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Petitioner calls for abolition of rating system

A Douglas ratepayer is hoping to reignite the long running debate surrounding perceived inequalities in the Isle of Man's rating system.

David 'Butch' Buttery was one of about nine people who made use of the ancient right to appeal directly to the Manx parliament, by handing over a Petition for Redress of Grievance at the open air sitting of Tynwald.

He believes Douglas ratepayers are unfairly called upon to subsidise those from outside the town, when the rest of the Island is now 'almost a suburb of the capital'.

Mr Buttery wants the present rating system to be abolished and replaced with a local services tax - like the Community Charge in the United Kingdom - under which rates are paid on a per person rather than per property basis (play audio file):

Other petitions submitted yesterday called for an international solution to the return of depositors' money in the Kaupthing bank affair; the removal of inequities in the provision of pre-school nursery places in the Island; and the standardisation of legal aid available in civil cases, particularly in relation to family matters.

The petitions will all now go before the relevant Tynwald committee, to make sure they have been drawn up in accordance with the rules.

If that hurdle is overcome, they will be 'laid on the table', awaiting a sympathetic member to take up the cause.

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