Ramsey commissioner Juan McGuinness says the Treasury is ‘well placed’ to collect local authority rates.

He says it collects the majority of them and is ‘mildly’ worried that outsourcing to a private company has been brought up in Tynwald.

It comes after Treasury Minister Dr Alex Allinson announced that there will be a consultation into how rates debt will be collected.

Mr McGuinness suggested that switching to using private companies could become another burden on ratepayers.

He said he was surprised when Tim Glover, MHK for Arbory and Castletown and Malew, questioned whether Treasury should continue to collect rates for local authorities – of whether .

‘Considering Treasury collect all our taxes, I would make the point that if they aren’t capable of doing it, who is?

‘It seems a little concerning that Members of Parliament are suggesting that private companies are better placed than their own civil service.

‘I just feel this is the latest in a long line of services being put on to ratepayers and away from central government, so less of a cost on the taxpayer through Treasury.

‘Having to undertake this role and ratepayers having to then fund private companies, perhaps at more expensive rate, makes no logical sense, except in that context. And it’s mildly worrying that this is what has been discussed in Tynwald.

So would Ramsey’s local authority want to collect them itself?

‘It is something we have talked about, but ultimately I think not having Treasury collect the rates is the exception rather than the norm,’ he said.

‘And ultimately, the Treasury does collect rates for the vast majority of the island, collect rates for water and sewage, collect an awful lot of money through taxes. So they seem to be pretty well placed and they should be pretty well placed to collect our rates.’