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Meat Plant "Losses now commercially confidential"


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We have the right to know how much this is costing us. There are politicians involved in farming and grants, and the system needs to be open and honest where public monies are involved.

 

Commercial confidentiality is a smokescreen indeed.

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Until we get honest and open government with the light of day shining brightly on most things it undertakes, the sort of constant costly failures we keep seeing will continue to happen. The whole etho

But if there is no competition I can't see how they can invoke commercial confidentiality.   Are the annual reports of the meat plant published anywhere?

And all of this stems from the Manx inflated opinion of self importance which landed around about the time the money arrived. Everybody patted everybody else on the back and congratulated themselves o

We should be told how it is that the Chief Minister qualifies for significant 'agricultural' grants of public money when he apparently leases out his farms

 

you'd rather the grant went to the farmer then? and then the price of his lease increases by the amount of the grant/subsidy thus allowing fat boy to honestly claim that he doesn't receive the grant/subsidy....... wake up.

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I may be missing something but why aren't subsidies paid on say food production rather than giving cash to folk who own land?

 

If I had a reasonably sized garden and kept it tidy and maintained the public footpaths crossing it why wouldn't I be entitled to be given some cash ?flowers.gif

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We should be told how it is that the Chief Minister qualifies for significant 'agricultural' grants of public money when he apparently leases out his farms

 

you'd rather the grant went to the farmer then? and then the price of his lease increases by the amount of the grant/subsidy thus allowing fat boy to honestly claim that he doesn't receive the grant/subsidy....... wake up.

 

 

I'd be interested to know why a rich Manx landowner who happens to be a Tynwald member and 'Chief Minister' feels the need to take huge sums from the public purse

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We should be told how it is that the Chief Minister qualifies for significant 'agricultural' grants of public money when he apparently leases out his farms

 

you'd rather the grant went to the farmer then? and then the price of his lease increases by the amount of the grant/subsidy thus allowing fat boy to honestly claim that he doesn't receive the grant/subsidy....... wake up.

I'd be interested to know why a rich Manx landowner who happens to be a Tynwald member and 'Chief Minister' feels the need to take huge sums from the public purse

So that he can become an even richer landowner.

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IOM Meats is a private company not a government department as many seem to think. Therefore the losses cannot be disclosed. But the amount of government funding should be in the public domain. In the Tynwald questions & answers from 21st June it is stated that £435k had been provided for the current year plus a further £295k paid. So £730k had been paid out in the first 6 months of this year. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out the funding needed for the year!

 

Maybe under the freedom of information act someone should ask what the total amount of funding paid to IOM Meats is including grants and discounts.

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It's worth looking at the exchange from June in more detail:

 

Mr Cannan: I ask the Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture who the appointed manager of the Meat Plant is; what subsidy was provided in 2015-16; and whether a subsidy has been provided in this financial year?

 

The Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture (Mr Ronan): Miles MacPherson was appointed as interim plant manager on 31st May following the resignation of previous Chief Executive, Mike Owen, earlier this month for family reasons.

 

Madam President, a total of £915,000 was paid in subsidy in the 2015-16 financial year. However, this effectively relates to two years because Isle of Man Meats operates to a calendar trading year end; therefore, we provided £480,000 for the 2015 calendar year and a further £435,000 towards their current trading year. A further £295,000 has been paid in this financial year so far.

 

Mr Cannan: In 2012, the former Minister, Minister Gawne, announced that a subvention package worth £1.5 million had been agreed for Isle of Man Meats and that the subvention was to assist the business and implement a three-year transition to a more sustainable business model.

Can I ask the Minister whether the figures that he has provided today are part of that original deal in 2012?

Secondly, whether the business, the Meat Plant, has now transitioned to a sustainable business model?

 

The Minister: In part, yes, the subsidy and the package mentioned in 2012 is part of the figures I said. The subsidy provided since 2012, as the Hon. Member said, has been based on a four-year Treasury-approved subvention package which has decreased each year from £900,000 in 2013; £480,000 in the last financial year and £380,000 in this financial year.

 

The constant switching between the two accounting periods is confusing (it certainly seems have confused Ronan - admittedly not difficult). But it is clear that the £1.5 million that was meant to bring the plant into profitability has been exceeded. The story about paying two year's lots of subsidy in one financial year is also clearly nonsense - a regular subsidy should be paid out regularly.

 

A look at the detailed accounts for 2015-16 gives an even more alarming picture:

 

Meat Plant Subvention:

 

Actual 2014-15: £ 610,000

 

Actual 2015-16: £ 765,000

 

 

And that isn't all - there was capital expenditure on top of that (see page 35):

 

DEFA Grant for Meat Plant:

 

Actual 2014-15: £ 1,039,000

 

Budget 2015-16: £ 34,000

 

Actual 2015-16: £ 561,000 (so £527,000 ie 1550% over budget - or 'Variance' as they like to call it)

 

It does also say that "The capital part of the Meat Plant Refurbishment Scheme was completed.", so it's not clear whether that overspend was an accumulated figure shoved towards the end of the project or whether budget was exceeded in previous years as well.

 

(Some reformatting for clarity)

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