Isle of Man government must buy local too, says Chief Minister

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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It would be totally inappropriate for government to urge residents to shop local, when government was not doing the same itself.

That was the comment from Chief Minister Allan Bell as he faced further questions in Tynwald about the government’s policy to centralise services such as school catering, caretaking and cleaning.

Michael MHK Alfred Cannan asked Mr Bell if he will review procurement policies.

Mr Bell said the procurement policy was last reviewed by the Council of Ministers in 2011 and there are currently no plans to review it. He said the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture is working on a sustainable food procurement policy to go to CoMin in the next couple of months.

Mr Cannan suggested it was vital government supports local businesses, to create jobs and raise taxes.

Mr Bell replied: ‘I agree wholeheartedly. It would be totally inappropriate for government on the one hand to be urging the local population to shop local, when in fact government was not doing the same itself.’

Education Minister Tim Crookall said different schools had been paying different prices for the same product. He said centralisation would be given a chance and if it’s not deemed to be working ‘we will look at it again’.

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