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Finance minister agrees to OIC meeting

Scotland’s finance minister has agreed to meet Orkney Islands Council to discuss the central government funding “discrepancy” between Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, raised the issue at question time in the Scottish Parliament, last Thursday, and asked the minister to meet with the council to look at ways the issue can be addressed.

Mr Swinney replied: “Over many years, Orkney Islands Council has made a number of representations about the difference in per capita allocation between the Orkney Islands, Shetland and the Western Isles. As Mr McArthur knows, the formula specifically takes into account island status, and the per capita funding settlements for the three exclusively island authorities are the highest in Scotland. It is perfectly proper that that issue should be taken into account.

“However, within that judgment is an assessment of relative need. The formula takes into account the different circumstances on the different islands. I would be happy to discuss the issue with Orkney Islands Council.”

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