The SNP have made a commitment in its manifesto today (Thursday) to continue RET in the Western Isles.
The move, along with other undertakings aimed at supporting rural economies, has delighted SNP candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan.
He commented: “The SNP’s manifesto confirms what I have been lobbying for - that RET ferry fares in the Western Isles will be continued by an incoming SNP
Government, even after the extended pilot period comes to a close. The
scheme will also be rolled out to Argyll and the Clyde Islands. The
Northern Isles already have their own subsidy regimes.
“This is a vindication of all the arguments made by the SNP that RET works
for the people of Scotland’s island communities, and for Scotland’s
tourist industry. It also, it must be said, makes Labour in the Western
Isles look pretty daft. Only the other day they were claiming the SNP had
plans which would put RET “in the danger zone”. It might have been wiser
for them to say nothing until they saw what the manifesto actually
The SNP manifesto, meanwhile, also gives prominence to the needs of
rural Scotland, said Dr Allan. A re-elected SNP Government would invest an additional £50 million in improving rural broadband provision, argue strongly for rural schools, and make the case for fisheries dependent areas and against the Common Fisheries policy.
“The manifesto also contains national commitments to rule out tuition fees
for students, to extend the council tax freeze over the entire four years
of the Parliament and to seek support for a fairer alternative to the
council tax itself, as well as to protect health spending, and devote an
extra £30 million to the early detection of cancers. The SNP is setting
out a vision today that is already gaining support across the Highlands
and Islands,” added Dr Allan.