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Tynwald 'rushed MEA bond'

A former top Treasury civil servant says politicians rushed the Manx Electricity Authority bond that paid for Pulrose Power Station.

John Cashen, the former Chief Financial Officer, told a Tynwald select committee yesterday ministers were warned ‘the lights would go out’ in the Isle of Man if it wasn’t built quickly.

He said approving the £185 million funding had been pushed through without proper procedures being followed.

And the rush for approval in early 2001 was made worse by the fact a general election was being held later that year.

Jason Roberts reports:

(Text of attached audio)

Mr Cashen said the then Trade and Industry Minister David North had warned the council of ministers in early 2001 the Island faced disastrous power cuts if the power station wasn’t built quickly.

That had galvanised the government, which was worried about the effects that would have on the economy and people’s standards of living.

As a result, Mr Cashen claimed proper financial procedures had been almost ignored as Tynwald was asked to approve the spending plan in July.

He said he’d been extremely uncomfortable with the process and added it had been the Island’s highest political priority at the time.

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