Mr Robertshaw, what guarantees can you give that your welfare escalator won’t become a stairway to heaven?

Next Thursday will see the release of the first Tynwald question paper of the Isle of Man’s parliamentary year.

Normally such an event sees an opportunity for point-scoring, settling scores and playing to the gallery. Here are a couple of questions that, with a bit of luck, we’ll see tabled.

To ask the Minister of Social Care:

  1. Once the six-month trial of Atos workers assessing the fitness to work of incapacity benefit claimants has been completed, and the subsequent tender process for a permanent appointment has taken place, will you undertake to give details of

(a)    The cost of the six-month trial; and

(b)   The cost of the new permanent contract?

  1.  In the light of…

(a)    Government consideration of the removal of some universal benefits;

(b)   The impending  closure of a state-run nursing home; and

(c)    Claims in the UK that, since the employment of Atos to assess incapacity benefit claims numerous people with severe medical complaints have been forced back to work and there are reports of more than 30 having died while appealing against Atos rulings…

what guarantees can the minister give that his much-vaunted welfare escalator proposal won’t end up becoming a stairway to heaven?

To ask the Treasury Minister:

Given that the Isle of Man Government has purchased £12m worth of shares in Pinewood Shepperton studios rather than the initial proposal for £25m

(a)    Why was the minister unable to buy more shares;

(b)    Can the minister explain how fewer shares – and a stake of 9 per cent  – will accrue the same benefits has would have the £25m deal for 19 per cent;

(c)    Can he explain how the fact that 91 per cent of shares being held by other parties will affect the Isle of Man’s influence in the company, compared with 81 per cent if they deal had gone ahead as desired?

To ask the Minister of Education and Children and/or the Minister for Social Care:

1. For the educational  year 2011-12:

(a)    How many children were registered in the pre-school facilities run by or on behalf of the Department of Education and Children;

(b)   How many sessions per week were available to children (eg 5 mornings per week, etc);

(c)    How many of the above referred facilities had a full-time teacher presence;

(d)   How many children of pre-school age were registered at privately run nurseries and pre-school facilities?

2.  For the educational year 2012-13, as of September 5:

(a)    How many children were registered in the nursery/pre-school facilities on school premises that are now run privately;

(b)   How many sessions per week were available to children; please specify where there are any deviations from five sessions per week;

(c)    How many of the above referred facilities have a full-time teacher presence;.

(d)   How many children of pre-school age were registered at all privately run nurseries and pre-school facilities?

3. Of the nurseries previously operated by the DEC and now operated privately and therefore under the remit of the DSC:

(a) have they all been inspected to ensure they meet DSC requirements?

(b) have any alterations been carried out or will any have to be carried out?

(c) What is the cost so far and what is the projected cost of any such work?

4. Do the minister(s) agree that all pre-school nurseries should be subject to regulation from the Department of Education and Children rather than the Department of Social Care?

Follow Paul Speller on Twitter: @Norbertsdad


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About Paul Speller

Writer, journalist, husband, dad.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Family and parenting, Isle of Man, Parenthood and children, Politics and education and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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