Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 06-05-2014

Jersey cap could benefit Manx business

by Joanne Clague

Jersey cap could benefit Manx business - picture

The Isle of Man has room to expand, says Chief Minister Allan Bell reacting to the news that Jersey has put a cap on
its population.

Politicians have voted for an immmigration target of no more than 325 people per year. The controversial issue divided States members, but Jersey's Chief Minister Ian Gorst said the cap was necessary to help the government plan services. It's reportedly a temporary measure.

Allan Bell said: 'This is a continuation of a longstanding debate that has gone on in Jersey now for a number of years. I think this latest round is triggered by the fact that Jersey has hit the magic 100,000 level of population. Jersey is only one fifth the size of the Isle of Man and we have 84,000 residents.

'There is real concern about over population and over development in Jersey. Whether it is workable is different matter altogether, and what impact that might have on business remains to be seen.

'We need to look back at 1987 when Jersey took a similar measure, in effect putting the full house sign up, which triggered a substantial move of business from Jersey to the Isle of Man and was the catalyst for the take-off of the Manx economy, particularly financial services. The Isle of Man has one thing Jersey will never have, which is room to expand. We have plenty of space for housing, for new office development.'

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