Northern Isles MSPs Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott have taken aim at the Scottish Government as the budget of Highlands and Islands Enterprise is cut by £7.5 million.
The move in the Scottish Government’s budget follows the controversial decision to abolish the board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise in favour of an “overarching” board in the central belt.
Last week, Northern Isles representatives Liam McArthur, Tavish Scott and Alistair Carmichael wrote to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging her to intervene to protect HIE. And this week, the party launched a petition.
The petition describes SNP ministers as “hell-bent on further centralisation” and claims “stripping HIE of local accountability risks jobs and undermines HIE’s ability to strengthen local communities.”
In a joint statement following confirmation that the Scottish Government is set to cut the budget of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Northern Isles MSPs Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott said:
“Slashing 10% from Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s budget and stripping away its strategic decision making powers is the nationalist vision for our area. We reject that approach.”
“Fears for jobs and any ability of HIE to support local businesses and communities will now only increase as a result.
“This is a double blow to HIE and the unique region it serves. Local MSPs should be doing all we can to fight these ill-judged and damaging proposals. That is what we will continue to do.”