Government wants to increase Manx population to 100,000

The government wants to grow the Isle of Man population to 100,000 over the next 15 years.

That would mean an increase of nearly 16,000 on the 2021 census figure of 84,069.

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan said: ‘We have reached a point in our economy where we must evolve again if we are to create longer term economic success. It would be unwise to maintain the status quo whilst so much change is happening around us.

He revealed the target today as the government published its draft economic strategy, setting out a 10-15-year vision for the island, which includes plans for a £1 billion public and private investment programme.

Entitled Our Island, Our Future: Isle of Man Economic Strategy, the report was the focus of a statement delivered to Tynwald by Mr Cannan .

The government says the document provide a ‘clear vision to develop a strong and diverse economy, which is sustainable, ambitious and built on firm foundations to provide economic success, rewarding career opportunities and prosperity which positively impacts all residents on the Isle of Man’.

The strategy outlines four key aspirations:

Population – Grow the island’s population to 100,000 residents by 2037, driven by the inward migration, retention of economically active people and recruitment of key workers.

Shape of the economy – Reach a GDP of £10bn by 2032, across existing key sectors and new business sectors, with 5,000 new jobs created and filled.

Public finances – By 2032, to generate over £200m of additional annual income to reinvest in services and improve the quality of life for all residents.

Sustainability – Substantially decarbonise the services parts of the Island’s economy by 2030, supporting an overall reduction of 35% in the Island’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Cannan said: ‘This is a significant moment for our island as we set out our high level ambitions for investment, incentives, and ideas that will help change the shape of our economy and bring greater opportunity for the people of the Isle of Man.

‘As it stands, our economy is in reasonably good shape and many of our sectors remain successful. Although there are fiscal pressures, government income is steady and unemployment remains at record lows.’

But he warned of a ’growing number of headwinds’ that are beyond the island’s control.

‘Global challenges such as digitisation, taxation and increasing demand for skilled workers are highlighting the precarious nature of our current economic model,’ he said.

‘If we do not address critical challenges facing the island in terms of our demographics, finances and public services we run a substantial risk of gradual decline which would create significant uncertainty.

‘We should also recognise that our young people demand new job opportunities and modern, attractive facilities. We must now bring forward an ambitious and bold series of initiatives and policy changes that will ensure the future resilience, sustainability, and prosperity of our people and our island.’

The draft Economic Strategy is available to read here: www.gov.im/economicstrategy

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