Treasury Minister David Ashford has said the gov is prepared to offer £1m in support for low income households if Tynwald approves the proposed gas hike.

Members are today debating a 27.5% increase to the price gap on gas, which Manx Gas says will only allow it to break even on what it is selling on island.

Mr Ashford has said that those who receive the winter fuel allowance would get an extra £100, paid as a lump sum. Islanders who rely on income support, but wouldn’t qualify for the payment would also get the £100 with extra cash available for people who are living just above that level. The gov has since clarified that this does include people claiming Employed Person’s Allowance.

If the gas price increase continues into the new year, Mr Ashford said he would also come back to Tynwald for extra support in February for payouts in March.

The debate, which has adjourned for lunch, has seen members say they have not received enough information from Manx Gas or the regulator to back the proposal, while others have instigated that they have been backed into a corner and need to support the measure.

Douglas North MHK John Wannenburgh was less ambivalent in his wording, he told members ‘in all good conscience I cannot support this’.

When the sitting resumes, Douglas South MHK Claire Christian, who asked why there was no plan B or C available to members, has moved that the matter be adjourned for one month. That debate will be heard before members decide whether or not to back the proposed increase.

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