Island’s sewerage charging system in line with other countries
Island’s sewerage charging system in line with other countries, says report
The Isle of Man’s system and charges for funding sewerage services are in line with those of other places around the British Isles, according to an expert report commissioned by the Manx Utilities Authority (MUA).
The report, from UK-based specialists Cornwall Energy, concludes that property-based charging through the rates is common in neighbouring countries and accepted as a way of funding such essential infrastructure.
The Island started adding the cost of sewerage to its rating system last year, following the controversy surrounding the previous flat fee charge. An alternative means of funding sewerage became necessary as a result of the phased and ongoing reduction of taxpayer subsidy for the service provided via the Treasury.
In a foreword to the Cornwall Energy report, MUA chairman Alfred Cannan MHK writes: ‘The main findings of the review are that the current property-based sewerage charging regime is commonly used in other jurisdictions and is considered a fair and practical way of funding the cost of providing essential public sewerage services.
‘Of course, there may well be further improvements that could be considered, such as having part fixed fee and part rates charge, and Manx Utilities will continue to review and assess these options as funding from Treasury is withdrawn.’
The report will be laid before the November sitting of Tynwald, at which Members will be asked to approve an increase in the sewerage rate from 62 pence in the pound to 92 pence in the pound with effect from April next year. The increase is in line with the MUA’s 20-year financial plan and reflects the continuing scheduled withdrawal of the Treasury subsidy for the service.