MSP on fact finding mission to isles

Highlands and Islands list MSP Maree Todd was in a fact finding mission to Shetland this weekend where she had a number of constituency meetings lined up.

The 43-year-old first time parliamentarian, originally from Ullapool, emphasised she would be holding the Scottish Government to its manifesto promise of lower ferry fares for he Northern Isles, having seen the tremendous boost RET (road equivalent tariff) had given the Western Isles.

But she said that RET was clearly not the right solution for Orkney and Shetland and would make travel dearer, a fact she coaxed out of Transport Minister Humza Yousaf  in general questions in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, along with a commitment to pursue the issue in a visit to the Northern Isles later this summer.

Ms Todd said that it was her duty as an SNP back bencher to keep the pressure on the Scottish Government to deliver on this commitment as much as anyone else.

She had discussed the importance of freight, and especially fish, for Shetland at a meeting with Mr Yousaf following yesterday’s parliamentary session.

Her other main concern is of course the outcome of next Thursday’s referendum on EU membership. She believes, in line with the SNP, that it is crucial for the Highlands and Islands, Scotland and the UK  to remain within the European Union that has delivered a host of benefits to the Highlands and Islands as well as having preserved peace in Western Europe since the Second World War.

Ms Todd, a psychiatric pharmacist by trade, was also to meet with NHS Shetland, Shetland Amenity Trust, Isles freight interests,  the women for independence group and an SNP branch meeting and conducting a job interview for a staff member.


Add Your Comment
  • Robin Stevenson

    • June 17th, 2016 20:40

    At last, someone who actually KNOWS that the RET scheme doesn’t work for Shetland. Hopefully Ms Todd will pass on this information to Tavish, Ali C, Mr Tulloch and all his chums, who have remained clueless since its introduction, although it hasn’t stopped them sniping at the the Scottish government despite the scheme being detrimental to the price of a ferry ticket.

    • John Tulloch

      • June 20th, 2016 0:13

      I don’t want your RET scheme, Robin, you can keep it.

      I want the same fifty percent reduction in fares as the west coast ferries have enjoyed.

      • Steven Jarmson

        • June 20th, 2016 10:12

        In complete agreement with John.
        We’ve repeatedly said RET is more expensive.
        In fact, I think it was John Tulloch who first said it would be more expensive.
        What John has been calling for is a similar scheme that would deliver cheaper fairs for both Orkney and Shetland.
        Unlike so many SNP policies, one size doesn’t fit all.
        We just want to treated fairly.
        Contrary to common misconceptions, Shetlanders are no wealthier than our southern neighbours on the UK mainland.
        Our cost of living is much higher though. A large part of that is transport.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • June 20th, 2016 20:18

        Very glad to hear it John, looking back over some of your comments, you – along with those people I mention above – WERE asking for RET to be introduced for Shetland [sorry Steven but you’re quite wrong] I see that has now changed to 50% reduced fair? Much the same as the 50% discount on flights introduced by the Scottish government?

        As you know the ‘road equivalent tariff’ [RET] discounts the travel costs equivalent for a car travelling the same distance, so what you’re asking for is a 50% discount on a cabin? Which of course has nothing whatsoever to do with RET. Well, I’m not too sure whether or not the Scottish government would be too happy about applying a discount for cabins? Comparing the Western Isles ferry services and Shetland is – more or less – comparing apples with pears, [they don’t need overnight accommodation]. But I’m sure your chosen MSP [along with WS] will be on the Scottish government’s case, after all, is that not why you voted them in? I’d have thought that Tavish would have introduced this years ago [or at least tried] while in power when he was transport minister?

  • ian tinkler

    • June 20th, 2016 10:07

    Fabulous, just in time, the SNP/SG come up with another “Flagship” stupidity in a hollow attempt to grab a quick headline. This one makes the resource wasting and manifestly failing “State Guardian/ Snooper scheme” look almost sane. Now we have, the all singing, winging and divisive, Nicola Sturgeon, FM, advocating “Minimum staffing levels in Scotland’s NHS are to be enshrined in law.”
    Just how is Sturgeon going to enforce this law? Close hospitals and wards down, if short staffed under legal statute? Prosecute and fine the Health Boards concerned, resulting in even less resources for maintaining services? Prosecute and imprison the “Admin Staff” for allowing short staffing to occur, quite irrespective of Nurse, Doctor, Surgeon shortages due to lack of funds? (Never mind, we still have free prescriptions, just not enough trained staff to prescribe them!). The stupidity of this woman defies logic, anything for a quick headline. How much better Shetland would be independent of this Nationalist with her narrow populist agenda. She advocates remaining in the EU, that makes you wonder does it not, especially as the EU put two fingers up at Salmond during the Indie Referendum?


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