Carmichael welcomes bond scheme decision

Isles politicians have welcomed news that the islands bond scheme will be scrapped by the Scottish government. 

The scheme was announced last year in an attempt to maintain and increase the population on island communities through cash incentives.

Up to £50,000 each for as many as 100 households was promised by 2026. 

After consultations, including those from the isles, the government decided to make a U-turn on the policy. 

Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael welcomed the move and said that “infrastructure” is needed rather than “kickbacks”. 

He said: “Not for the first time, the SNP took the view that ‘the Central Belt knows best’ when it comes to deciding how to fight depopulation in the Scottish islands. 

“That approach has never worked because only the people in the isles can really understand what is needed to keep isles communities strong for the decades to come.

“Answers to the future of island communities will not be found in Bute House but in Bute, Uist and Unst. If the Islands Minister is serious about this rethink then the first step must be to let people in the islands take the lead from now on.”

Consultations on the policy found that there was an even split between those in favour and those against. 

However, most of those in favour were from the Scottish mainland.


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