TYNWALD’S agenda is a packed one this month because, among other things, it includes the Budget, the tuition fees proposal and the findings of the select committee’s inquiry into the MEA loans debacle.
There are also 40 questions from members.
Alfred Cannan (Michael) is to ask the President of Tynwald if she regards matters pertaining to the liquidation of the Louis Group to be sub judice and if so why.
To be sub judice would mean that it could be under criminal investigation. Were that to be to the case, public comment would be restricted.
In a similar vein, he is to ask Eddie Teare about unregulated funds and what role the Financial Supervision Commission has in regulating the funds.
Last week’s Keys sitting heard that none of the investment products into which the investors placed their money was licensed by the FSC because it was an ‘experienced investor fund’ and outside remit of the FSC.
David Callister MLC is also concerned about the Louis Group. He is asking Mr Teare when and how he’ll set up an investigation into the collapse of the Louis Group.
Bill Henderson (Douglas North) is to ask whether depositors with the Louis Group could have access to the Depositors’ Compensation Scheme, which is designed to help those whose funds are lost in bank collapses. If they don’t have access, he wants to know why not.
His second question on the matter asks what course of action Louis Group depositors have if they don’t have access to the compensation scheme.
His third question is a request for breakdown of the structure of the group and the services and products it offered to the public.
Brenda Cannell (Douglas East) is likely to make mischief with her question about the Southern Area Plan.
She is to ask Chief Minister Allan Bell whether it has Council of Ministers approval and whether he expects all ministers to vote for it.
She no doubt read last week’s Examiner report on the issue in which Phil Gawne and Juan Watterson – both Rushen MHKs and government ministers – said they would oppose the plan.
Ministers are usually bound by collective responsibility on agreed CoMin policy. It will be interesting to see if they are exempt for this issue.
Kate Beecroft (Lib Van, Douglas South) has a number of questions about health issues.
She is to ask Health Minister David Anderson MHK when the complaints procedure for Noble’s Hospital was last revised and whether he has consulted organisations in the UK about performing an independent audit of the islahnd’s health services.
She is also to ask Chris Robertshaw, the Minister of Social Care, ‘who is ultimately responsible for any decision made by ATOS Healthcare’.
ATOS is currently undertaking assessments on people on benefits to see if they are fit for work.
Geoff Corkish (Douglas West) is concerned about two old landmarks: the prison and the Park Road School site in Douglas. He’d like Infrastructure Minister David Cretney to tell him the timescale for the demolition of the buildings.
Alex Downie MLC is to ask Mr Robertshaw for information about prosecutions by his department of landlords renting out properties unfit for habitation.
We revealed last week that 4 per cent of rented homes were found to be unfit.
The cost of plans for a bus station on Victoria Street, Douglas, is vexing Leonard Singer (Ramsey).
The plan – announced by the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure last year – has now been abandoned.
Mr Singer is to ask Minister Graham Cregeen MHK the cost of the plans and what consultations took place before the final plans were completed.
Mr Corkish is to ask Mr Cretney for a progress report on the former Lord Street bus station.
John Houghton (Douglas North) is concerned about the bus drivers’ dispute.
After the Manx Independent revealed that bus drivers were entitled to a £400 lump sum pay award because they were subject to Whitley Council rules, he is to ask Mr Cregeen whether his department has paid the lump sum and if not why not.
Bill Henderson (Douglas North) is concerned about food safety. This appears to be in the wake of the scandal of horse meat being sold in place of other meat in Britain and elsewhere in Europe.
He wants to know from Phil Gawne MHK, the Minister of the Environment, Food and Agriculture, whether he’s satisfied that beef burgers, beef lasagne and other food products ‘do not contain anything other than beef’, ‘do not contain phenylbutazone’ and what talks or meetings his department has had with local food product suppliers about the matter.
The Bishop also has a series of questions for Mr Gawne.
He is to ask him ‘how he regards the overall costs and risks of global climate change;’ and whether there has been an increase in ‘extreme weather events’ in the island.
He also suggests that the growth in population could lead to ‘food wars’ ‘within the lifetime of our grandchildren’.
Ramblers will be interested in Richard Ronan’s question. He’d like Mr Gawne to tell him if he’ll introduce ‘right to roam’ legislation, which would give walkers more scope to legally stray from recognised footpaths.
It was a measure introduced in the UK by Tony Blair’s government.
Mr Ronan has a couple of questions for the Treasury Minister.
He’d like to know ‘how much tax would have to be charged in respect of the estimated total amount of (a) UK retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and services producers and (b) UK banks’ corporate trading profits arising from and accruing from their business in the Isle of Man for the current year of assessment, if such corporate trading profits were chargable to Manx income tax at the rate of 20 per cent’.
He also wants to know if Mr Teare has a contingency plan for when (note he doesn’t say if) the reserves are exhausted.
David Callister is to ask Mr Teare how much debt was written off by government in the last four financial years.
The Speaker, Steve Rodan (Garff), is to ask about a new online booking system for visitors, MyUK.Travel. He is asking John Shimmin MHK, the Economic Development Minister, whether it is meeting the needs of all accommodation providers in the Isle of Man in a ‘satisfactory’ manner.
The leader of the Liberal Vannin Party, Peter Karran (Onchan), is to ask Mr Teare for a detailed breakdown of the numbers employed by every agency of government who are in receipt of an employment-related pension payment from the government.
He also wants to know the total annual cost of the pension payments made by the government for these people currently and the total emoluments paid to them for the last 12 months.
The third part of his question asks the number of people who have left the employment of the government in the last three years who get a pension.
Zac Hall (Onchan) is interested in car parks. He’d like Mr Cretney to tell him about maintenance on its car parks and whether a multi-storey car park might ever be built at Parade Street or Lord Street, Douglas.
He’s also interested in rubbish. He is to ask Mr Cretney how many refuse wagons each local authority uses to collect and deliver household waste to the incinerator. He also wants to know what age, type and capacity they have.
Recycling is also playing on his mind. Mr Hall is to ask Mr Cretney about the ‘bring bank’ collection service.
He wants to know which organisation provides it, which bodies were invited to tender for the the service, what revenues will be received and who will pay for it.
His next question is about the incinerator or ‘energy from waste’ plant.
He is asking Mr Cretney how the taxpayer and ratepayer benefit from the value of electricity and other energy generated, how much is paid annually for the plant’s availability and whether a minimum delivery of waste is necessary.
Mr Henderson’s question for Mr Robertshaw concerns ‘fuel poverty’ – the concept that some people can’t afford for heating.
He’d like an assessment of the situation in the island and recommendations on relieving the problems.
His second question on the issue asks what measures are in place currently to assist those requiring assistance by way of benefits to pay for heating.
Mr Hall is to ask Mr Robertshaw about social housing.
His two-part question asks whether the government has acquired any equity in houses which the local authorities own and for what purpose the local authority balance sheet value of local authorities’ housing stock could be used.
Mr Henderson is to ask the chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, Alfred Cannan, about the Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme and how it works.
His last question is what the maximum award is from the scheme.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: South