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Finance Sector Danger 
See also Channel Islands and the Isle of Man turning into aid
dependent off shore rocks with no economy: EU Draft report Tax Reform

LETTERS PAGE Isle of Man Examiner - 4 September
  I have conducted economic surveys of various nations for the past 25
years and I am concerned at the lack of information passed to the Manx
people regarding the future of the Isle of Man as an offshore centre.

I read Richard Corkill's interview in the Financial Times with great
interest but I was dismayed that much of the truth of the matter was swamped in economic phrases meaningless to the man in the street.

I hope to rectify that some way in this letter, by stating some clear and
well known facts - well known, that is, in financial circles, if not the
Isle of Man.

I will use plain language, easily understood.

The various "tax havens" throughout Europe, yourselves included, will cease
to function as such possibly within five years, definitely within 10 years.

That is an issue not open to debate and one over which the Manx Government and Manx people have no say whatsoever.  The people should be informed of that fact.

Despite government hints that "agreements will be reached", the cold, hard
fact is that the financial sector will for the most part move on from the
Isle of Man within that time.

What will follow will be a period of recession unseen in the history of the
Island and most likely there will be no recovery short of large quantities
of gold-bearing ore being found in the Island.

I am horrified that the government is allowing property prices to soar as
they are at present

When the merry-go-round comes to an abrupt halt in a few years, a great many people will be paying huge mortgages on homes that will see a depreciation of perhaps 50-80 percent.

No doubt the state agents who have been lining their pockets will howl with
rage and say I am wrong.

They did so in the late 1980's when I predicted the same situation with
London House prices.

I was right then and thousands were paying mortgages for properties worth 60 per cent of the borrowed sum

I think it is cruel that people are being dragged along with the present
inflation in the Isle of Man for, unlike London, the Island has little left
once the finance goes.

The government says it has enough resources to run the Island for three
years - not a confident promise and in the world of economics a time span of
five minutes.

One north African country has already made very comprehensive plans to
assert itself as the new near Europe centre for finance, which turns the
wheel full circle from the post-war years.

This is no coincidence, because plans are being laid for massive investment
in many African states throughout the first 25 years of the century.

To the Manx people I would say, refuse to pay these inflated prices, sit
tight! Who else can they sell to?  Force them down and ignore the bleats of
the agents who have got fat at your expense.
To the Manx Government I would say - be prepared to pay massive compensation to trapped home owners in minus equity.

It is your fault this situation has arisen by allowing speculators to push
up prices.

Professor St John Gregg