Date lodged: 20 March 2019
To ask the Scottish Government what support it is providing to Orkney and Shetland island councils to continue to operate inter-islands ferries services.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 28 March 2019
The Scottish Government understands the significant financial challenges that can fall on individual local authorities and remains committed to the principle of fair funding in the provision of ferry services and infrastructure.
As part of this commitment, this year's Scottish Government Budget approved last month by Parliament has made available a further £10.5m in support for internal ferry services, bringing the total support provided for this purpose in the last two years to £21m.
I wrote to both councils on 6 March to advise that £5.3m was being provided to Orkney Islands Council and £5.2m to Shetland Islands Council.