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£50 Sewerage Charge


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CoMIn will have given the directive. JH at WASA tells his Chief Officer to draw up the Order. JH signs the order. Tynwald approve it. End of the day it is the politicians who have to answer for their actions. No civil servant could bring this in without Keys, LegCo and Tynwald knowing about it and passing it. Bell and Treasury Minister will have know full well about it.

 

Yes it was obviously kept under wraps. And everyone had done their estimates already. Were not Douglas Corporation complaining as they had set their rate before they knew about this? But the point is the MHK's and Leg Co GAVE the authority to WASA to make this order last year, and had the chance to block it if they had had the sense to look properly at the new Section 11 of the Sewerage Act before it was passed. Massive fail.


Typical of certain members of Tynwald not realising what an unscrupulous, desparate, bunch of wankers they are dealing with at a departmental level when new legislation is drafted. Setting the scene to bring 'tax' charges in through secondary legislation shifts all the power and responsibity to the slopey shouldered, braindead, wankers in the public authority who think they are all saving their jobs by doing this sort of thing.

These sort of clauses should always be questioned when putting primary legislation through. Particularly as we move towards 'pay as you go' taxes or service charges. If they are not careful Treasury will lose control of the purse strings if more departments are handed these sort of powers to revenue raise directly from the public. No wonder Bells says its regrettable but unavoidable - the way the legislations been written there's basically fuck all he or Treasury can do about it.
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'No-one wants to pay for things they have previously had free of charge but we have to do it.' The Chief Minister (quoted on page 9 of today's Examiner)   What a moronic thing to say. We pay taxes,

When will they get the message that the fairest way to cover the 'costs' of things like this is to not give pay increases to the whole of the government/CS/PS in times of austerity.

I hate this argument. Its like they all think they are doing us a fucking favour by letting some people stay in non jobs because otherwise it might kill the ecomony. Its tantamount to a threat to caus

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CoMIn will have given the directive. JH at WASA tells his Chief Officer to draw up the Order. JH signs the order. Tynwald approve it. End of the day it is the politicians who have to answer for their actions. No civil servant could bring this in without Keys, LegCo and Tynwald knowing about it and passing it. Bell and Treasury Minister will have know full well about it.

Not necessarily. That absolves the department which is not true in a lot of cases. Taxation facilitated through secondary legislation totally stinks. Its undemocratic, and basically hands taxing powers to civil servants without any Treasury oversight. Its pernicious and morally wrong. These are not parking fines, these are levies on essential services that have the potential to impact every household on the Island (ie. a tax).

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True, but the politicians have given that power and it has taken the public to point it out, either wittingly or unwittingly. How many will admit to being too thick to see it?

 


CoMIn will have given the directive. JH at WASA tells his Chief Officer to draw up the Order. JH signs the order. Tynwald approve it. End of the day it is the politicians who have to answer for their actions. No civil servant could bring this in without Keys, LegCo and Tynwald knowing about it and passing it. Bell and Treasury Minister will have know full well about it.


Not necessarily. That absolves the department which is not true in a lot of cases. Taxation facilitated through secondary legislation totally stinks. Its undemocratic, and basically hands taxing powers to civil servants without any Treasury oversight. Its pernicious and morally wrong. These are not parking fines, these are levies on essential services that have the potential to impact every household on the Island (ie. a tax).
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True, but the politicians have given that power and it has taken the public to point it out, either wittingly or unwittingly. How many will admit to being too thick to see it?

I don't know. Afteral some people are too thick to use a simple quote system on a forum website? Somehow it doesn't seem to stop them from being fucking smug though.

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True, but the politicians have given that power and it has taken the public to point it out, either wittingly or unwittingly. How many will admit to being too thick to see it?

I don't know. Afteral some people are too thick to use a simple quote system on a forum website? Somehow it doesn't seem to stop them from being fucking smug though.

Very true. And some can't spell!

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Yes it was obviously kept under wraps. And everyone had done their estimates already. Were not Douglas Corporation complaining as they had set their rate before they knew about this? But the point is the MHK's and Leg Co GAVE the authority to WASA to make this order last year, and had the chance to block it if they had had the sense to look properly at the new Section 11 of the Sewerage Act before it was passed. Massive fail.

 

CoMIn will have given the directive. JH at WASA tells his Chief Officer to draw up the Order. JH signs the order. Tynwald approve it. End of the day it is the politicians who have to answer for their actions. No civil servant could bring this in without Keys, LegCo and Tynwald knowing about it and passing it. Bell and Treasury Minister will have know full well about it.

 

Bell and Teare certainly should have known about it when it was being planned and so should have Houghton as Chairman of WASA, but there's no reason that the rest of Tynwald or even CoMin would have done. As Chris Thomas (who wasn't in the Keys when the Bill was being discussed last Spring) pointed out the 1999 Sewage Act already contained a charging power that had never been used and most people would have assumed that such an important change would have been introduced with prior consultation and discussion.

 

Ironically when Houghton did introduce this last month he did promise some consultation (lines 2676-79 and 2707-10):

 

 

The Authority will also consult on the introduction of charges for the reception and treatment of the trade effluents at the sewerage treatment works. The charges will have regard to the composition, volume and rate of discharges to sewer and the costs incurred in treating and disposing of those trade effluents.
[...]
[Karran] needs to have regard that we will be looking at this matter further in respect of trade effluents coming from certain appropriate premises, not all, and the board in the future will be deciding on any future charging policy that may arise from that.

(That 'may' is Hansard's italics not mine)

So it is considered important to consult the businesses who might be the ones putting any strain on the sewage system or whose effluents may be what causes the big costs (but who for the moment will only pay as much as the smallest domestic property). However talking to the rest of us plebs is considered to much of an imposition.

 

Whether even Bell, Teare and Houghton actually knew far in advance is another matter. Certainly the motivation appears to be because of cut-backs coming from Treasury, but how much they are in control is another matter. As with most members of Tynwald they appear to prefer situations where they are presented with only one 'inevitable' choice so they don't have to deal with the stress of making any decisions.

 

But it certainly looks as if most Tynwald members were in the dark over this. What is important is not whether they should have known, but how they react, both to this tax and also to the sneaky way it has been brought in. Muttering "There is no alternative" is not a satisfactory response, either to the new tax, the financial situation or the undermining of open democracy this process has shown.

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The section in the Flood Risk Management Act 2013 which amends the Sewerage Act 1999 to allow for a sewerage charge to be imposed, was not part of the original public consultation in July 2009, nor was it part of the Legislative Drafting Instructions, nor was it mentioned by any responses to the consultation.

 

In Keys on 12th February 2013, John Houghton said:

 

“The Bill that is now before the Keys is a substantially redrafted version of the Flood Risk Management Bill, that was introduced in the 2010-11 session.”

 

This ‘substantial redraft’ did not go back out for public consultation.

 

Houghton continued, “…there is an enabling provision for the Authority to introduce sewerage charges, when it considers that to be appropriate. However, I would emphasise that, before it can introduce sewage charges, the Authority will need to make an order, which will require the formal approval of Tynwald. At this stage, however, there are no plans to introduce such a charge.”

The Sewerage Act 1999 already contained such a provision – but it was for a percentage rate, based on property rateable values.

 

The so-called ‘enabling provision’ was actually a change of wording from a rate to a charge.

 

Brenda Cannell spoke out:

 

“The other thing I would like the Hon. Member, perhaps, to let us know what the Department’s thinking is in terms of this sewerage charge, which is being suggested in clause 11, sewerage charges. Of course, at the end of that, it says: ‘In imposing the charges, the Sewerage Authority must consider the amounts it will need to perform the functions to which the charges relate’, which suggests to me that they are bringing in a provision in law to enable them to be able to charge for things that we currently do not pay for and that the sewage treatment plant deals with, which has been highly contentious previously when another place has debated a concept of it.
So if the Member can let us know what the thinking is behind this and reassure us that any such order applying a sewerage charge would in fact need Tynwald approval and would be subject to a debate in another place and not merely rubber stamped, where we have got a situation where it would be laid before Tynwald without debate and the negative resolution would apply.”

 

Peter Karran also made an attempt:

 

“The other thing I am a bit concerned about is the clause to do with the sewerage charges. If
there were no plans to bring it in, I do not know why we are bringing in clause 93. The reality is we are in extremely difficult times. The fun and games of having no accountability, as far as spending is concerned and I think we should have some sort of clear declaration by the mover, if we are bringing in a rate or a charge for sewerage, then we need to know and we need to get that out into the public domain, so that our citizens who are finding hard times can adjust to know that information.”

 

Houghton responded:

 

“Yes, this Bill here does introduce an… (Mr Anderson: ability.) the Bill, the clauses Bill, produces an enabling clause for the ability to bring forward sewerage charges by order, and that order means via a Tynwald Order that would go to Tynwald for voting upon, not laid before Tynwald. It is set out clearly and that is the clear intention of the Water and Sewerage Authority to bring forward in the future, if it is so pressurised under the constraints of the Treasury, where it will not have sufficient funds to operate from what it receives from Treasury.
So that is all about how well the budgeting works in the future and so on. But as I noted in my answers to the Hon. Member, Mr Karran, on sewage charges, I do see them coming forward, not tomorrow, not the day after, but sometime in the future, if we are so constrained by the receipt of budget from the Treasury. Hon. Members, how long is a piece of string? This is an enabling clause, it will be brought forward as an order for Tynwald to approve and that is when the debate would happen in the future, if at all in the future.”

 

FOR
Mr Quirk
Mr Hall
Mr Karran
Mr Ronan
Mr Crookall
Mr Anderson
Mr Bell
Mr Singer
Mr Quayle
Mr Teare
Mr Cannan
Mr Cregeen
Mr Houghton
Mr Henderson
Mrs Beecroft
Mr Robertshaw
Mr Shimmin
Mr Corkish
Mr Cretney
Mr Skelly
Mr Gawne
The Speaker

 

AGAINST
Mrs Cannell

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The section in the Flood Risk Management Act 2013 which amends the Sewerage Act 1999 to allow for a sewerage charge to be imposed, was not part of the original public consultation in July 2009, nor was it part of the Legislative Drafting Instructions, nor was it mentioned by any responses to the consultation.

 

In Keys on 12th February 2013, John Houghton said:

 

“The Bill that is now before the Keys is a substantially redrafted version of the Flood Risk Management Bill, that was introduced in the 2010-11 session.”

 

This ‘substantial redraft’ did not go back out for public consultation.

 

Houghton continued, “…there is an enabling provision for the Authority to introduce sewerage charges, when it considers that to be appropriate. However, I would emphasise that, before it can introduce sewage charges, the Authority will need to make an order, which will require the formal approval of Tynwald. At this stage, however, there are no plans to introduce such a charge.”

The Sewerage Act 1999 already contained such a provision – but it was for a percentage rate, based on property rateable values.

 

The so-called ‘enabling provision’ was actually a change of wording from a rate to a charge.

 

Brenda Cannell spoke out:

 

“The other thing I would like the Hon. Member, perhaps, to let us know what the Department’s thinking is in terms of this sewerage charge, which is being suggested in clause 11, sewerage charges. Of course, at the end of that, it says: ‘In imposing the charges, the Sewerage Authority must consider the amounts it will need to perform the functions to which the charges relate’, which suggests to me that they are bringing in a provision in law to enable them to be able to charge for things that we currently do not pay for and that the sewage treatment plant deals with, which has been highly contentious previously when another place has debated a concept of it.

So if the Member can let us know what the thinking is behind this and reassure us that any such order applying a sewerage charge would in fact need Tynwald approval and would be subject to a debate in another place and not merely rubber stamped, where we have got a situation where it would be laid before Tynwald without debate and the negative resolution would apply.”

 

Peter Karran also made an attempt:

 

“The other thing I am a bit concerned about is the clause to do with the sewerage charges. If

there were no plans to bring it in, I do not know why we are bringing in clause 93. The reality is we are in extremely difficult times. The fun and games of having no accountability, as far as spending is concerned and I think we should have some sort of clear declaration by the mover, if we are bringing in a rate or a charge for sewerage, then we need to know and we need to get that out into the public domain, so that our citizens who are finding hard times can adjust to know that information.”

 

Houghton responded:

 

“Yes, this Bill here does introduce an… (Mr Anderson: ability.) the Bill, the clauses Bill, produces an enabling clause for the ability to bring forward sewerage charges by order, and that order means via a Tynwald Order that would go to Tynwald for voting upon, not laid before Tynwald. It is set out clearly and that is the clear intention of the Water and Sewerage Authority to bring forward in the future, if it is so pressurised under the constraints of the Treasury, where it will not have sufficient funds to operate from what it receives from Treasury.

So that is all about how well the budgeting works in the future and so on. But as I noted in my answers to the Hon. Member, Mr Karran, on sewage charges, I do see them coming forward, not tomorrow, not the day after, but sometime in the future, if we are so constrained by the receipt of budget from the Treasury. Hon. Members, how long is a piece of string? This is an enabling clause, it will be brought forward as an order for Tynwald to approve and that is when the debate would happen in the future, if at all in the future.”

 

FOR

Mr Quirk

Mr Hall

Mr Karran

Mr Ronan

Mr Crookall

Mr Anderson

Mr Bell

Mr Singer

Mr Quayle

Mr Teare

Mr Cannan

Mr Cregeen

Mr Houghton

Mr Henderson

Mrs Beecroft

Mr Robertshaw

Mr Shimmin

Mr Corkish

Mr Cretney

Mr Skelly

Mr Gawne

The Speaker

 

AGAINST

Mrs Cannell

Thanks for this. All guilty bar one (plus Chris Thomas who wasn't there) which is what I have tried to point out before. Thanks Guilty for showing how guilty they are. The ayes have had it.

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The words horse, stable, bolted, spring to mind. I doubt the vote will go any other way than in favour of the charge, however, if they all have a conscience and realise how JH misled them you never know.

You credit Houghton with far too much inteligence. He has none. This has the classic handprint of an unaccountable faceless civil servant all over it.

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The words horse, stable, bolted, spring to mind. I doubt the vote will go any other way than in favour of the charge, however, if they all have a conscience and realise how JH misled them you never know.

You credit Houghton with far too much inteligence. He has none. This has the classic handprint of an unaccountable faceless civil servant all over it.
+1 on this. Houghton's just the fall guy patsy. It was carefully crafted by one or more CS who knew full well that the chance of it being properly scrutinised and picked up was the square root of f@@k all.

 

It stinks and just goes to highlight the amount of scrutiny that our elected geniuses devote to legislation placed before them.

 

And what of our heavily remunerated "Revising Chamber"? Our checks and balances? All out on a taxpayer-funded heavy lunch at the time, were we?

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The words horse, stable, bolted, spring to mind. I doubt the vote will go any other way than in favour of the charge, however, if they all have a conscience and realise how JH misled them you never know.

You credit Houghton with far too much inteligence. He has none. This has the classic handprint of an unaccountable faceless civil servant all over it.
+1 on this. Houghton's just the fall guy patsy. It was carefully crafted by one or more CS who knew full well that the chance of it being properly scrutinised and picked up was the square root of f@@k all.

 

It stinks and just goes to highlight the amount of scrutiny that our elected geniuses devote to legislation placed before them.

 

And what of our heavily remunerated "Revising Chamber"? Our checks and balances? All out on a taxpayer-funded heavy lunch at the time, were we?

 

Do you honestly belive that? Civil Servants are putting together legislation that is designed to hide taxes/ charges from not just the population but the MHKs too?

 

Sorry but I dont buy that, from the dealings I have had with a few Civil Servants the impression I got was that they were terrified of upsetting their Minister/ Departmental Member.

 

I know the general consensus on here is that the civil servants are running the show and they are to a point, they would not be doing their job if they didnt, I just dont see any evidence or experience of them trying to pull the wool over/ boss their bosses.

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Don't forget this all started on mr dccl watch. As I recall the original was withdrawn not fit for purpose and cregeen wasn't at all happy at being asked to present a bill he knew nothing about. This guy has fallen for the same trick after being led to the slaughter by the guys behind IRIS

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