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BUDGET: Capital projects have been 'overpromised and underdelivered'

£230 million for new schemes, and quarterly approvals, introduced

Capital projects on the Isle of Man have been 'overpromised and underdelivered'.

That’s the view of the treasury minister who has committed £230 million for new central government initiatives over the next five years.

The money is coming solely from the revenue budget but in a ‘fundamental change’ quarterly approvals have been introduced to improve financial planning and accuracy.

Schemes which require further feasibility studies will be redirected to the Project Development Fund instead which has received an £8 million uplift.

Among the capital projects highlighted in this year’s Budget are:

  • £2.3 million for the new Sexual Assault Referral Centre
  • £3.6 million for improvements to King Edward VIII Pier
  • £495,000 for mobile classrooms
  • £780,000 for replacement of radiology equipment at Noble’s Hospital
  • £5.4 million for the Climate Change Adaption Fund

Departments used to submit bids for capital funding in August or September for consideration as part of the next year’s financial plan.

This led to incidents of business cases being approved but then becoming inaccurate due to changes with project requirements and costs.

From now on, if the Budget is approved, schemes that have passed through a design and feasibility process will be the only ones eligible for approval with reviews taking place in February, June, September and November.

Minister Alex Allinson said: "We have focussed on the creation of a realistic and deliverable capital programme which will be fully funded from revenue in the medium term.

"Only active schemes have been included in the main programme and those that require further feasibility studies and design have been redirected to the Project Development Fund.

"We recognise that schemes will be developed throughout the year and are therefore proposing a fundamental change to the way that capital schemes are approved.

"We believe that this will improve our financial planning process and ensure that only fully developed schemes are presented to Tynwald for approval and implementation." 

Minister Alex Allinson told Manx Radio that, in the past, the capital project process has been a bit of a 'farce': 

You can find out more about the Budget – and what it means for you – by clicking HERE.

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