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Five-point policy document sets out Government priorities 11 January 2013

THE ‘Agenda for Change’ policy document due to be debated in Tynwald next week gives the public a clear indication of Government’s priorities and direction of travel over the next four years, says Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK.

The document builds on Mr Bell’s statement to the October sitting of Tynwald and provides statements of intent and strategic aims to guide Government’s work in the five key policy areas - Economy; Environment and Infrastructure; Good Government; Income and Expenditure; Wellbeing and Welfare Reform. It will form the basis for Government’s strategic planning process and all Departments, Statutory Boards and Offices of Government will be expected to ensure that their plans and objectives are aligned with the priorities identified.

Government intends to measure its performance in a transparent and open manner and will launch a new website in early 2013 where progress against its plans can be viewed.

In his foreword to the document the Chief Minister explains that its purpose is

‘to give a clear indication of the Council of Ministers’ direction of travel for the Departments, Boards and Offices of Government and also the people of the Isle of Man. This document forms one part of an overall approach to building a sustainable future for our Island. It represents a set of priorities agreed upon by the Council of Ministers which are necessary of we are to meet the challenge of a much reduced budget for the future.’

The Chief Minister will ask the January sitting of Tynwald to receive the ‘Agenda for Change’ policy document and note the Government’s priorities listed within it.

NOTES

The statements of intent in the ‘Agenda for Change’ policy document are as follows:

Economy

We see further development of our diversified economy as being key to the future of our Island. We will create growth and with it good quality jobs for our people. We will ensure our education system is developing the skills and knowledge needed to support our economy.

Environment and Infrastructure

We must provide an island infrastructure that enables people to live, work and travel and to enjoy a good quality of life. It must also provide the support which new and existing business needs to flourish. We must use our natural resources sustainably and ensure we respond to the global challenges, responsibilities and opportunities which food security, energy security and climate change present.

Good Government

We recognise that Government must change. We will lead the change to a more efficient way of working, using technology to support better delivery of services and reduce bureaucracy. We will work in partnership with, and listen to, the views of staff and our customers.

Income and Expenditure

We recognise that the world has changed immeasurably in the past decades; we must continue to adapt to those changes. We will ensure we continue to be recognised as an internationally responsible, reputable and competitive jurisdiction. In rebalancing and redistributing the Budget, we will control Government expenditure, and apply charges where necessary, in a fair manner.

Wellbeing and Welfare Reform

We see the continuing welfare and wellbeing of our community as fundamental to our quality of life. We must educate and develop our young people to give them the skills they need to be able to contribute fully. We will continue to ensure that those in greatest need are supported and protected. We recognise that the way we currently provide our social welfare is no longer sustainable. We will radically reform our social policies. This will be done in a way that is both affordable and fair. The traditional ‘universal services for all’ model of provision is no longer sustainable and some services will be means tested in the future.

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