25th October – Keys Sitting

A short order paper as we are not yet into the legislative cycle. A demanding question for me with regard to gas prices  as at present we have no Office of Fair Trading Chairman and it comes within the DEFA remit.
The question revolved around whether consumers were getting a fair price for the gas with the present light touch regulation.
It’s an interesting conundrum as we have no competition in the market place and it would seem that at present unless there is a better system when the present agreement comes up for renewal in 2018, return on capital would seem to be an equitable way of pricing by proxy.
The present high standing charges do penalise consumers with low consumption, however, this does seem to be a trend across and is akin to providing an infrastructure which in our case only serves a population of 85,000 when in the UK it’s millions.
The early finish gave me an opportunity to catch up on some constituency work with a short visit to DEFA HQ for a briefing and signing some documentation, followed by an interview with Simon Clarke Manx Radio Countryfile.