MICHAEL MHK Alfred Cannan has renewed his criticism of the deal to invest Manx taxpayers’ money in Pinewood Shepperton Studios.
As we reported yesterday Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK told reporters the terms of the revised contact, which will see the island take a stake of 9.89 per cent in Pinewood from Peel Holdings at a cost of £12,230,000 taken from Isle of Man Government’s investment reserves.
In June, Tynwald agreed to take a stake up to 19.9 per cent, which was to be at a cost £24m.
Mr Cannan said: ‘I remain of the opinion that the share deal with Pinewood Studios is not a suitable use of government reserve funds when clearly there are continuing problems in the local economy. The tangible benefits from this deal are less than clear and the money would have been put to better use supporting the establishment of new businesses or helping existing businesses grow and develop their products.
‘Furthermore, the terms of the deal now appear to be less than satisfactory and it is clear that the Treasury Minister has had to backtrack quite significantly on the outline proposals that were laid to Tynwald last June.
‘At the June sitting we were told that Treasury was to acquire a minimum 14.9 per cent, that the Treasury Minister had personally undertaken significant due diligence and that the deal needed to be concluded by the end of August otherwise the Film Fund would simply revert to the Treasury.
‘We now have a situation where the taxpayer has acquired less than 10 per cent of the shares, the deal has taken almost four months to conclude and the Film Fund is still in existence, all of which are matters that will require a full explanation from the Treasury Minister.’
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Weather for Isle of Man
Saturday 18 May 2013
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