THE IW should receive an extra £6.4 million to make up for decades of government underfunding, MP Bob Seely said in parliament this week.

At a Westminster Hall debate called by Mr Seely, he told MPs the funding system was 'prejudiced against the Island'.

He said government recognition of that disadvantage would not set a precedent but it would help the Island demonstrate its unique status — especially as Scottish islands receive extra cash.

Citing a 2015 study by the University of Portsmouth, he said the extra cost of providing local government services — 'the Island factor' — was £6.4 million.

The study found it cost more to conduct business on the Island and there were further costs associated with 'dislocation', the physical and perceived separation from the mainland.

Mr Seely said the fair funding formula was due to be implemented in 2021 and the government had previously agreed to take 'the Island factor' into account.

He said: "This is not some special pleading but when government write the rules they do not seem to take the Island into account.”

In response, minister Rishi Sunak said the provisional local government finance settlement had earmarked £132 million for the IW in 2019/20 — up from £127 million in 2015-16.

He said the four per cent increase was double the national average and the Island could raise extra revenue by keeping its business rate income.

Urging the IW Council to submit the relevant evidence, he said his department would look at University of Portsmouth study and agreed to meet Mr Seely, council and university representatives to discuss the findings in more detail.