I recently saw a sticker in a car window
"Don't Steal - The government hates competition"
Sadly it says it all. If the government can charge you it will, because what purpose do we serve on earth other than to be fleeced ?
Most of the time I am off the Island, living in the Midlands. My wife and I often used to go to Stratford on Avon, which is a pleasant town so long as you do not go at peak tourist times.
The town council decided to introduce hefty parking charges over a massive area, and we have been once in the last five years. The motive of the council was to fleece every motorist, but the upshot was that we changed from being a regular visitor to the town, spending in the shops to no longer visiting or buying anything there. In the words of Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady" - "I can do xxxxx well without you" . With certificates it is harder, as the public records are deliberately maintained in a way to force you to pay to see the register or pay for a cert. The old parish register system was so much better.
For Island residents, what would seem to be sensible is to complain to their MHK, and point out that not only is it harming them, but if visitors from afar come to the Island hoping to trace their family and are fleeced in this way, the few pounds that will come to the government will be more than outweighed by the resentment. Indeed, if you are treated in that way, some potential visitors may adopt the Eliza Doolittle answer, so for the sake of an £7 rip-off the Island could lose a visitor who would spend hundreds of pounds.
In an ideal world of course, the whole of the registers would be on line, available for inspection much as the IGI is. There would be a few £7 fees lost, BUT, with Manx ancestry then readily accessible, far more people would have a quick look, find something, get hooked, and then want to see the land of their ancestors. If you think you had a great great grandmother who lived in the IOM, it is pretty vague, but if you know she was born on a specific date in 1886 in Peel and lived at No such and such house and street, then you are more likely to say "It would be great to see this place". The Island would sacrifice the odd £7 and get a potential visitor who would spend hundreds of pounds.
Speaking for myself, as I have researched our history, I have wanted to visit and photograph the places that my family were connected with, and as a new place comes up, I want to see it. I suspect that reaction is not unique, and if Manx ancestry was readily available FREE on line for people in the IOM or in Oz, the Island would be the winner !
If Stratford council had the wit to dump their vindictive parking charges, my wife and I would go there again, but I can do without Stratford, as there are plenty of otehr places that are as nice or nicer.
In the short term, fleecing the victim does bring in the pennies, but it costs the pounds, so the answer is to tell that to the MHKs. Politicians whetehr local or national often find great difficulty in listening to the victims, as with Stratford Council, but someone might listen. We can but hope.