Tavish to press the government on islands commitment


MSPs Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott will use a debate in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday to demand cheaper ferry fares for the Northern Isles.

The Scottish Parliament will debate a government motion on “Supporting and Strengthening our Island Communities” this Thursday afternoon. The Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs will argue that local accountability has been undermined by the government’s centralisation of key services.

The amendment lodged by Mr McArthur and Mr Scott will also call on the Scottish Government to bring an immediate end to Orkney and Shetland’s exclusion from the government’s cheap ferry fares scheme and a cut in fares in line with reductions introduced on the west coast routes.

Commenting prior to the debate, Tavish Scott said:

“Since the election, ministers have repeatedly told us that they will fulfil their promise to the islands. In reality, nothing has materialised and I look forward to using this debate to remind the government that people in Shetland have not forgotten those promises.

“We have already seen key powers taken away from our local authorities, and the future of our health boards remains uncertain.

“My objective is still to secure a reduction in ferry fares similar to those already achieved on the west coast. Island communities have had enough of paying extortionate fares just to get to Aberdeen. I hope this debate will give us a clearer timeframe about when a reduction will be introduced. For island communities it cannot come soon enough.”


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