Sea Terminal, Douglas
The HQ of the Department of Infrastructure in Douglas at the Isle of Man Sea Terminal Credit: Paul The Archivist

The Highway Services Division of the Isle of Man Government covers four key areas: Highway Maintenance, Projects (Design and Build), Quarry Operations and Highway and Asset Management.

In recent years, the Isle of Man Government has spent more money on its Highway Services Division than it took in from that area. According to the 2021-22 Isle of Man Government Budget, net expenditure on the Highway Services Division was £1,547,000 in the 2019-20 financial year (actual) and £2,715,000 in the 2020-21 financial year (probable).

However, the budget for the forthcoming financial year reveals that the Government has budgeted to extract almost three-and-a-half million pounds from the Highway Services Division in just one year, taking £3,490,000 from it. This is a turnaround of over £6 million, which is about half of their total budgeted spend for the 2021-22 financial year.

Isle of Man Government Pink Book 2021-22 – Department of Infrastructure Net Expenditure by Division

Unfortunately, the Isle of Man Government gives no explanation for this change in their budget documentation. Indeed, for the whole department in 2021-22, taxpayers only receive some vague comments about their aims for the coming year: “The Department is responsible for a wide range of valuable infrastructure assets and has a continual focus on maintenance. In the current challenging economic environment, funding constraints will be more keenly felt in the 2021-22 financial year. This will mean that difficult choices may have to be made; reduced maintenance spend may achieve short-term savings but at the risk of long-term asset viability. The Department continues to improve its asset management techniques and is concentrating on maintaining existing assets other than in cases where replacement offers better value.

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