Debate on historic Islands Bill

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Scotland’s first ever Islands Bill will be debated in parliament today (Thursday 8 February).

Speaking ahead of the debate, Islands Minister Humza Yousaf said: “This is a landmark piece of legislation for Scotland, enshrining the interests of our unique and diverse island communities within the legislative process.

“It is designed to build islands awareness into decision making across the public sector, ensuring interests of island communities are firmly at the centre of future legislative, policy and service considerations.

“The Bill builds on our work to enhance island communities and economies, such as our investment of over £1 billion in ferry services, £270 million in airport facilities across the highlands and islands - including over £60 million in the air discount scheme - as well as £5 million in the Islands Housing Fund to deliver affordable homes.

“It also complements our wider policy agenda, which addresses island-specific challenges including depopulation, energy, housing, transport, digital, and supporting sustainable economic development.

“‘It is greatly encouraging to see the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee support the general principles of this Bill and I look forward to working together to refine it, delivering the best support for our island communities.”