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MSP not impressed by Northern Isles ferry fare increase

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has responded angrily to the announcement that Scottish ministers propose to raise fares on Orkney and Shetland’s lifeline ferry services by 6.5 per cent.

Commenting on the decision, announced by Transport Scotland, Mr McArthur said: “Earlier this week, SNP ministers boasted that all of Scotland’s islands would benefit from their cheap ferry fare scheme, with the exception of Orkney and Shetland.  Now we hear that ministers want to hit us with an above inflation hike of 6.5 per cent on the cost of accessing our lifeline ferry services.

“The suspicion must be that this cash grab by the Scottish government is needed, in part, to help fund the roll out of Road Equivalent Tariff on the west coast.  If so, it is an outrageous decision that will leave people in Orkney wondering how much more salt ministers intend packing into the wound.

“Such a divisive and partisan approach to ferry policy must now end.  Where fare rises are necessary to keep services operating effectively, they must be fair, proportionate and transparent.  Sadly, this decision fails all three tests.”

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