Backbencher Chris Thomas is set to ask a number of questions on the Steam Packet at this year's first Tynwald sitting.

He will be asking what meetings Treasury Minister, Alex Allinson has had with union Nautilus International, how the directors were appointed to the Board of the Steam Packet, and how many Isle of Man residents are employed by the Steam Packet.

Action short of strike, in combination with an officer having to take unexpected leave due to personal reasons, meant that the number of Manxman sailings were reduced to one return crossing a day on Wednesday, January 3.

Whilst a reduction in service was set to take place for two weeks on Friday, January 5, Nautilus International announced it would cease industrial action, after the Steam Packet had announced it would withdraw notice that it issued in December.

That notice in December had informed staff that they would lose their jobs unless they agreed to a new set of terms and conditions, as part of a change in policy for Manxman crew to live on-board.

Both sides have committed to further talks, with arbitration if necessary.

Jason Moorhouse, will be asking the Chair of the Office for Fair Trading, Tim Glover, whether a meeting with Isle of Man Energy prior to the reconnection of disconnections took place.

It comes as Isle of Man Energy confirmed it would reinstate its gas disconnection programme this week, meaning that customers who have fallen into arrears could have their gas switched off if they have not engaged with the company.

Urgent legislation has been passed through both branches of Tynwald, which aims to safeguard certain customers from disconnection. The legislation is waiting for Royal Assent.

Douglas North MHK, David Ashford, will ask Health and Social Care Minister, Lawrie Hooper, How many people a) telephoned and b) attended the Manx Emergency Doctor Service between midnight and 8am in each of the final three months of 2023; and what the waiting time at the Accident and Emergency Department was in each of those months a) on average and b) at the time of peak demand.

Starting on January 8, MEDS closed between midnight and 8am from Monday to Fridays, for an initial period of 12 weeks (until March 31).

This was due to staffing shortages.

The sitting will also see Chief Minister, Alfred Cannann, ask for Tynwald approval to extend the term of the interim Information Commissioner, Stewart Haynes, by six months, as the recruitment process continues.

Former information commissioner, Ian McDonald, stepped down from the role in July, having handed in his resignation in April last year.

The temporary appointment of Mr Haynes was to provide ‘continuity’ as a replacement is found.

Health and Social Care Minister, Lawrie Hooper, will also be asking for approval on the National Autism spectrum Condition Strategy 2024, which is the first strategy for autism in the island.

The sitting will commence at 10am today.