Challenge to Lib Dems Over Internal Ferry Funding

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Thursday December 7 2017

Lib Dem MSP’s miss the chance to back ferry funding in the budget.

Maree Todd, has challenged the Lib Dems to confirm if they will back next week’s budget if it contains money for internal ferries for the Northern Isles – after both Northern Isles Lib Dem MSPs failed to offer this support in a debate yesterday.

The Scottish Government already plans to significantly reduce fares on ferry services between the mainland and Northern Isles through the Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) and an RET variant, that will see foot passenger fares cut by around 40% on average.

The Islands Bill will also see a more sustained focus across government and the public sector on meeting the needs of island communities.

Commenting, Maree Todd MSP said:

“The Lib Dems were keen to make a lot of noise about ferry funding yesterday, but when asked if they would back increased funding for internal Northern Isles ferries in the budget they became eerily quiet.

“I’m now giving Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott a chance to answer the very simple question – if next week’s budget increases funding for internal ferries in the Northern Isles, will they back it?

“A failure to do so would simply confirm that they are only interested in shouting about ferry funding rather than doing anything positive to resolve the situation.

“They have made their political careers claiming that they put their constituents before their party, now they need to prove it.

“People across the Northern Isles deserve to know the Lib Dems’ position on this – do they support funding for internal ferries or not?

“The SNP will always take action to support our island communities.

“The Lib Dem MSPs for Orkney and Shetland have a strong track record of doing likewise, there is still time for them do so on this budget.”



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