The chief minister insists the process is ‘merely an exercise’

The chief minister announced he’s due to take a magnifying glass to tax thresholds, the cost of sea travel and an examination into public sector head count, with a view to ‘streamlining and driving efficiencies’.

But it seems unclear what any review of head count could mean.

Alfred Cannan made a series of announcements, which he says comes with the ultimate aim of understanding where efficiencies lie across the public sector.

As we just heard, public sector head count is one of them and according to figures published by Manx Radio, towards the end of last year, almost 20-percent of the working population are employed by the government.

It wasn’t long after the statement that some backbenchers shared their observations, like Onchan’s Rob Callister and Douglas South’s Claire Christian:

The chief minister insists it’s ‘merely an exercise’, but won’t go into specifics about what any such findings might entail.

Douglas Central’s Chris Thomas made one suggestion though:

Manx Radio can confirm the unions were contacted late Monday night and given a briefing early on Tuesday morning, and we’re expecting to speak to their representatives in due course.

But if Mr Cannan is seemingly extinguishing any suggestion that there could be cuts to the head count, then does that leave public services susceptible to change? That was floated by Douglas East’s Joney Faragher:

The chief minister appears to say there that there are no intentions of scaling back services, but they may not all be free at the point of contact.

What this actually means and what services the Manx public may be expected to pay for on top of tax and NI contributions remains unknown.

You can hear the full interview with Chief Minister Alfred Cannan in this episode of the Manx Newscast.