Government House upkeep costs taxpayer over £175k

image captionGovernment House is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor and his wife

Taxpayers paid more than £175,000 to maintain and renovate the Lieutenant Governor's house, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed.

It showed running costs, before VAT, including maintenance, oil and electricity stood at £32,226.53 between April 2016 and March 2017.

Over five years more than £144,000 was spent on renovations at Government House where Sir Richard Gozney lives.

The Celtic League's Bernard Moffatt said the money spent is "horrendous".

"In a time when the number of people using food banks in the Isle of Man is on the rise it is an absurdity," he said.

"It's a ridiculous amount when there is increasing deprivation in our community.

"Some people can't afford to heat their homes - some don't even have a home - so these figures do astonish me."

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image captionThe number of food parcels distributed on the Isle of Man has doubled year-on-year since 2013

Sir Richard, was sworn in as the Isle of Man's 30th Lieutenant Governor in February, and lives at Government House in Onchan with his wife.

The property provides accommodation for official guests including foreign ambassadors and politicians and is used for official functions.

The FOI request, published in October, revealed that more than £144,000 plus VAT has been spent on renovations to the eight bedroom property from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2017.

The property, which also includes two large sitting rooms, service rooms and a wing of offices is set in about 27 acres on the Bermahague Estate.

Sir Richard Gozney, a former governor of Bermuda and British diplomat, was appointed by the Queen and will serve as her representative in the Isle of Man until 2022.

media captionSir Richard Gozney has sworn in February 2017

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