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OIC anger as internal ferry services receive funding shortfall

Funding for Orkney’s internal ferry services has been met with anger and disappointment.

A fare increase of three per cent on all Orkney Ferries services will take effect next month, following a funding shortfall.

The Scottish Government’s pledge of £5.3 million of funding for Orkney’s internal ferry services has been met with considerable anger and disappointment, as reported in The Orcadian today.

OIC had requested £6.8 million for the financial year ahead.

After a lengthy campaign by OIC for fair funding, the internal ferry service was fully funded last year to the tune of £5.5 million.

OIC leader Councillor James Stockan said: “The message is people here are very unhappy, and they are wondering what action we can take against the government, as it is so outrageous.

“Most members of the council expressed deep anger with the government, leaving us to the last-minute, and giving us less than we need to run a service which was fully funded last year.

“We are looking now to see what other actions can be taken, because this is so desperately unfair.”

“We have asked the government to fund the ferry service direct without it coming out of the council coffers.

“We will pursue that agenda, because we cannot run what everybody else gets funded, without the proper revenue stream.”

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