Transport Minister concedes no extension to RET under Independence

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A Highlands and Islands MSP has sized on comments made earlier this week by Transport Minister, Keith Brown, following his concession at the Scottish Transport Conference, 2014 held in Edinburgh that even under an SNP Government in an Independent Scotland there would be no extension of Road Equivalent Tariff to commercial vehicles.

Rhoda Grant has hit out at the Ministers comments saying that this latest revelation “demonstrated a lack of commitment to their own policy” on RET and linked this latest announcement back to comments previously made by Professor Neil Kay who described the Scottish Government as “economically illiterate” on ferry policy.

Mrs Grant said: “It is becoming clearer and clearer that the SNP stance on RET has been used as a cynical bribe to our island communities. The Transport Minister has now effectively owned up and said as much.

“Since the scrappage of RET for commercial vehicles, hauliers have faced an increase in fares of well over 175%. The fact the Transport Minister is now announcing that even and Independent Scotland with all the fiscal autonomy Keith Brown could ask for the supposed benefits he argues this would bring, they would not reinstate their own policy.

“Keith Brown continues to ignore his own report highlighting the damage cutting RET for commercial vehicles has done and continues to undermine not only his own stance on RET, but the economic credibility of his Government and his campaign for Independence.”

Rhoda Grant also lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament condemning the Transport Minister on his position on RET which is marked for members debate.