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Tynwald to debate KSF depositors' fund

Depositors with the collapsed bank Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Isle of Man will be anxiously following proceedings in Tynwald for the next couple of days.

They could each receive £1,000 if members support what's called "an advance payment to defined depositors", which would involve the transfer of a total of £11 million from government reserves.

A petition to wind up the bank was last month adjourned until January 29, to allow time to put together a possible salvage plan.

Among other major items on the order paper, Tynwald will be asked to approve a Bill which would create a legally established public footpath at Langness for the first time.

There will be statements on webcasting legislative proceedings and the review of the hotly debated public sector pension scheme. A £1.8 million sports development at Ballafletcher could get the go-ahead and the Department of Transport will face a vote of no confidence over the way it handled the linkspan User Agreement.

Arguably the most important item on the order paper could see far-reaching changes to the Island's farming industry.

Agriculture minister Phil Gawne will ask members to approve the Countryside Care Scheme, which would replace the current system of farm subsidies.

De-coupling as it's called, would be a huge turning point for farmers as it seeks to break the link between subsidy and production.

Instead, payments would be made to farmers for keeping their land in good agricultural order.

Plans to control immigration into the Isle of Man could provoke a lively debate. Stricter controls are proposed, but it's also being suggested it would be premature to put a cap on the number of people coming to live in the Island.

The final Tynwald sitting of 2008 begins at 10.30 this morning and there will be full coverage on Manx Radio's 1368 AM frequency.

Treasury minister Allan Bell will be on Tuesday's Mandate to talk about the proposed payments to Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Isle of Man depositors.

(Picture: The legislative buildings in Douglas).

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