The future of the Isle of Man’s strategic sea services will be considered at the July sitting of Tynwald.
Members will be asked to note the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s revised offer for a new agreement, dated 3 March 2017. The Tynwald motion also instructs the Department of Infrastructure ‘to continue negotiations with the company and to consider all other options for achieving a more effective solution that offers greater benefit to the Island.’
Ahead of the debate, the Department has published a report that includes an independent assessment of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s offer and an analysis of the company’s economic contribution to the Island. This work builds on the policy and principles that have already been agreed by Tynwald to help secure the best possible outcome for the Island’s people and its economy.
The revised offer by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company outlines a series of commitments, including investment in new ships, more discounted travel offers and some increase in passenger and freight capacity. In return, the company would have exclusive use of the King Edward Pier Linkspan until 2041, with standard prices rising by the greater of either the Manx RPI-J measure of inflation or 2% each year.
Tim Baker MHK, Department Member with responsibility for Ports said: ‘This is undoubtedly one of the biggest issues facing the Isle of Man and in the last year the Department has brought a number of related reports and policies to Tynwald. The report submitted for the July sitting provides further information and will hopefully allow Members to reach a conclusion about the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s current proposal.’
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK added: ‘Safe, reliable, high quality and fairly priced ferry services are absolutely fundamental to the economic and social wellbeing of the Isle of Man. We have reached the point where the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has put forward its “best and final” offer and I am honouring the commitment made by the previous administration to place that offer before Tynwald.
‘Although some elements of the offer are worthy of consideration, on balance it is recommended that Tynwald does not accept the offer, but instructs the Department to continue negotiating and to consider all routes available for a solution that is in the best interests of the Island as a whole.’