NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
The Director of Information of the Celtic League has written to the Chief Minister over new Gas charges urging immediate action to address the issue.
He has also asked questions about which government Departments helped load the gun that Manx Gas is now holding at the head of the Manx public:
Full text below;
“The Chief Minister
Allan Bell MHK
Chief Minister Office
Isle of Man
22nd October 2015
Dear Chief Minister,
I write to express concern at the current arrangement whereby Manx Gas have rearranged tariff/banding and standing charge provision in a manner which will be detrimental to the public generally and will I feelsure put those on low incomes and the elderly at risk this coming winter.
Like it or not and despite your governments assertions about how well the Isle of Man is currently performing economically there are many people who are not currently able to weather the impact of increases of the type currently mooted in energy (gas) charges. Also for those people a switch to an alternative is impractical.
It would seem that the current ‘gun’ that Manx Gas are holding to the head of the Manx public was loaded for them by the Manx government through the deal struck which allows them an outrageous profit (percentage) benchmark. I have spoken to the Chair of the OFT who says that these arrangements which the public quite rightly are condemning OFT for were alsoagreed by Treasury and DED – can you confirm this?
For their part the indifference of Manx Gas is stupefying. Their managing director Tony Nicholls queried about the whether the calculationof their outrageous new charging structure could have been handled differently said (IOM Today):
‘With hindsight maybe that’s what we should have done’.
He then added arrogantly:
‘If we find out between now and January, through our owndata, that there are any gaps in understanding then we will fill that. If people say they need more information then we will consider that and if appropriate send out another letter.’
He also said he believed that once customers received their bills in January they would feel much more comfortable about the changes.
Chief Minister people are going to be anything but ‘comfortable’ as a result of these changes and the indifference of Manx Gas tothe hardship and suffering that will be inflicted on many people is encapsulated in that almost throwaway remark by Nicholls.
Individual queries to Manx Gas directly are being treated with the same disdain exhibited in the news interview.
Isle of Man newspapers calculated that 7000 consumers would suffer detriment as a result of these new structures. Has your government carried out any parallel analysis – and if not why not?
Notwithstanding any agreement struck with Manx Gas the Manx government need to get a grip of this situation if necessary by taking emergency powers and sending in assessors to conduct a root and branch analysisof Manx Gas’s proposed charging structure and its impact.
I feel pretty sure if this was some other group (e.g. theTrade Unions) putting the public at risk you would have acted by now. Do you not accept a degree of urgency is necessary or should we await a cold snap in the weather?
People will suffer this winter – that is not in doubt atall. Both Manx Gas and the Manx government had better hope that no one dies or suffers serious injury because a basic of modern life is denied to them via these changes!
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
David Quirk OFT”
Issued by: The Celtic News
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries.It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range ofpolitical, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rightsabuse, military activity and socio-economic issues