NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
Instead of dusting down their frock coats and top hats in readiness to parade themselves at Tynwald Hill in six weeks time MHKs/MLC should be taking a good hard look at energy monopoly Manx Gas.
When pressed in Tynwald about the decision of the company to withdraw a discount for prompt payment from all but direct debit payers the Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading appeared initially to defend the company although later, and wisely, he appeared to row back from this in a statement to the media.
Meanwhile Manx Gas appeared to ameliorate its stance by saying it would possibly extend the discount to those without bank accounts but those with bank accounts not choosing to utilise direct debit would lose the discount.
Then in an aside, which is the height of impudence to the Manx public, it said those who don’t pay by direct debit are being ‘subsidised’ by those who do, and it needed to cut administration costs.
This may seem like a ‘storm around a gas meter’, but in these austere times with the Manx government piling stealth tax after stealth tax on the public the last thing we want is the private sector to ‘join the party’!
In any case Manx Gas is a hard-nosed business as evidenced by the cost of gas on the Isle of Man and the fact that despite price cuts in other jurisdictions, because of a energy glut and competition, no such cuts have occurred in Mann.
The ‘subsidised’ comment is especially galling as the Manx public will be paying for years for investments that the Manx Government made in gas supply infrastructure over the past two decades. That infrastructure of course helps maintain the Manx Gas monopoly.
Interestingly the headline to the Manx Gas statement used by Manx Radio was ‘Manx Gas Offer Lifeline’.
I’m afraid it is no ‘lifeline’ to people who pay promptly to have a discount withdrawn simply because they have a bank account. The headline could have read ‘Manx Gas Take the ‘Michael’ (we could have put it more strongly)!
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)
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