The SNP Government should immediately instruct state owned company, Caledonian MacBrayne, to reduce ferry fares for all traffic.
This is the stance being taken by Labour’s prospective candidate in the Western Isles, Alasdair Morrison.
Speaking in Stornoway today Mr Morrison said: “With a massive reduction is the price of oil every home and business in the Western Isles should now be benefiting from cheaper ferry fares.
“The reduction in fuel prices is reflected at our petrol pumps and is also benefiting those buying heating fuel.
“The Government has a duty to ensure that it is working for every community in Scotland. I’d expect that the newly appointed Minister for the Islands, Derek Mackay MSP would see the reduction of ferry fares as a priority.
“He must act immediately to actually do something positive for our islands. This is an opportunity for Mr Mackay to show that the title Minister for the Islands actually means something and is not, as some suspect, window dressing.
“Cal-Mac is wholly owned by the Scottish Government and he should issue the instruction to reduce fares immediately.
Mr Morrison added: “I have today written to Flybe and Eastern Airways requesting that their fare profile also reflects the reduced cost of oil and that they should act to reduce the cost of travel.”
Mr Morrison has also asked the Government to demonstrate their commitment to island families and businesses by reducing the costs of travelling between the islands.
He said: “Previous political activity and agitation made inter-island travel the norm: investment in inter-island ferries, terminals and causeways has transformed life and work in our islands.
“The SNP government has had almost eight years in power and not even come close to following that programme of investment and improvement. The time for them to spend resources reducing the cost of transport on the sound of Barra and the Sound of Harris has past.
I urge them to immediately invest and recognise these routes are part of the economic artery that runs the length of this constituency.
“The government must address island needs, reduce costs, support economic activity, improve employment opportunities and aid social cohesion”.