Shetland’s MSP has added her voice to the chorus of approval greeting the news of fair funding for the inter-islands ferry.
Beatrice Wishart said she welcomed the announcement, which was made yesterday when finance secretary Kate Forbes confirmed the £5.5m revenue gap would be filled.
The level of funding for the service has been a hot topic for many years at the SIC.
Ms Wishart said praised Shetland’s representatives for having “diligently and consistently” campaigned for fair funding.
However, she also suggested the timing of the announcement, just months before the Scottish parliament elections, was “quite a coincidence”.
She said Shetland had been consistently short changed by the government and significant work was still needed to “modernise” the isles’ transport links.
Ms Wishart’s election rival, Tom Wills, who is standing for the SNP, praised the funding decision, which he said would be very welcome at a time when the council’s finances were under serious pressure.
In a Facebook post he said the debate on ferry funding had been “fractious” with “overblown allegations” that Shetland had been unfairly treated.
He said this accusations were “odd” as the SIC had gone a long time without any ferry funding and yet under the SNP, he said the amount provided had steadily increased.
The SIC’s political leader Steven Coutts welcomed the announcement and thanked the Scottish government for listening to the council’s appeal for funding.