Isle Of Man Economy – MHKS http://mhks.org/ Fri, 30 Sep 2022 20:53:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://mhks.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/mhks-icon-150x150.png Isle Of Man Economy – MHKS http://mhks.org/ 32 32 Madison Metals signs uranium forward sale agreement and creates first uranium-backed NFT with Lux Partners https://mhks.org/madison-metals-signs-uranium-forward-sale-agreement-and-creates-first-uranium-backed-nft-with-lux-partners/ Fri, 30 Sep 2022 20:53:00 +0000 https://mhks.org/madison-metals-signs-uranium-forward-sale-agreement-and-creates-first-uranium-backed-nft-with-lux-partners/

Madison Metals Inc.

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Madison Metals Inc. (“Madison” or the “Company”) (CSE: GREN) (OTCQB: MMTLF) is pleased to announce the signing of a historic and first-of-its-kind uranium forward sale agreement with Lux Partners Ltd. (“Lux”). Lux operates Lux network, the first decentralized blockchain integrated and operated by a network of regulated banking and money transfer partners. The exclusive five-year supply agreement provides for the delivery of up to 20 million pounds of U3O8 Madison uranium projects in Namibia after the start of commercial production. Fulfillment of the U3O8 delivery would support the first-ever uranium-based non-fungible tokens (“NFT”).

“Having the ability to potentially monetize our uranium resources at a premium using innovative technology provided by industry leaders is a testament to our forward-thinking strategy to create shareholder value,” said Duane. Parnham, executive chairman and CEO of Madison Metals. “We believe there are many advantages to forward selling some of our assets in this way. We expect it to provide non-dilutive capital to explore, develop and operate our properties while generating additional revenue through nominal trading fees.

Parnham continued: “The Lux team has exceptional abilities and a proven experience launch and drive demand for the world’s most innovative products, generating billions of dollars in revenue.

Lux NFTs bring liquidity and universal access to the uranium market and usher in a new era for the tokenization of physical assets and the distribution of the planet’s most valuable resources. Lux Uranium NFTs are to be minted exclusively on the Lux Network but will be made available on all major blockchains through the Lux standard for asset-backed NFTs.

From October 15, 2022 via the luxury market, almost anyone in the world will be able to mint Lux Uranium NFTs. By selling direct to retail, Lux is able to offer buyers the lowest possible price, disintermediating opaque and inefficient financing with transparent and clear pricing. For more information, please see Lux.Market.

“We are delighted to form this strategic alliance with Madison’s resource team to support the launch of Lux Uranium and the Lux Network (Lux.Network) of blockchains, which powers NFT minting, trading and staking,” said Zach Kelling, CEO of Lux Partners. “Through staking, users are exposed to the upside of the uranium market while earning additional fees through loans and liquidity. By digitizing assets, Lux hopes to unlock greater price discovery, asset value and liquidity throughout the mining lifecycle.

Lux will initially score £7.65m from U3O8 that Madison contributed to the Lux partnership. This will be followed by a further £12.35m to be minted as market demands. The token sales are intended to generate cash that will be returned to Madison along with royalties from trading fees. Proceeds from Madison’s capital will be used to advance compliant resource/reserve figures, as well as for engineering and economic studies and mining. Madison will also manage a risk assessment program and a hedge portfolio to purchase additional uranium products as needed or when required on a tax-neutral basis.

Learn more about Madison’s evolution via the new brand madisonmetals.ca website and updated corporate presentation.

Under the forward sale agreement, Madison will issue three million common shares to an independent advisor who made the introductions and facilitated the transaction. The common shares issued under the agreement are priced at C$1.22 at the close of trading on Thursday, September 29, 2022.

About Madison Metals Inc.

Madison Metals Inc (CSE: GREN) (OTCQB: MMTLF) is an upstream mining and exploration company focused on the sustainable production of uranium in Namibia and Canada. Using advanced technologies and modern strategies, Madison Metals is positioned to bring advanced uranium assets to market quickly.

With over 50 years of experience in the mining sector, including 22 years in Namibia, its management team has geological and financial expertise and a track record of creating shareholder value.

Additional information about Madison Metals Inc. is available at madisonmetals.ca and on the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

About Lux Partners Ltd.

Lux is a FinTech company domiciled in the Isle of Man and associated with a regulated and licensed money transfer business. Lux enables institutions to take advantage of blockchain technology use cases in a tax-efficient and regulated environment, with proper compliance, KYC and AML procedures. The managers of Lux have a long experience in managing transactions and investments in a wide range of industries. Institutions and governments can send and receive tokenized assets, with proper compliance, KYC and AML procedures. Lux processes both crypto and fiat transactions, given its ability to natively process Swift and Fed wires from the blockchain, while offering the highest levels of security and privacy through the Lux Bridge, which uses zero-knowledge proofs to secure assets and enable private transactions. on the Lux network. Lux is uniquely positioned to launch a host of highly profitable, risk-weighted, highly scalable verticals in large, fast-growing markets. These verticals include secure transaction processing, asset management, DeFi ecosystems, and tokenized investments in natural resources and emerging markets.

Additional information can be found at Lux.Partners/about

For more information, please contact:

Duane Parnham
Executive Chairman and CEO
Madison Metals Inc.
+1 (416) 489-0092
ir@madisonmetals.ca

Media inquiries:
Adam Bello
Manager, Media and Analyst Relations
Primoris Group Inc.
+1 (416) 489-0092
media@primorisgroup.com

Neither CSE nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward-looking statements

This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding fulfillment of the terms of the forward sales agreement described in this press release, including, but not limited to, future production capacity and delivery of U308 by Madison; the issuance of Madison stock; the timing and amount of estimated future exploration and the Company’s intended use of funds.

Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “anticipates”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is planned”, “budget”, “schedule”, “estimates”, “plans”, “intends”, “continues”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of these words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “will”, “could” or “will be taken”, “will occur” or “will be carried out”. Forward-looking statements are made based on certain assumptions and other material facts which, if incorrect, could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements. expressed or implied by these statements. These statements and information are based on numerous assumptions regarding present and future business strategies and the environment in which the Company will operate in the future.

Certain important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements include, among others, production delays; currency fluctuations, global economic climate, dilution, stock price volatility, competition, labor shortages and unexpected Company expenses. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: the failure of the Company or its contractual partners to perform their respective obligations under the agreements; unforeseen delays or shortages in production from the Company’s mining projects in Namibia; the impact that the COVID 19 pandemic may have on the Company’s business and on the economy generally; the impact of the post-pandemic recovery of COVID 19 and its impact on precious metals; receipt of necessary approvals; general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; future metal prices; accidents, labor disputes and shortages; environmental risks; and other risks of the mining industry.

Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be those anticipated, estimated or expected. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

You may find further information regarding these and other risks in documents filed with Canadian securities regulators which are available on the Company’s SEDAR profile page at www.sedar.com. The Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.

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Citizens Advice Thanet is desperate for new volunteers to help people cope with the cost of living crisis – The Isle Of Thanet News https://mhks.org/citizens-advice-thanet-is-desperate-for-new-volunteers-to-help-people-cope-with-the-cost-of-living-crisis-the-isle-of-thanet-news/ Thu, 29 Sep 2022 18:00:37 +0000 https://mhks.org/citizens-advice-thanet-is-desperate-for-new-volunteers-to-help-people-cope-with-the-cost-of-living-crisis-the-isle-of-thanet-news/
Thanet Citizens Council Executive Director, Angela Drew-Robinson

Reporting by Emma Cooney

A charity in Thanet is desperately appealing for volunteers to help those struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Citizens Advice Thanet supports people on everything from debt to housing, family and legal issues, and says it’s ‘heartbreaking’ to turn people away.

The pandemic has led to a drop in the number of volunteers and the charity now wants to double the number to pre-lockdown levels to meet demand.

Chief Executive Angela Drew-Robinson said: ‘With already limited resources we have to refer people to other services which is heartbreaking at a time when we know people need more than ever our help. We desperately want to be available again to anyone who needs us when they need us.

The government recently announced that all households with a home electricity connection will get £400 credited to their energy account from October – and those on low incomes, receiving disability benefits or receiving the winter fuel will receive additional financial assistance.

But nationally, Citizens Advice expects to have supported 57% more people than last year and is preparing for more calls when energy bills rise in October.

More volunteers would mean the Thanet charity could help more people and also offer a walk-in service. Trainee counselors are needed to answer phone calls, emails and meet people in person. People with social media skills are also in demand. Computer skills are essential and comprehensive training is provided.

Ms Drew-Robinson, who started as a volunteer with Citizens Advice Thanet in 2002, said volunteering has many benefits; “You learn so much. You get professional development, increased employability and knowledge. It can be a young person looking for new skills or someone who wants to change careers. Many volunteers bring life skills. And as a volunteer, you help people overcome their problems and move on, which is extremely satisfying.

The charity is also rebuilding its team of directors, responsible for overseeing strategy, governance and finance. Accounting and fundraising skills are particularly in demand.

If you would like to volunteer with Citizens Advice Thanet, please email Volunteers@thanetcitizensadvice.org.uk.

Volunteer David Proderick

“It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve done,” says Citizens Advice Thanet volunteer David Proderick, who calls the charity “a family”.

The retired diesel support engineer started volunteering a decade ago when he quit working and says what he missed most were the people.

There were plenty of volunteer driving jobs around, but he had traveled thousands of miles for his job and wanted to do something different. Then he remembered that his mother had used Citizens Advice when he was younger.

“I was 7 or 8 years old. It must have been school holidays because my mother dragged me and my sister and me. She was raising two children on her own. My father was away and we needed financial help.

The Ramsgate resident went to offer his services and said he could ‘make tea, book people and sweep’.

He quickly learned to become an adviser and says the training at Citizens Advice is “second to none”, adding that the volunteers are part of the family.

“My wife suffered greatly from the disease and died five years ago. All the while, the Citizens Advice family was there for me. There is always someone to support you. »

The rewards, he said, were people’s appreciation for your advice and seeing people leave dates feeling lighter.

“I call it hatch and match and dispatch because we help people with everything from births to deaths, benefit claims, neighborhood disputes, marriage breakdowns, consumer issues – and debt matters. right now. I’m the first person people see when they walk through the door. And if I don’t know the answer, I know where to find it.

“Sometimes people just want someone to listen to them.

“We get people saying ‘they can’t pay you enough for what you’ve done.’ They don’t realize that we are volunteers!

“The hardest thing to do is walk through the door. Sometimes someone comes in crying and we find them an extra £100 a week, and they cry again. People don’t know what they are entitled to, especially the elderly I see.

The 73-year-old from Ramsgate is also a volunteer at Age UK Thanet, where blue badge claims and benefit calculations are requested, and he is an escort in a minibus for a church lunch club where he helps also. “It’s a good crack. A good time,” he said.

During the lockdown, Citizens Advice phone lines were diverted to his home and a computer was installed. First he answered local calls, once they were over he went on the computer to help answer national enquiries.

“I have to do something,” he said. “I was a man who lived alone during confinement. Citizens Advice has kept me sane.

How Citizens Advice can help reduce energy costs and debt

  • Check if there are ways to increase income and save on expenses
  • See what benefits you are entitled to
  • See what your energy companies are offering
  • Look at emergency vouchers
  • Links to Debt Charities
  • Citizens Advice Thanet works with Citizens Advice North & West Kent to provide debt advice. To make an appointment email: debt@nwkent.cab.org.uk Telephone: 03300 533 667 When contacting the association please provide your name and contact details for a call back. Find Citizens Advice Thanet online at https://thanetcitizensadvice.org/

10 tips to save energy and money

A volunteer administrator at Citizens Advice Thanet, Danni Barnes works for the charity National Energy Action (NEA).

She says it’s important to speak with your energy supplier to check what help is available if people are struggling to pay for and use the energy you need to stay warm, safe and healthy .

She adds that although the energy saving measures do not compensate for the huge increase in the energy price cap, NEA offers the tips below to save money.

  • Don’t forget to disable sleep mode on your devices. Unplug or turn off appliances at the wall. Don’t leave your cell phone charging overnight – most only need a few hours.
  • Microwave cooking is cheaper than oven cooking because it uses less energy and takes less time to cook.
  • Avoid putting hot food in your freezer as this makes it work harder – let the food cool down first.
  • Turn off lights when leaving a room. Leave a standard bulb 60W turned on for 12 hours a day could cost you £73 a year – for just one bulb. Switch to an energy-saving LED bulb. These can consume up to 90% less electricity.
  • Boil only the water you need in your kettle.
  • Electric showers are one of the biggest energy consumers, set a timer for three minutes to keep costs down.
  • Wash clothes at 30°C instead of 40°C.
  • Use a bowl to wash up rather than running the faucet.
  • Dry clothes on a clothesline outside or on a drying rack, instead of using a clothes dryer. If you must use a dryer, the latest heat pump dryers use less electricity.
  • Understanding your heating controls can help. If you have electric storage heaters, see National Energy Actions Make the most of the economy 7 fact sheet.

NEA aims to ensure everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is warm and safe at home. Visit www.nea.org.uk/energyhelp page for more information and watch his Energy consumption at home brochure.

More details on government energy support can be found on Help for Households https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/

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The country has united – and now it must remain united https://mhks.org/the-country-has-united-and-now-it-must-remain-united/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 23:02:00 +0000 https://mhks.org/the-country-has-united-and-now-it-must-remain-united/

SIR – Why is the Russian army fighting in Ukraine? The answer is Vladimir Putin’s vanity.

Why are Ukrainians fighting? They fight for their country, their compatriots, their families and their friends. Their recent successes demonstrate the power of these motivations.

Putin cannot tolerate being seen defeated. Beware of the cornered rat.

Alastair Mutch
Kendal, Cumbria

Broadband lottery

SIR – I’ve had poor broadband service for many years, and it’s unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future due to where I live.

I’m disappointed that BT is currently advertising a fast fiber service – 50mbps – for £24.99 per month. I am currently paying £29 per month for very slow service – around 4.5mbps.

I spoke to BT about it, but my complaints fell on deaf ears. Surely it’s time he changed his billing policy so that those who have bad service pay a lot less. We would of course be happy to pay the going rate for good service.

Hugues Lewin
Chewton Mendip, Somerset

Mystery DVLA

SIR – Janet Milliken’s letter (“Denied freedom to drive by lazy DVLA”, September 5) struck a chord.

Like her, I attended Specsavers, where I had my eyes tested by a young man who had completed his training four months earlier. His opinion was accepted by the DVLA and my license was renewed.

Interestingly, however, the opinion of my cataract surgeon (a professor with over 35 years of experience in eye surgery), who said I was fit to drive, was not considered acceptable. Is there an explanation?

Jennie Bedford
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Mayhem Booster

SIR – I recently visited my mum in Yorkshire and arranged her Covid callback for her using the telephone booking service. I eventually spoke to an operator and an appointment was made at a local pharmacy for the day of the late Queen’s funeral.

On phoning the pharmacy to check it was open I was told no one would be there as it was a public holiday so I called the reservations department again, only to find the system was down .

Looking online I found there was a walk-in callback service at the Great Yorkshire Showground, and we were in, picked up and out within an hour.

During this time I received two texts from the NHS – one confirming that vaccination centers would be open on public holidays (they weren’t) and a second confirming my mum’s now redundant pharmacy appointment .

Mark Calvin
Tretower, Brecknockshire

SIR – A missed appointment due to the late arrival of a letter from the hospital (Letters, 17 September) is not necessarily the fault of the NHS.

However, I was stunned when the elderly Ukrainian lady staying in my house was refused an MRI scan at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge due to the lack of a translator – as explained to her daughter who fluent in English.

A day was lost, an elderly lady’s urgent test was delayed and money was lost in the cancellation of a procedure. There is no doubt that additional costs will now be incurred by employing an official translator.

Tom Ryves
Metwold, Norfolk

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City Overview: Regional REIT; Supreme; Kape Technologies https://mhks.org/city-overview-regional-reit-supreme-kape-technologies/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 07:03:56 +0000 https://mhks.org/city-overview-regional-reit-supreme-kape-technologies/

Real estate company Regional REIT today announced better interim revenue and earnings for the six months ending June 30, 2022.

The company, which has offices at Old Trafford overseeing properties across the North West, had net rental and property income of £28.944m, up from £25.369m in 2021. Pre-tax profits were £28.252m, down from £18.013m. Last year.

Total rents collected for the period amount to 98.7% of rents due, higher than 96.4% of rents collected for the equivalent period in 2021. Rent register was £72m, compared to £72.1 M£ as of December 31.

The first half dividend is recommended at 3.3p per share, compared to 3.2p the previous year. Regional REIT is targeting an annual dividend of 6.6p per share.

The company disposed of three properties located in Reading, Lincoln and Colchester which had completed their individual business plans for £7.2 million, as assessed on June 30, 2022.

Since July 1, 2022, the group has traded on 20 new leases, totaling 46,871 square feet. When fully occupied, these leases will provide £0.7m a year of rental income.

Stephen Inglis, CEO of London and Scottish Property Investment Management, the asset manager, said: “Regional REIT again delivered strong operational and financial performance despite the turmoil in the UK economy, and as the pandemic measures were raised across the country, we continued to benefit from serious investigations and growing occupation across the entire field.

“Across the portfolio, approximately 98.7% of all our tenants are now back in occupancy in some form, whether full-time or hybrid, the 14 tenants who have not returned to date, indicating that they intend to return shortly.

The easing of pandemic-related restrictions saw the normalization of rental collections with 98.7% collected for the six months to June 30, 2022, supporting our strong dividend payments.

He added: “During the period, capital continues to be recycled from non-core assets and properties where asset management plans have been completed, to ensure a net improvement in the initial yield of approximately 290 basis points between sales and acquisitions The high-quality properties acquired also present additional attractive asset management opportunities to further enhance shareholder value over the medium term.

“While inflation, the energy crisis and political shifts cast a shadow over the economy, our historical and ongoing focus on mitigating risk where possible has resulted in the group’s debt profile being fixed, hedged or capped at 100% Therefore, if interest rates rise even further as many are predicting, the weighted average cost of current borrowing will not exceed 3.5%.

“With the experience and expertise across the platform, underpinned by our defensive positioning across the portfolio, I am confident that I can tackle the broader macro challenges facing the economy.”

::

Sandy Chadha, CEO, Supreme

Supreme, the Stretford-based manufacturer, supplier and brand owner of fast-moving consumer goods, led by CEO Sandy Chadha, delivered a strong performance for the year to March 31, 2022, shareholders will hear at the annual general meeting this morning.

Chairman, Paul McDonald, will tell shareholders: “Supreme delivered a strong performance in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, supported by organic growth in our key divisions, as well as the acquisition of highly complementary businesses. .

“We have continued to develop a large network of loyal customers across the retail space, and we are delighted with the progress we have made in increasing our retail penetration, as well as the positive impact of recent brand and product launches.

“Trading for the current year remains in line with market expectations, with the business well positioned to deliver on our strategic aspirations, supported by the recent acquisitions of vaping business Liberty Flights Limited and the purchase of the business and assets of Cuts Ice Limited and Flavor Limited Core.

“Our fast-growing Vaping category continues to support group growth. Along with the continued strong performance of our 88vape brand, including winning new customers in grocery and convenience retail, we remain committed to evolving our Vaping segment, as evidenced by the acquisitions of Liberty Flights in June. 2022, and Cuts Ice and Flavor Core in August 2022.

“Highly complementary and immediately profit-generating, the two transactions will add scale to the group and should generate additional cross-selling opportunities, while the integration of Cuts Ice will allow us to focus on expanding our European footprint, a integral component of our overall growth strategy.

“The rest of the group continues to operate in line with expectations and overheads continue to be closely managed.

“As the UK government and global health experts continue to endorse vaping as an effective tool to quit smoking, Supreme recognizes the important role the group will play in supporting a tobacco-free UK by continuing to offer credible and safer alternatives to nicotine consumption. By delivering great value, high quality products to market through our extensive distribution network, we remain well positioned to help mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis on consumers.

“Looking ahead, we continue to explore further M&A opportunities to complement the group’s organic growth, and the Board remains confident in Supreme’s strategic ambitions, underpinned by the exciting prospects within Vaping.”

::

Ido Erlichman

Isle of Man-based digital security and privacy software company Kape Technologies has raised $240.5m (£190.14m), through a placement of shares and a offering to the public, launched earlier this week.

The board said it was pleased with the very strong response to the fundraising from new and existing institutional shareholders, including a number of blue-chip institutional investors from the UK, Europe and Israel, and through PrimaryBid’s retail offering. The fundraising was heavily oversubscribed.

The net proceeds from the fundraising are intended to be used to accelerate the group’s growth through acquisitions, with Kape’s board believing that global market conditions have given rise to a number of opportunities attractive acquisition potential at attractive valuations.

Chief Executive Ido Erlichman said, “We are delighted to have received such endorsement of our business and our growth strategy from new and existing shareholders. We’ve worked extremely hard to create the world’s largest pure-play digital privacy software provider, but we believe we have a lot more we can achieve.

“This new capital injection will help us accelerate our organic growth plans while capitalizing on potential acquisition opportunities.

“I look forward to updating all of our key stakeholders on our continued progress as we seek to fully leverage our market-leading position, from which we provide our seven million customers with privacy and security solutions. state-of-the-art digital security.

]]> What to know before the Swedish elections https://mhks.org/what-to-know-before-the-swedish-elections/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 08:52:30 +0000 https://mhks.org/what-to-know-before-the-swedish-elections/ Sweden is holding elections on Sunday to elect lawmakers to the 349-seat Riksdag as well as local offices across the country of 10 million people.

Early voting began on August 24, so many people will have already voted by Election Day.

Here are some key things to know about voting.

– What’s at stake?

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson is fighting to keep her centre-left Social Democrats leading a left-wing coalition but faces a tough challenge from the right.

Swedish political party tents are set up for an election event in Lund (James Brooks/AP)

Sweden is known for being a cradle-to-grave welfare society and Ms Andersson would like to preserve the welfare safeguards that have long defined Sweden and reverse some of the market-driven changes by a previous government. His party believes that some of the changes, such as state subsidies to private schools, create greater inequalities.

The once mighty Social Democrats have been in power since 2014. But as the party’s popularity wanes from its 20th century peak, it has been forced to preside over a weaker government that relies more on other parties to pass laws, a situation that has produced political instability over the past eight years.

– Who is likely to win?

There are two large blocks, with four parties on the left and four on the right. Polls leading up to the election showed the two blocs nearly tied, with an outcome that was impossible to predict.

Under Swedish law, the party that wins the most seats is responsible for forming a government. Polls show it will likely be Ms Andersson’s party, in which case it would be up to her first to try to form a coalition government with majority support in the legislature.

But if the left as a whole is performing poorly, it might not be able to form a coalition. In this case, the baton would have passed to the second largest party to try to form a government.

– Which party is in second place?

In the last election, in 2018, the moderates led by Ulf Kristersson, a centre-right party, won the second most seats. The Conservative Party promotes a market economy, lower taxes and a lesser role for government in a country with a generous welfare state supported by high taxes.

Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderate party, left, and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, leader of the Social Democrats, take part in a political debate broadcast on TV4 from Eskilstuna, Sweden
Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderates, and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, leader of the Social Democrats, take part in a political debate (Christine Olsson/TT via AP)

But like the Social Democrats and many other mainstream parties across Europe for that matter, the Moderates have also seen their popularity with voters wane amid a populist challenge from further to the right.

– Who are the populists?

The Swedish Democrats, a right-wing populist party that takes a hard line on immigration and crime, first entered parliament in 2010 and have grown steadily ever since.

The party won 13% of the vote in 2018, becoming the third force in parliament. Polls show it is likely to improve from Sunday’s.

Some Swedes describe the party as Trumpist and feel disheartened that it was founded by far-right extremists decades ago, and are unsure whether to trust it in its transformation into a more traditional conservative party.

The party is led by Jimmie Akesson, a 43-year-old former web designer who has been the driving force in trying to moderate the party’s image.

Swedish Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson attends a campaign rally in Vasteras, Sweden
Sweden’s Democratic Party leader Jimmie Akesson attends a campaign rally in Vasteras (Tim Aro/TT News Agency via AP)

However, the party clearly tapped into the social mood. His success can also be measured by the fact that other parties have moved closer to his positions, as many Swedes believe they can no longer bear the costs of the generous refugee policies of the past and seek to crack down on crime.

Once treated as pariahs, other conservative parties are increasingly willing to deal with Sweden’s Democrats.

– How bad is crime in Sweden?

Some of the immigrants who have been welcomed to Sweden in recent years have had difficulty integrating into Swedish society, which has led to segregated neighborhoods with high crime rates.

Gang violence mainly occurs within criminal networks trafficking drugs or involved in other illicit activities. But there have been recent cases of innocent bystanders being injured. So far this year, 48 people have been killed by firearms in Sweden, three more than in 2021.

Fears over the constant news of shootings and explosions in inner city neighborhoods have made crime one of the most pressing issues for voters.

Liberal Party Leader Johan Pehrson and Center Party Leader Annie Loof take part in a political debate broadcast on TV4 from Eskilstuna, Sweden
Liberal Party Leader Johan Pehrson and Center Party Leader Annie Loof take part in a political debate broadcast on TV4 from Eskilstuna, Sweden (Christine Olsson/TT via AP)

“Shooting and bomb explosions have increased in recent years and (this violence) is now considered a big social problem. I wouldn’t say it’s as bad as Mexico, but we’re on the right track,” said Anders Sannerstedt, a political scientist at Lund University in southern Sweden.

– The gender factor

Ms Andersson became Sweden’s first female prime minister less than a year ago – a late step for a country that in many ways is an example of gender equality.

“I was really proud,” said Ulrika Hoonk, a 39-year-old woman who voted early in Stockholm on Friday night, saying it took “far too long” for this to happen.

Polls show Ms Andersson’s party is particularly popular with women, with men tending to vote more Conservative.

Even though Mrs Andersson is the first Prime Minister, many women are still represented in positions of authority. Four party leaders are women and one party has a woman and a man who share the leadership. In parliament, the gender balance has long been split roughly 50-50.

Several women interviewed this week said it was very important to them to finally have a female leader and a factor they considered when choosing which party to support.

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Heron Bros will continue to focus on the UK market amid continued economic uncertainty https://mhks.org/heron-bros-will-continue-to-focus-on-the-uk-market-amid-continued-economic-uncertainty/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 01:01:32 +0000 https://mhks.org/heron-bros-will-continue-to-focus-on-the-uk-market-amid-continued-economic-uncertainty/

SOUTH Derry construction group Heron Bros said its business would continue to focus on the UK market due to uncertainty in the local and national economy.

In a new set of business accounts, the Draperstown-based operation, which employs around 290 people, reported pre-tax profit of £5.6million for the year to August 31, 2021.

The Heron Bros business includes construction, carpentry, manufacturing, quarrying, supply of building materials as well as real estate development and investment.

At £84.5m, group revenue reflects the impact of the pandemic over the 12-month reporting period, ending the year below pre-Covid levels from 2019 (107 million pounds).

In the latest report filed with Companies House, Heron’s directors took a cautious tone but said the company‘s order book remained strong.

“With continued local and national uncertainty and to avoid spending dips, the company will continue to focus on the UK market,” they said.

“However, we are encouraged by a strong balance sheet, order backlog and opportunities for the year ahead.”

Directors said Heron continued to invest significantly in the sustainability of its business in 2021 by maintaining an ongoing digital transformation program.

Over the past few months, Heron Bros has sought to increase its stake in the renewable energy sector.

The Derry company announced in June a seven-figure investment in West Belfast smart battery technology company The Electric Storage Company (TESC). Heron is already heavily invested in the renewable energy sector through the wind company Simple Power.

Meanwhile, the South Derry Group is also working with foodservice provider Sysco Ireland to develop a new £23million distribution facility at Nutts Corner.

“Growth will continue to be driven by the consolidation of the existing sectors in which we operate, the alliance with long-standing customers, the pursuit of niche markets, residential developments, renewable energies, strategic joint ventures and developments together with the company’s real estate division,” the directors said.

“The company continues to expand its current development model of site identification, design and construction, sale or lease of developments to private and public sector clients.”

Heron Bros Limited is ultimately owned by Heron Bros Holdings registered in the Isle of Man.

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Sunak: The golden boy who lost his shine among conservative members https://mhks.org/sunak-the-golden-boy-who-lost-his-shine-among-conservative-members/ Sat, 03 Sep 2022 08:59:58 +0000 https://mhks.org/sunak-the-golden-boy-who-lost-his-shine-among-conservative-members/ Rishi Sunak, once the Conservative Party’s golden boy, is now bracing for a moment of political reckoning as polls point to a likely defeat in the race for prime minister.

After a shrewd campaign launch saw him become the favored candidate of Tory MPs, things started to go downhill when the contest was handed over to the party’s 180,000 members.

With just days left in the contest to replace Boris Johnson, in whose downfall Mr Sunak played a significant role, all signs seem to suggest that after weeks of roundups and media appearances, the conservative base is set to pick rival Liz Truss.

While Mr Sunak and his supporters have insisted there is always a risk of upheaval, Mr Sunak has emerged in recent days to acknowledge he faces an uphill battle.

“If I spent all my time watching the polls or reading the newspapers, I probably wouldn’t get up in the morning to do all those things,” he said in a recent interview.

A far cry from his meteoric rise under Mr Johnson, when he quickly became the Cabinet minister nominated as the most likely successor.

Rishi Sunak has remained resolute in his attacks on Liz Truss and her tax cut plans (Niall Carson/PA)

At the start of the pandemic, he was the nation’s most popular politician as he rolled out an unprecedented furlough scheme that saved millions of jobs as the economy ground to a halt.

His ambitions had been barely concealed from the day he entered No 11, with personalized branding on carefully curated social media content to boost his public profile as well as a concerted campaign to woo MPs.

His bid to charm Tory voters has proven more difficult, with his undoubted experience of managing the economy instead prompting accusations that he represents a Treasury orthodoxy unsuited to the gigantic threat to Britain’s economy.

Born in 1980 in Southampton to parents of Punjabi origin, Mr Sunak’s father was a family doctor and his mother ran a pharmacy, where he helped her with the books.

After private studies at Winchester College, where he was prefect, and a degree in politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford, he took an MBA at Stanford University in California where he met his wife, Akshata Murty, the daughter the sixth richest man in India. .

A successful business career, with stints at Goldman Sachs and as a hedge fund manager, meant that by the time he decided to enter politics in his early 30s, he was already independently wealthy.

In 2014 he was selected as the Conservative candidate for the ultra-safe seat of Richmond in North Yorkshire – then held by William (now Lord) Hague – and was duly elected in the following year’s general election.

In the 2016 Brexit referendum, he backed Leave, much to the dismay of David Cameron who saw him as one of the most promising Conservative candidates among the new wave.

Given his first government job – as a junior local government minister – by Mr Cameron’s successor Theresa May, he was an early supporter of Mr Johnson in the lead when she took over. been kicked out amid the Brexit fallout.

When Mr Johnson entered No 10 in July 2019, the payoff was swift with a dramatic Cabinet promotion as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

An even bigger step followed in February 2020 when Chancellor Sajid Javid resigned after rejecting a demand to sack all his advisers and Mr Sunak was put in charge of the nation’s finances, aged just 39 .

The increasingly rapid spread of Covid-19 meant that his mettle was quickly tested. Within a fortnight of his first budget, he was effectively forced to tear up his financial plans as the country went into lockdown.

The new chancellor, who saw himself as a small, traditional conservative low-tax state, began pumping in hundreds of billions of dollars in government cash as the economy was on life support.

But as the country emerged from the pandemic, some of the shine began to fade amid rising tensions with its No 10 neighbor and anger among Tory MPs over tax hikes as he sought to rebuild public finances.

To add to his woes he was caught up in the ‘partygate’ scandal, being fined, along with Mr Johnson, for attending a rally to mark the Prime Minister’s 56th birthday, despite only claiming to have entered in No. 10 to attend a meeting.

There were more questions when it emerged his wife had ‘non dom’ status for tax purposes – an arrangement that would have saved him millions – despite having retained a US ‘green card’, he eligible for permanent residence in the United States.

For a man known for his penchant for expensive gadgets and trendy accessories – and who still has an apartment in Santa Monica – everything seemed dangerously disconnected at a time when spiraling prices were putting financial pressure on millions of people in across the country.

His frustrations with Mr Johnson’s chaotic style of government – as well as a growing divergence over policy – finally boiled over when he dramatically resigned, prompting a rush out the door by other ministers who forced the Prime minister to admit that his time was up.

Mr Sunak has not repented of his decision to step down, although he admitted it was a decision that could have hurt his position among the rank and file who had chosen Mr Johnson as Prime Minister a few years earlier .

Throughout, he has remained resolute in viewing his rival’s promises of tax cuts at a time of worsening inflation as irresponsible, dangerous and unconservative.

Conservative leadership bid
Rishi Sunak, the former golden boy, struggled to excite Tory members (Liam McBurney/PA)

Fellow conservatives did not seem to share this view, with many defecting to Camp Truss during the contest.

The cut and thrust of a leadership campaign offers little time for soul-searching, but Mr Sunak will have to quickly decide which political course to take if he is defeated within days.

Although he has expressed some reluctance to join the cabinet of a prime minister he disagrees with, he will be acutely aware that a stint in the benches will offer limited opportunities for a second nudge. ° 10.

Whether he can pull off a shock victory or not, it’s clear that for the sake of his political future, this former golden boy must rediscover his luster.

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Eigg housing empowerment project receives share of island infrastructure funding https://mhks.org/eigg-housing-empowerment-project-receives-share-of-island-infrastructure-funding/ Fri, 02 Sep 2022 08:46:21 +0000 https://mhks.org/eigg-housing-empowerment-project-receives-share-of-island-infrastructure-funding/

Preparation work to deliver new homes on the Isle of Eigg is one of 11 projects to receive a share of £4.45million to help critical island projects on climate change, conservation of population and tourism.

Six island local governments, with projects spread across 31 islands, have received funding for the current fiscal year under the Islands Programme.

The Old Surgery Housing Enablement project on Eigg has been awarded £72,000 to deliver the earthworks, borehole and electrical connections for the main construction phase of two new homes as soon as possible.

This project has strong links to population retention and growth, housing and will use off-grid connections and renewable energy. The application focuses solely on the infrastructure to ‘unlock’ the site, including a new robust water supply and establishing a power connection to Eigg Electric Ltd (Eigg’s green energy network).

Other projects include a new visitor center and electric vehicle charging stations in Old Man of Storr, nine Island Pit Stops in Arran and Cumbrae providing better visitor facilities, a new nursery in Kirkwall to replace an existing building slated for demolition and improvement of waterfront infrastructure in Tobermory.

Announcing the funding during her visit to Orkney, Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “This is a significant investment, particularly given the impact of the cost of living crisis and climate change which are of concern especially our islands. This investment will go some way to supporting our island communities.

“I am happy to be here in Orkney, to announce the award of £1.5million to the Orkney Islands Council for a brand new nursery. The new crèche will support families in mainland Orkney and the Outer Islands, while providing opportunities for Orkney College Childhood Practice students.

“I wish the best to all successful projects and look forward to following their progress.”

Scottish Futures Trust provides support and feedback for projects. The funding is part of the Islands Scheme, which supports the implementation of the National Islands Plan 2019, helping to make Scotland’s islands even better places to live, study, work and raise a family.

Councilor Gwenda Shearer, Chair of Orkney Islands Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Committee, said: “The allocation of funds for the new crèche is great news. The stated purpose of the fund is to improve the quality of life in our island regions – and improving access to childcare services for our local families really ticks that box.

“The new facility will make a huge difference locally and we look forward to moving the project forward.”

Tony Rose, Chief Strategy Officer, Scottish Futures Trust, added: “Our infrastructure experts have worked with the Scottish Government and the six island local authorities to ensure the Islands Program delivers positive results for island communities.

“This funding will now be invested in much-needed community infrastructure, such as a low-carbon childcare center and a circular economy social enterprise, which will support repopulation, economic growth and local jobs. Our goal now is to work with successful applicants to see their projects come to fruition and achieve what communities need.

Details of other approved projects

Argyll and Bute Council

  • Island Community Halls Digital Hubs, £100,000. Coll, Iona, Islay, Tiree. Argyll and Bute Council.

This project will create four digital hubs in community rooms across the island for a variety of uses, including hybrid meetings, access to online services and NHS “Near Me” clinics. It will serve as a guide for other potential sites in other islands and build on experiences from the pandemic to provide inclusive digital access and reduced travel time, costs and emissions.

  • Improvements to Tobermory Seawall and Railings, £250,000. Reflect.

This project will provide essential waterfront infrastructure to the community of Tobermory by adding resilience against tidal surges and helping to reduce the impact of climate change. The works will also support the sustainability of existing businesses and provide a safer and more welcoming environment.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

  • Ionad Hiort – RIBA Stage 4 design fee, £167,000. Lewis. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

The Ionad Hiort/St Kilda Center project aims to build a £6.25million visitor center in Uig, Isle of Lewis. This application is for RIBA Stage 4 work which will provide the detailed specifications needed to advance to the tender stage. Ionad Hiort has been recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Center as a global example of remote access to the hundreds of World Heritage sites where access by large numbers of visitors is either impossible or undesirable. The project aims to provide essential jobs, thereby supporting population retention and growth and will help reinvigorate a vibrant Gaidhlig community.

  • Community Facilities Program – Uist, £347,781. Berneray, North Uist, Eriskay.

The Community Facilities Regeneration Program is a series of three community hall regeneration projects; reconfigure a building into a digital coworking space and protect another community building before establishing a community hub. The program will have significant impacts on the sustainability of each group’s facilities while increasing the level of service delivery. The energy efficiency measures taken with the incorporation of renewable energy solutions will lead to a dramatic annual reduction in carbon emissions in the three projects.

The Highland Council

  • The Old Man of Storr, £440,000. Skye.

The ambition of the overall project is to provide a world-class experience for visitors to the Old Man of Storr that showcases Skye’s unique heritage and culture. This application is focused on providing an on-site retail/visitor unit and electric vehicle charging stations. There are strong links to sustainability, education and sustainable economic development in addition to increased awareness of Gaelic and local culture.

North Ayrshire Council

  • Millport Town Hall Regeneration – Phase 2, £509,450. Cumbrae.

Phase 2 of a multi-funded development will use the basement of the building to provide a central community space, offering a collection of activities and attractions in a heritage building. The renovated space will provide additional operational revenue to support the project and expand usage options. The project has high levels of community involvement, working in partnership and builds on previous investments. Natural light, solar panels and air-source heat pumps will provide a significant portion of the building’s energy and LED lighting. New double-glazed windows to conservation standards and insulation will be installed.

  • Island pit stops, £540,000. Arran and Cumbrae.

This project aims to manage the challenges of increasing visitor numbers by reorienting and improving existing infrastructure to encourage dispersal of visitors and address over-visit at key sites. It aims to increase the quality of the visitor experience by providing better facilities, thereby promoting increased stay time and spending on the islands. Island restroom buildings will be redeveloped into accessible, eco-designed island pit stops at nine sites. This project offers a replicable example of sustainable tourism.

Council of the Orkney Islands

  • New Kirkwall Nursery, £1,500,000. Mainland Orkney.

New crèche located next to the Orkney College campus, to replace an existing building slated for demolition and which is the only current crèche in Orkney. The project has strong ties to population retention, tackling child poverty and achieving net zero ambitions. The proposed crèche is located next to Orkney College, providing opportunities to support students in early childhood practice as they develop their skills, supporting a key sector which has had recruitment challenges. The new installation will save approx. 20 tonnes of CO2 by moving the nursery service from the old CLASP building from 1960 to the new, highly insulated building.

Shetland Islands Council

By investing in a new portable cabin, additional access and parking, this social enterprise in a small community will be able to expand the range and volume of repaired and donated items offered for sale. This project is a strong and replicable example of working towards net zero ambitions in a remote community and is a clear model of the circular economy in action. The Scrapstore strives to achieve net zero ambitions by reducing the travel and energy associated with disposing of goods that are still in good/repairable condition or travel to purchase new items. This can help reduce overall household expenses and influence the perception that the community can be an affordable place to live compared to other regions and centers.

  • Development of Papa Stour Kirk £252,505. Papa Stour. Shetland Islands Council.

This second phase of a three-phase project will help safeguard and enhance the real estate fabric of Papa Stour Kirk, the island’s only community facility. The work will protect the building for continued use and serve as a stepping stone to a new community hub and visitor center. There are strong links with NIP Strategic Goal 10 supporting empowered local communities and which incorporates zero emissions ambitions.

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Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev dies at 91 https://mhks.org/former-soviet-leader-mikhail-gorbachev-dies-at-91/ Tue, 30 Aug 2022 21:59:55 +0000 https://mhks.org/former-soviet-leader-mikhail-gorbachev-dies-at-91/ Mikhail Gorbachev, who as the last leader of the Soviet Union fought a losing battle to save a crumbling empire but produced extraordinary reforms that led to the end of the Cold War, has died at 91 years old.

News agencies quoted a statement from Central Clinical Hospital that he died after a long illness. No other details were given.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that President Vladimir Putin had offered his sincere condolences over the death of Mr Gorbachev and would send an official telegram to his family in the morning .

Although in power for less than seven years, Mr. Gorbachev unleashed a breathtaking series of changes, but they quickly overtook him and resulted in the collapse of the authoritarian Soviet state, the liberation of the nations of Eastern Europe of Russian Domination and the End of Decades of Western Nuclear Confrontation.

His power sapped by an attempted coup against him in August 1991, he spent his final months in power watching republic after republic declare independence until stepping down on Christmas Day 1991.

The Soviet Union was written into oblivion a day later.

Mikhail Gorbachevin 1990 (David Longstreath/AP)

A quarter of a century after the collapse, Mr Gorbachev told The Associated Press that he had not considered using all-out force to try to hold the USSR together because he feared chaos in a nuclear country.

“The country was loaded to the brim with weapons. And that would have immediately plunged the country into a civil war,” he said.

Many changes, including the breakup of the Soviet Union, were nothing like the transformation he envisioned when he became the Soviet leader in March 1985.

At the end of his reign he was powerless to stop the whirlwind he had sown, but he may have had a greater impact on the second half of the 20th century than any other political figure.

“I see myself as a man who launched the reforms that were necessary for the country, for Europe and the world,” he said shortly after leaving office.

“I am often asked, would I have started all over again if I had to do it all over again? Yes indeed. And with more perseverance and determination,” he said.

Mr Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War and spent his later years garnering accolades and awards around the world, but he was widely despised at home.

The Russians blamed him for the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991 – a once formidable superpower whose territory fractured into 15 separate nations. His former allies abandoned him and made him a scapegoat for the country’s troubles.

Shortly after taking power, Mr Gorbachev launched a campaign to end his country’s economic and political stagnation, using “glasnost” – or openness – to help him achieve his goal of “perestroika”. or restructuring.

Russia Obit Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbache with Boris Yeltsin in 1991 (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

In his memoir, he said he had long been frustrated that in a country with immense natural resources, tens of millions of people live in poverty.

“Our society has been suffocated by a bureaucratic command system,” he writes. “Doomed to serve ideology and bear the heavy burden of the arms race, it has been sorely tested.

Once it started, one move led to another. He freed political prisoners, allowed open debate and multi-candidate elections, gave his countrymen the freedom to travel, ended religious oppression, reduced nuclear arsenals, established closer ties with the West and did not resist the fall of the communist regimes in the satellite states of Eastern Europe.

But the forces he unleashed quickly eluded him.

Long-suppressed ethnic tensions have erupted, sparking wars and unrest in hotspots such as the southern Caucasus region. Strikes and social unrest followed price hikes and shortages of consumer goods.

In one of the lowest moments of his tenure, Mr Gorbachev sanctioned a crackdown on restive Baltic republics in early 1991.

The violence turned many intellectuals and reformers against him. Competitive elections also produced a new generation of populist politicians who challenged his policies and his authority.

Chief among them was his former protege and eventual nemesis, Boris Yeltsin, who became Russia’s first president.

“The process of renovating this country and bringing about fundamental changes in the international community has proven to be much more complex than originally expected,” Mr. Gorbachev told the nation upon his resignation.

“However, let’s recognize what has been achieved so far. Society has acquired freedom; she was liberated politically and spiritually. And that’s the most important realization, which we haven’t fully mastered in part because we still haven’t learned how to use our freedom.

Although the rest of the world benefited from the changes made by Mr. Gorbachev, the Soviet economy collapsed in the process, causing enormous economic hardship for the country’s 290 million people.

In the final days of the Soviet Union, economic decline accelerated into a steep skid. Hyperinflation robbed most seniors of life savings, factories closed and queues formed.

Popular hatred for Mr Gorbachev and his wife Raisa grew, but the couple won sympathy in the summer of 1999 when it was revealed that Mrs Gorbachev was dying of leukaemia.

Russia Obit Gorbachev
Vladimir Putin with Mikhail Gorbachev in 2004 (Héribert Proepper/AP)

Mr Gorbachev has wavered between criticism and praise for Mr Putin, who has been criticized for backtracking on the democratic achievements of the Gorbachev and Yeltsin eras.

He said Mr Putin had done much to restore Russia’s stability and prestige after the tumultuous decade following the Soviet collapse, but he protested growing limitations on media freedom and, in 2006, bought one of the last Russian investigative newspapers, Novaya Gazeta, with a businessman. associated.

He ventured into other new areas in his 70s, winning awards and accolades around the world. He won a Grammy in 2004 with former US President Bill Clinton and Italian actress Sophia Loren for their recording of Prokofiev’s Peter And The Wolf, and the United Nations named him Champion of the Earth in 2006 for his defense of the environment.

Mr. Gorbachev had a daughter Irina and two granddaughters.

The official Tass news agency reported that Gorbachev will be buried in Moscow’s Novodevichy Cemetery next to his wife.

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Isle of Man freezes electricity bills until March 2023 https://mhks.org/isle-of-man-freezes-electricity-bills-until-march-2023/ Thu, 25 Aug 2022 15:12:38 +0000 https://mhks.org/isle-of-man-freezes-electricity-bills-until-march-2023/

Image: Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

The Isle of Man has announced that it will cap electricity bills at their current level until March 31, 2023.

The idea had already been pitched to UK government officials to help those struggling with the rising cost of living ahead of the price cap hike again.

Most of the Isle of Man’s electricity is generated from gas and rising global prices mean Manx Utilities should have raised tariffs by at least 70% this autumn.

This would result in an increase in the average household bill of around £500 per year.

After consultation with Manx Utilities, the Isle of Man Government has ordered Manx Utilities to freeze the unit cost of electricity for customers at current levels until March 31, 2023.

The island’s Treasury Minister, Dr Alex Allinson, said: ‘We are protecting households, businesses and organizations from what would have been a sharp and sudden rise in electricity costs of between £16m and £26m. sterling by March next year.

“Instead, people will have that money in their pockets this winter. This is a significant sum that will help individuals and businesses meet rising costs and allow that money to flow through our economy, boosting consumer and business confidence.

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