Cuts to ferry fares of more than 50% are helping 14 ferry services to Scotland's west coast islands today. The Scottish Government's overt and political discrimination against the people of Shetland and Orkney is laid bare by todays announcement.
Ferry services to Barra, Mull, Eigg, Skye, Raasay, Cumbrae, Muck and Rum benefit from a cut to single passenger fares of an average of 44%, while car fares will be cut by an average of 55%. The Northern Isles have had increases imposed on both passengers and cars in every year of the 8 years of nationalist government.
Tavish Scott said,"Today is a transport kick in the teeth to the people of the Northern Isles. Many Shetland families returning after the October school holidays will wonder what we have done wrong. Why are Shetland travellers not benefiting from fare reductions of 50% to take the car to Aberdeen? Why does this nationalist government only help the west coast of Scotland with fare cuts?
"This blatant discrimination is a disgrace. When I introduced cuts to air fares as a government minister all the islands were eligible. It applied to the Western Isles who elected an SNP MP. It would be totally wrong to discriminate against an island because of how they vote. Yet that is now the inescapable conclusion that local people come to. Because we have the audacity not to vote SNP we are being punished. There can be no greater illustration of the cynical politics played by the SNP than their disgraceful ferry fares policy.
"In 2016 we must replace a cynically political government with one that has a fair transport policy based on need, not how islands vote. When and if people respond to the Nationalist Government's islands consultation they will want to highlight this disgraceful, unfair and discriminatory policy."