NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
Further to the earlier post on this issue I have written to the Chief Minister urging him to prevail on all utilities that apply ‘standing charges’ as part of their billing structure to instate a moratorium whilst the whole area is reviewed (see text below):
“The Chief Minister
Allan Bell MHK
Chief Minister Office
Isle of Man
January 13th 2016
Dear Chief Minister,
I have corresponded with you previously about the widespread concern over the decision of Manx Gas to revise its pricing structure and standing charge.
After considerable publicity about the matter late last year Manx Gas did make a marginal change to its prices by reducing them slightly but this was to say the least a piecemeal effort and has not settled this disquiet amongst consumers over the standing charge issue.
To be fair to Manx Gas it has become clear as the issue has unfolded that people are also angry about such charges when applied by other utilities.
I have noted that in recent years there has been similar disquiet aired in the United Kingdom so this is not a concern peculiar to the Isle of Man. In the UK there has been pressure to have standing charges either standardised or eliminated altogether. Indeed some suppliers in the UK have taken the initiative and sought permission in what is a highly regulated competitive energy supply market to have the standing charge waived for vulnerable groups.
With international oil and gas prices at an all time low there was never a better time to have a review of this area.
I would therefore urge you and your COMIN colleagues, in the public interest, to consider asking the various utilities which apply these charges to instate a moratorium on their application for a period of 3/6 months whilst the issue could be looked at in detail by a Commission to Review Standing Charges set up under the auspices of OFT and constituted from Government (OFT), the Industry and Consumers. Such a body could determine if the current system as applied across a range of both public and private utilities is fair and equitable.
I do hope you will give serious consideration to this request and broach it with other COMIN colleagues before making a determination.
Director of Information”
As indicated there has been some debate on this issue in the UK over the past few years. I’ve posted a link below there’s more on line:
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 of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues