The Isle of Man is like any typical British Island and you could say its interior looks like the English or Irish countryside. The big difference though is that the Isle of Man basically exists for one reason and that’s money…big money and offshore money.
The Isle of Man is a low tax economy with no capital gains tax, wealth tax, stamp duty, death duty or inheritance tax and income tax rates of 10% and 18%; corporation tax is at 0%. Offshore banking, manufacturing, and tourism form key sectors of the economy. Agriculture and fishing, once the mainstays of the economy, now make declining contributions to the Island’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Located in the Irish Sea in the geographic center of the British Isles, Douglas is the main town on the island and the place where I spent most of my brief visit. The harbor that welcomes the boats from England and Ireland is very striking with the way the houses and buildings are set upon the water. The streets are very cozy and the people are very friendly. There are innumerable shops with everything you could ever want. The bank buildings fit into the look of the city so that they aren’t like Canary Wharf with massively ugly buildings, but they are more like the offshore banks in Bermuda where you wouldn’t even notice the buildings unless you read the signs. Online casinos are also based here as they are in Gibraltar and several other British protectorates. In addition, the Hilton Hotel also has a casino on the island itself.
The island is best known for its summer activities with 26 beaches or so and the roads are impeccable which makes for good bike riding and also scooter rentals. The island just finished their big TT race marking their centennial and they are all going crazy about it over there. Kind of funny to me as I am not a racing fan but it does give them something to offer tourists aside from just embezzling or hiding money.
Obviously from my ho hum explanation of the island, I didn’t love it. Granted it’s not the season for going there and I am sure it’s much nicer in the summer. I have just arrived in my favorite city, London, and have a big weekend planned including my speech tomorrow afternoon.