morning and afternoon.

The Clinical General Manager for Critical Care agreed this plan of action with Dr. Matthew Biggart, (Clinical Lead, Critical Care), Dr. Charles Murray (Consultant Physician), the Consultant Paediatricians and the lead nurses in ICU & Renal Services. It was also raised, discussed and supported by Noble’s Executive Team.

Question 25 - Mr Quayle, MHK

For Oral Answer: The Hon Member for Middle (Mr Quayle) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

Will you make a statement concerning recent developments in the United Kingdom relating to pension provision and retirement ages for the future, and how this will be considered by your Department, and the impact that this will have on the Isle of Man?

Mr President, I thank the Hon Member for Middle for his question, which gives me the opportunity to make the statement on what is a very important issue.

I believe that when the Honourable Member is referring to the recent changes he is referring to the recent U.K. Pensions Commission report and the subsequent U.K. Government White Paper, which sets out the proposals for a new structure for the U.K. pensions system for the long term.

In December 2002, because of increased concerns that individuals were making inadequate provision for old age, the U.K. Government appointed the Pensions Commission chaired by Lord Turner. Its remit which was set out in the U.K. Green Paper was in summary: to keep under review the regime for U.K. private pensions and long-term savings, and to make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on whether there is a case for moving beyond the current voluntarist approach.

The Commission produced its first report the “Turner Report” in October 2004 and concluded that faced with the demographic changes to the population i.e. the falling birth rate and the doubling in the percentage of the population aged 65 years and over, society and individuals must choose between four options. Either:

  1. pensioners will become poorer relative to the rest of society; or
  2. taxes /National Insurance contributions devoted to pensions must rise; or
  3. savings must rise; or
  4. average retirement ages must rise.

Lord Turner acknowledged that the first option was undoubtedly going to be unacceptable which left the remaining three to be considered. This first report having identified the problem did not offer any solutions which would have to await the second report .

The second Turner Report was finally published on the 30th November 2005 some several months later than anticipated followed by a Summary report in April 2006 from which I quote: We (the Pensions Commission) have now concluded that the current voluntary private funded system, combined with the current state system, is not fit for purpose looking forward…

Turner also re-enforced the conclusions of the first report that the current system of private funded pensions combined with the current state system will deliver increasingly inadequate and unequal results.

The Report has made a number of recommendations as to how the problem of making better provision for old age might be achieved including the payment of higher pensions which can be afforded by the offset of the raising of state retirement age. However these have not been universally accepted by the U.K. Government (because of concerns over the long term affordability) or the pensions industry.

An example of the current disagreements relates to one of the fundamental recommendation by Turner of the establishment of a National Pensions Savings Scheme and auto enrolment therein at national level where an employer does not have an established pension scheme. This proposal is vehemently opposed by the pensions industry which argues that such a system will be costly and inefficient unless the current state pension arrangements are simplified and will cause inherent difficulties unless the problems over means testing are addressed (i.e. basic state pension to be increased to take individuals above the means testing levels).

However, the U.K. Chancellor who is an ardent supporter of means testing remains opposed to any immediate major increase to basic state pension because of concerns over affordability in the long term.

As I said earlier there is therefore no current consensus on the way forward.

I’d like to now turn to the U.K. White Paper.

The White paper is a comprehensive document and contains a number of measures.

However the key recommendations include:

(a) New system of pension saving called a “personal account” within the National Pensions Saving Scheme
 - Introduced from 2012,
 - Automatic enrolment into the scheme, for employees who are not members of an occupational pension scheme with the option to opt out,
 - Employers to contribute 3% (of earnings between £5,000 and £33,000) and employees to contribute 4% and 1% contributed by the Government, by way of tax relief
 - Employers contributions will be phased in over 3 years.
(b)Reform state pensions
  - Annual revaluation of basic state pensions in line with average earnings rather than inflation by 2012 (depending on economic conditions)
 – a further statement will be made on this at the beginning of the next Parliament (assuming Labour win the next election!),
 - Second state pension
  – will become a simple flat rate weekly top up to the basic state pension increased to £135 per week (£20 above current levels),
  - From 2010 the number of years women have to work to qualify for a state pension will be reduced from 39 to 30 years, so that by 2010 70% of women will be eligible for a full state pension, rather than the 30% who currently qualify
(c)State pension age
  – to be increased in line with life expectation
 - 66 in 2024,
 - 67 in 2034
  - 68 in 2044.
(d) Simplification
  - Abolish contracting out for defined contribution schemes, as the earnings link to revaluation of state pension is restored.

The current difficulties faced in the U.K. are not unique and are in fact faced by most of the western world. On the island we undoubtedly face similar demographic changes and officers of the Department have been and will continue to monitor the proposals. However, I must emphasise the situation is currently somewhat of a “moving feast” and will undoubtedly change and develop over the forthcoming years

As Honourable Members are aware there is a reciprocal agreement on Social Security between the Isle of Man and the UK and ordinarily such changes would, subject to Tynwald approval, be embraced on the Island. The Department is and will continue to monitor the progress of the proposals in the U.K. and consider the potential impact for the Island and in doing so will ensure that the proposals when finalised will be factored into the calculations of the Government Actuary as part of his regular review of the Manx National Insurance Account commonly referred to as the “N.I. Fund” to ensure such changes are and continue to be affordable and sustainable to the Island.

Question 45 - Mr Gill, MHK

For Written Answer: The Hon Member for Rushen (Mr Gill) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

Further to your very welcome notice of the provision of much needed additional beds at Southlands will you please advise what specific resources are to be provided and when?

Answer

The Department is using the additional funding that has been made available to provide an additional three respite beds in the Bradda unit at Southlands. They will be made available as soon as is possible and at the latest by the end of September.

These beds will allow for much needed additional care that will meet the diverse needs of older people and their carers. For example, daytime or evening and weekend care to support carers, as well as some planned care to allow carers to take a break.

This will also allow us to bring the Bradda unit into operation for the first time to provide care for older people.

More stories >>>  


Other Guides by Maxima Systems Ltd: Disney World