RET for commercial vehicles - Councillors want meeting with Transport Minister

A study looking into the removal of RET for commercial vehicles in the Western Isles, originally to be published last month, is “due shortly” according to a Transport Scotland Spokesperson.

The study has already caused controversy after a draft was leaked to press with conclusions showed hauliers did pass on saving from RET.

The study was conducted by Transport Consultancy MVA for the Scottish Government. Transport Minister Keith Brown did not comment on the report at a recent meeting of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee where he was being quizzed about the final Ferry Plan and the decision not to continue RET for commercial vehicles.

Meanwhile at the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meeting earlier this week councillors pushed for another meeting with Mr Brown to discuss the possibility of reintroducing RET for commercial vehicles.

Councillors questioned the previous report which looked into the effects of RET and concluded saving were not passed on from hauliers to customers.

Speaking at the meeting Leader of the Comhairle Angus Campbell said: “I know as a businessman the questions asked of the business were so restricted... the original piece of work and evaluation was very flawed... It did not look at where we would have been without RET.” He added: “We’ve got to go back in there and say lets have another look at this.”

Cllr Alasdair Macleod said the Committee had to push for another meeting with the Transport Minister Keith Brown to discuss this again.

Cllr Campbell added: “Looking forward we have to get that report finalised – then arrange a meeting with the minister.”