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Redefined Strategic Priorities

In 2024-25 the Council of Ministers is redefining strategic priorities for this year to bring to the fore agreed national priorities that reflect not only our ambitions but also recognise the financial pressures being applied to public finances. We remain committed to delivering and improving public service delivery particularly in Health and Education, but we must also be clear on the national priorities that will enable us to continue to deliver high quality services and support to our communities this year and into the future. 

Financial discipline:

Demand on public services is increasing across the board, especially for health, social care and education, while the external economic environment continues to be challenging. Nonetheless, we and Manx taxpayers expect the public sector to deliver efficiently, and provide value for money. This year, the Council of Ministers and Treasury are demanding focussed attention from departments to ensure services are delivered within budget within this challenging context, and that they direct resources towards our 2024-25 strategic priorities, alongside essential activities and public services. If necessary, given the fiscal restraint needed, lower priority or non-core work will be paused or ceased and proposals for new commitments carefully considered. Manx Care represents just over one-third of total Government spend, making financial control of its budget particularly important. The DHSC will oversee Manx Care’s delivery of mandated services within budget, alongside continued positive efforts to improve the efficiency and value of health and care services.

Economic Development:

We will continue to prioritise our long term Economic Strategy, sustaining key sectors and supporting new growth. In the first year of the Economic Strategy, the overall number of people employed grew by 700; in 2024-25 we will sustain this pace of progress towards our goal of 1,800 new jobs filled by 2026. We will also concentrate on increasing the number of economically active new residents, who can provide needed skills and investment into the Island.

 Residency, migration and security:

We will consider measures to help ensure that the overall mix of new Isle of Man residents contributes positively to our economy and our society. We welcome all those coming to the Isle of Man to fill key roles in our economy; so many then also contribute as active members of our communities and society too. We do however need to ensure that Government has proportionate and responsive policy in place so that, overall, inward migration adds to our economy and society. We will also work to keep our Island safe by securing our ports. This includes action to enhance security at points of entry, improve information sharing between law enforcement agencies and carriers.

More homes occupied:

We will sustain our priority focus on increasing housing provision, recognising different needs including affordable and essential worker homes. In 2024-25 we will progress redevelopment of key brownfield sites, including three that are publicly-owned via the Manx Development Corporation. We will continue to work on the feasibility and implementation of a Housing Association; continue supporting the private development of brownfield sites via initiatives such as the Island Infrastructure Scheme; and we will bring forward ways to transition empty properties and derelict sites back into practical use.

Energy security:

Including progress on offshore and onshore wind power generation:  These are significant infrastructure projects which take a multi-year effort, and it’s critical that we make progress this year if we are to meet our climate change targets and the ambitions of the Economic Strategy. So, in the next 12 months we will investigate the route to market for offshore wind; continue work on the development of the legislative framework, which will provide certainty for the overall management in optimising the economic benefit of our territorial seas; and complete a feasibility study for interconnector options.

Travel connectivity: air and sea:

Our prosperity relies on being well connected logistically with the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. Securing more reliable air and sea services that meet the Island’s needs is therefore a core area for action in 2024-25. While there will always be some disruption caused by external events, we will work closely with partners to improve air and sea connectivity so that travel to and from the Island is enhanced, in alignment with the Economic Strategy and providing more resilience for travelling residents and businesses.

In order to deliver the 2024-25 strategic priorities and maintain essential services while staying in budget, Departments and Statutory Boards are prepared to make difficult decisions regarding the scope of lower priority work if necessary over the next year. In the Island Plan Themes section, we set out an updated summary of the work underneath each of the five interrelated priority themes of the Island Plan, highlighting our Strategic Priorities for 2024-25.

Covid Review Report Response

In parallel to the above strategic priorities, we acknowledge the importance of the Independent Isle of Man Covid Review. In 2024-25 the Government will respond to its findings and 31 recommendations, building on improvements already under way. The Government is tabling the report for debate in Tynwald in April 2024; the Government will then fully formulate its response which will be tabled for debate in July 2024.