After MHKs last week blocked the gov bringing forward its Island Plan in Tynwald, they’re back in their own chamber this week, with 18 questions lined up for CoMin.
While Jason Moorhouse predictably has the most questions, six, Chris Thomas pops up with five, Joney Faragher has three, Sarah Maltby has two with Tim Glover and Dr Michelle Haywood having one a piece.
In what is a big week for the man from the south, Mr Moorhouse is asking the Treasury Minister about whether a sinking fund has been set up to repay the £400m bond issued in September last year. He’ll later move on to asking whether neighbours are notified when a tree feeling licence is granted and what pre-employment checks are carried out on information provided by prospective government employees during the application process or at a later date.
Arguably the most immediately interesting questions include what discussions have taken place with the Isle of Man Bank about their provision of banking services to charitable organisations, what progress has been made to improving support for first time buyers and what engagement was carried out with with accommodation providers, and with other visitor-focused businesses, before changes to the Manx Grand Prix were announced?
There is an early theme for Mr Thomas’ questions as he asks DEFA Minister Clare Barber what the purpose, scope and timetable of the proposed Energy Bill are; how her Department manages any conflict of interest between its responsibility for energy policy and its other functions; and if she will make a statement and then follows it up by asking the DoI Minister Tim Crookall which entities are public gas suppliers; how the principles and law of fair trading and competition apply to the supply of gas; and if he will make a statement?
But, if you thought he was done with gas, you’d be wrong, as he will ask OFT Chairman John Wannenburgh how much heating oil, gas, electricity and solid fuels have gone up in the last 12 months and then ask CURA what regs have been made under the Gas Regulation Act 1995, which contain powers which can be exercised by CURA and when it will lay before Tynwald its first gas regulation report. Finally Mr Thomas turns his attention to Climate Change Transformation Board chair Daphne Caine, asking when she expects to submit for debate in Tynwald a report on space heating; how any such report will be prepared?
Rushen MHK Dr Haywood’s sole question also relates to energy as she asks DfE Minister Dr Allinson what progress has been made with the Green Living Grant and what plans he has to address the backlog in Manx Home Energy Audits?
Staying with energy, Ms Faragher will ask the DEFA Minister What plans her dept has to increase public information and training on how to make homes and businesses more energy efficient and better insulated. The Manx Labour Party leader will also be asking Treasury Minister David Ashford what his policy is on progressive taxation.
The MLP’s other MHK Sarah Maltby meanwhile will be asking Mr Crookall whether his dept has considered raising the age for adult bus fares to 18 and then she’ll be asking Minister for the Cabinet Office Kate Lord-Brennan what progress has been made with rates modernisation and when proposals will be brought forward.
Last, but not least, Tim Glover is also seeking answers over the MGP, as he asks the DfE Minister which stakeholders (I hate that word) were consulted before the new MGP programme was announced.