Minister of Finance's trust in due diligence on investment

... Credit :
Shadrach   in Alternatives

Last updated: 15 January 2020, 07:04 GMT

The treasury minister has dismissed arguments that the Manx government makes errors when spending, saying that it always does "due diligence."

Alfred Cannan told a committee that there was "appropriate transparency" now to look at losses from the Media Development Fund.

Between 2007 and 2016 the fund spent nearly £ 60 m in film projects and made losses of around £ 27 m.

MHK Kate Beecroft previously said there was a "constant repetition" of mistakes in light of those defeats.

Former chief minister Allan Bell told the committee in early 2012, in October, "massive tax changes" in the UK led to a downturn in the film industry on the island.

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Tynwald accepted a multimillion-pound contract with studios Pinewood Shepperton in June of the same year.

The contract, which concluded in 2017, saw the government purchase £ 24 m worth of shares in the studio, and transfer the MDF to the building.

Investments included the 2008 feature film Me and Orson Welles, starring Zac Efron and Christian McKay, who lost more than £ 9 m to the government.

Mr Cannan, who voted against Pinewood's plans, said he was "never a fan" of the offer and challenged the potential benefits it would bring to the island.

He added that the treasury has always had a role to play as a "safeguard" and that going forward, it was important to invest in potential "eyes wide open" investments.