A big change announced alongside the Budget is the way the island will pay for capital projects such as the prom scheme and the building of new schools.
Essentially what the Treasury Minister has signalled is he is cancelling the credit card and taking power for major schemes away from the individual departments to a Major Capital Projects Board (MCPB) which will both oversee and manage the major projects.
As a result of the pandemic, many gov projects have either not been finished or in some cases, not even been started. This has led to Treasury Minister Alf Cannan having said his final Budget of this administration is a ‘stepping stone’ and one that reflects the need to ‘restart’ the capital programme.
Instead of funding major schemes by way of borrowing, they will be paid for from a Capital Finance Reserve which the Treasury says will lead to improved clarity of revenue/capital spending choices, will be more flexible and be based on need, not past spend.
The new board will take over all high value schemes, with £3m being given as a guide for when the MCPB would assume control. As well as figures from Cabinet Office and Treasury and the board would also include external experts when needed.
While the DoI will oversee maintenance, the new system will also centralise oversight and strategic management of gov property assets and releasing surplus land for development.
As we said the impact of Covid on capital schemes, for the financial year 2020/21 it is estimated that delivery of 38% (£60m) of the schemes have been impacted by the pandemic. This leaves a high number of projects (£182m worth) being carried over into 2021/22. These include the prom (obvz), a new retirement home at Summerhill, Douglas and the new ferry terminal in Liverpool. The latter’s budget is shown as ‘subject to review’, with the lockdowns in the UK making progress much slower than intended.