| TT Compensation package under criticism
The compensation package for businesses hit by the
threat of foot-and-mouth received criticism despite
being passed unanimously by Tynwald.
It will provide financial support for tourism-related
businesses directly affected by disease-linked
restrictions and those who have suffered as a result
of both the TT and Manx Grand Prix cancellations.
The Island has remained foot-and-mouth free but
government's moves to minimise the risk have proved
costly for tourism.
Edgar Mann, MLC, supported the package but said: 'I
don't understand the principle that the more you lose
the less compensation you receive.'
Mr Cretney outlined what businesses will receive if
they are judged to be eligible.
l For the initial £500 loss there'll be no
Businesses will receive the entire sum they've lost
between £501 and £7,500
l For the next £2,500, businesses will receive half
l Between £10,001 and £57,000 businesses will receive
a quarter of the sum
l For losses of £57,000 or above businesses will
receive a flat rate of £20,000.
For example, a business that has lost £15,000 will
receive £9,500 compensation.
It is this system of compensation Dr Mann feels is
He said: 'The risk is universal whether the business
is small or large.
'I don't think this package is going to be the answer
and come the winter there will have to be a better
scheme than this.'
The package also came under fire from Brenda Cannell
(APG, Douglas East) who believes it doesn't go far
She said: 'I believe the impact on the tourism
industry from foot-and-mouth is going to last two or
'I would like to see the Treasury being a little more
generous than this.'
But Mr Cretney said: 'Businesses do not want to rely
on these schemes but the more stability they get the
better. I accept that as things move along we will
have to look again.
'I hope that's not the case but we have demonstrated a
desire to help the industry promptly.'
Businesses will have to prove they have suffered
'severe and lasting' damage and those ineligible
include government bodies, local authorities,
charities, religious bodies, other non-profit making
organisations, public limited companies, farming
businesses and those companies with an annual turnover
of more than £750,000.
Around 60 businesses have so far written in to claim
loss of earnings as a result of the TT's cancellation
but there's still time to claim.
Accommodation providers are being compensated
separately on an amount per empty bed basis.
Mr Cretney said: 'I believe that overall, the
government has responded in a positive and speedy
manner to the impact of foot-and-mouth, with
significant new resources being made available to
assist local businesses over what can only be
described for some as an extremely difficult period.
'This is in stark contrast to what is happening
elsewhere and is a clear recognition of the importance
of the tourist industry.
'The scheme is intended to provide prompt assistance
to businesses in the tourist and leisure industries
which have experienced severe difficulties during the
current period, while also extending to the MGP.'
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