McArthur responds to ferry funding announcement

21 Feb 2023

Responding to the Deputy First Minister's announcement on funding for Orkney's internal ferry services during the stage 3 proceedings of the Scottish Budget this afternoon, Orkney's MSP Liam McArthur said:

"It is welcome that the Deputy First Minister has acknowledged the real pressures facing the operation of Orkney's internal ferries due to soaring inflation and fuel prices. These costs have added further expense to maintaining these lifeline services.

"The reality is, however, that this funding only brings us back to where we were five years ago when the SNP Government committed to fair funding for our internal ferry services.

"Welcome though this support is, however, what islanders really want to see is an agreement on funding of new vessels to replace the ageing fleet operating these routes. Hopefully the ferries taskforce can pave the way to reaching such an agreement which is long overdue, urgently needed and absolutely crucial to sustaining Orkney’s island communities."