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Packet at centre of Keys question

User agreement needs reform - Gawne

The infrastructure minister says the Steam Packet's user agreement is no longer fit for purpose - and will not be extended without major change. 

Phil Gawne faced a three-part question in the Keys today about the company's recent offer to the Manx government, to extend the agreement beyond 2026.

Onchan MHK Peter Karran wanted details on the packet's proposal to invest £170 million in new vessels - if it continues running ferry services to and from the Island. 

He also asked what effect that sum would have on the Packet's debt, and on charges for freight and passengers.

Mr Gawne denied a new user agreement had been struck - saying the Packet's finances would need to be 'more transparent' in any new deal.

But he insisted the current system, despite its faults, had been of benefit:   

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