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Projected IRIS costs ‘within original budget range’ 24 October 2006

The IRIS scheme remains within budget, contrary to claims the cost has doubled from the original projected budget.

Transport Minister Phil Braidwood made a statement in Tynwald this week, explaining how the IRIS masterplan had been independently reviewed and how the recommendations included building regional treatment works in the north of the Island instead of pumping sewage across the Island to be treated at Meary Veg Pumping Station in Santon.

Subsequent media reports claimed the cost of the IRIS scheme had ‘doubled’ from the £75 - £95 million estimated in 1993 to ‘around £160 million’.

Dominic Delaney, MHK for Douglas West before the House of Keys was dissolved on Wednesday night, cast doubt on the percentage of the population that has been linked to IRIS.

Minister for Transport, Hon Phil Braidwood explained:

‘The Department would like to clarify various inaccuracies that have been reported in the last week over the status and cost of IRIS.
‘Mr Delaney sought clarification on the proportion of the population currently connected. To date the following areas have been connected to IRIS: Douglas, Castletown, Port Erin, Port St Mary, Onchan, Arbory, Union Mills, Braddan, Ballasalla, Malew, Rushen and Colby. This represents 67% of the Island’s population.
‘Manx Radio reported that the costs of IRIS are set to double as a result of the IRIS review. In July 1993, the Department presented a report to Tynwald entitled “The IRIS Project – The Way Forward” and this stated that the estimated cost for the whole of the IRIS scheme as being between £75 million and £95 million.
‘To date, a sum of £82,624,958 has been spent on the project. However, this includes the reconstruction of the railway line from Santon all the way through to Port Erin.
‘The current estimated cost for the overall IRIS scheme amounts to £173,605,000. Based on the original 1993 estimate of between £75 million and £95 million, and allowing for an inflationary uplift of 5% per annum, the original cost estimate would now equate to a figure of between £142 to £171 million.
‘Therefore, allowing for inflation – and taking into account the cost of reconstructing the railway – the estimated total cost of £173,605,000 is within the budget range predicted in 1993.’

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