Minister says benefits and staff costs must be resolved

Eddie Teare MHK Mr Teare said the lack of impact by cuts "may have led to a degree of complacency"

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The issues of means-tested benefits and staff costs must be resolved to balance the Isle of Man's budget, the island's treasury minister has said.

Eddie Teare MHK said a rebalancing project was "on target and has had a relatively limited impact on services, but we are not out of the woods yet".

He said a benefits review and departmental costs for 2013/14 could still impact on the rebalancing.

February's budget saw £35m cut from several government departments.

Mr Teare said an update to that budget plan was necessary after his office received departmental spending bids for the next financial year.

He said the bids would be reviewed but that it was "fair to say that, as expected, a gap exists between the total spending projections of government and the reality of what is available".

He added that there was "no easy way of bridging that gap, but we have to do it".

Mr Yeare said the results of a Department of Social Care review into the extension of means testing in social policy would also need to be considered.

"The budget rebalancing process is on target and so far it has had a relatively limited impact on services and staffing, which may have led to a degree of complacency," he said.

"But we are not out of the woods yet, and there are still some big issues to be resolved before we can finally say we have put the island back on course for the future."

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