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McArthur Urges Minister to Listen to Isles Councils on ADS
Posted on 02 September 2011

Commenting on news that the Transport Minister, Keith Brown has accepted a request to meet Council leaders from Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles to discuss growing concerns about the impact the SNP government’s cuts to the Air Discount Scheme are having in the isles, Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said:


“This meeting could not come at a more important time.  With passenger numbers plummeting and services to and from the isles already being cut, the risk posed by the SNP government’s decision to cut business-related travel from the Air Discount Scheme cannot be over-stated.


“All three Council leaders have set out in terms the damage this decision is having on the island communities they represent.   I am pleased they will now have an opportunity to convey this message to the Minister in person.


“Keith Brown must listen carefully and respond positively.  Hiding behind EU rules simply won’t wash.  The Commission has expressed no concerns about ADS since its introduction in 2005.  Indeed, even more generous schemes have been approved in others parts of the EU. 


“The SNP’s decision to cut ADS is putting local businesses at a competitive disadvantage, while also costing charities, voluntary groups and the public sector money they can ill-afford.  It is a regressive decision that will isolate our island communities over time.  I am sure the Council leaders will leave the Minister in no doubt about the need for a u-turn on this issue”.


Posted on 02 September 2011
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