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A message from the Chief Minister

In the 2022 Island Plan, this administration set out a bold vision for the next 10-15 years. 5,000 new jobs, a £10bn economy, and a target population of 100,000. Crucially, we set out defined targets for this term of office as well. Namely, by 2026 we will have filled 1,800 new jobs; welcomed 2,500 new residents; 1,000 additional homes occupied; improved health outcomes; delivered a new quality assurance scheme for education; redeveloped at least two key brownfield sites using private sector leverage; found an additional £75m of Government income; and delivered 20MW of onshore renewable electricity. As shown in the Economic Strategy Update laid before Tynwald in January, we are on course to deliver on our headline targets. I make no apologies that the absolute focus of this administration is on creating the economic foundations needed to deliver on our vision and build an Island that is fit for the future. We are however now facing some increased financial pressure that mean that Government must provide more robust financial controls in order to keep moving forward and maintaining momentum.

This updated Island Plan for 2024-25 therefore sets out six clear redefined strategic priorities that this Council of Ministers will prioritise over the coming financial year: We will focus on financial discipline so that public services are delivered within budget – despite facing the combination of inflationary pressures and increasing demand on services. We will continue to prioritise the creation and filling of jobs across the economy, and staying committed to our Economic Strategy. This includes increasing the number of economically active new residents, while also bringing forward measures so that the overall mix of new Isle of Man residents contributes positively to our economy and our society. Further, there is an absolute need to make progress on our renewable energy commitments and indeed the security of our supply for the future, as well as to provide more homes. This Government will also continue to work hard to increase the reliability of both our air and sea connections. These redefined strategic priorities will deliver real, meaningful progress on the overall Island Plan. Work will continue on many other important areas including Health and Education. The Independent Isle of Man Covid Review report was published at the start of January. We take its recommendations seriously and work will continue throughout the year to respond to them, and to the direction agreed in the Tynwald debates scheduled for April and July. We continue to work to deliver on our public sector reform promises and improving culture and productivity.

Combatting financial crime of course remains a high priority for this Island. The second Moneyval inspection is approaching soon, and our dedicated team is working incredibly hard, and liaising closely with industry, to make sure that we are compliant across the key criteria.

In sum, we are laying the foundations to make the Isle of Man a more attractive and prosperous place to live and work, which in turn will sustain and grow productive businesses and services. It is through a continuous and deliberate focus on these strategic outcomes that we will make the Island a secure, vibrant and sustainable place to live