Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Tynwald pass plan to purchase Steam Packet Company for £124m

Ben-my-Chree Image copyright Manxscenes.com
Image caption In 2017, the government rejected the ferry company's "best and final" offer to update services

A government buy-out of the sole Manx ferry company will go ahead, after Tynwald voted in favour of the idea.

Plans to buy the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IoMSPC) for £124m were passed on Tuesday, with only one member voting against the proposal.

Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan said it would bring "operations into public ownership" but said government "would not take over the day-to-day running".

"This is not a proposal to nationalise the company," he added.

Speaking at the debate, plan supporter Jane Poole-Wilson MLC said it was important that operations remained "free from political interference."

"No one in this court could operate a successful shipping company, but local staff have a wealth of expertise and should be left to run the business," she added.

The IoMSPC provides freight, passenger and vehicle services between Douglas and five ports in the UK and Ireland.

In July 2017, the Manx parliament rejected the operator's "best and final offer" to continue services beyond 2026.

Mr Cannan said while many people hoped the deal would lead to "cheaper passenger and freight costs... we have to manage expectations".

"The benefits will be seen in the long term as we develop better control over our sea services and in time, the money will come back to the Isle of Man."

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