John Finnie MSP, Scottish Greens’ spokesperson for Transport and Islands, has said he is “bitterly disappointed” following an announcement from the Scottish Government that it will put the Northern Isles Ferry Services out to tender.
The Scottish Green Party supports the RMT in advocating that the service should be publicly run.
Mr Finnie said:
“I am bitterly disappointed by the Minister’s decision to put the Northern Isles Ferry Services out to tender. The Scottish Government has missed a real opportunity to deliver a publicly owned service, run in the interest of communities in Orkney and Shetland. Instead the service will continue to be run for the benefit of private shareholders.
“This decision will come as good news to the likes of Serco, who will no doubt be queuing up to reap the subsidy and profits that come with running these lifeline services, in the full knowledge that if anything goes wrong it will be the public finances that bear the brunt.
“If this is the direction of travel from the Scottish Government then it is extremely concerning and brings into question how serious it is about bringing forward public bids for other major transport services such as ScotRail.
“The Scottish Green Party has long championed the public ownership of our vital transport services; it seems this government is quite content to let the private sector cherry pick the profitable bits, hardly the actions of a progressive government.”