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More than £1m on offer to support hospitality sector

But should the CM have presented politicians with the plans ahead of the announcement?

​The chief minister is facing significant criticism, after one backbencher labelled his behaviour in Tynwald an 'absolute disgrace'.

Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse is accusing him of not providing an appropriate response to a starred question.

A starred question is a 'priority' query which is to be answered ahead of all other questions during House of Keys and Tynwald sittings.

He asked "what options to assist the hospitality sector have been considered".

Alfred Cannan told his political colleagues an announcement from the treasury and enterprise ministers was imminent, but when Mr Moorhouse questioned whether he was waiting for a press release, Mr Cannan told the court “our announcements don’t always time nicely to fit in with Tynwald and the honourable member’s timescale."

It left Mr Moorhouse asking what the point of Tynwald is:

Manx Radio has invited Mr Cannan to respond to Mr Moorhouse's comments.

The press release in question has since been published.

Government sets out what it describes as a 'raft' of new measures to support the hospitality and retail industries.

They include a temporary financial assistance scheme which is only available throughout the TT fortnight, and a centralised hub of information which compiles all existing schemes into one online platform.

Q&A:

How much money is being allocated to this?

Ministers are unsure of the total spend because that will depend on uptake.

The money is being taken from the Economic Strategy Fund and it's estimated that more than £1,000,000 will be on offer in total.

How can businesses need help over the TT period, isn't that their most lucrative time?

This isn't direct financial support being injected into businesses, the assistance is geared towards individual workers.

Government has previously said it would be 'inappropriate' and 'unfair' to give financial support directly to specific businesses.

What this tries to do is incentivise people to consider working either longer hours, or getting second jobs.

What can those who take part in the scheme expect to be getting out of this?

Government is putting up £50 for each 10-hour block that someone signs up to, but they will already have to have worked 37-hours that week before they're eligible.

There's a maximum of £100 per week, or £200 over the fortnight and the money would be paid on top of what they're earning already.

These measures include expansion of the seasonal worker initiative and employee relocation incentive, but weren't there delays with visa applications recently?

Treasury has apologised for the delays seen in processing visas which was put down to significant increases to the number of people applying.

However, the minister promises applications deemed 'time critical' and those related to the hospitality sector will be prioritised.

Meet the Ministers:

These measures have followed a 'call to arms' meeting from the hospitality sector which saw bosses demanding reforms to VAT and for new measures to be put in place to tackle a lack of available workers.

A series of emergency talks with the Department for Enterprise and Treasury subsequently followed.

Ministers Tim Johnston and Alex Allinson sat down with Manx Radio's Christian Jones to discuss the plans:

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