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The truths they don't want you to read....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Double whammy

More information about the RET proposals have been passed to me, and they make for interesting and disappointing reading. But with one piece of realism intruding into our grief.

The £5 charge is supposed to cover the fixed shore-side infrastructure that CalMac have on the islands, so the RET cost is to be inflated by these overheads. In other words, it is RETFU - RET For Users to cover the overheads.

The best is yet to come. Sit down and take a deep breath.

The reason that the mileage charge is 60p and not 40p is due to the higher costs of living - particularly fuel - in the islands, and consequently a higher rate is appropriate.
    Or as our MP said, “The price of fuel has escalated out of control over the past 12 months, this hits the rural areas like the Western Isles hardest and forces the price of food, drink and many other things to go up as well. Only this week the Office of National Statistics has said that” the largest upward pressure on inflation came from the price of fuel”.

    Or when commenting on the high cost of fuel,
    "This answer just sums up the totally arrogant and metropolitan viewpoint of the [...] Government. They have absolutely no idea how their high fuel taxes, which have spiralled at an alarming rate over the past 12 months, are doing to rural areas like the Western Isles."

    Or as the EDM he put down says, "That this House notes the high fuel price rises in rural areas, especially the Western Isles where prices have risen above £1 per litre which will have a detrimental effect on communities and tourism; asks the Office of Fair Trading to re-examine the issue; calls on major oil companies to halt the surcharges for rural petrol stations, and calls on the Treasury to report on actions the government can take to identify and alleviate problems caused by high fuel prices across the Highlands and Islands."

Presumably this will now be changed to include an examination of the polices of the Scottish Government?

I have had it confirmed that the proposal will not come into force until the Winter 2008 timetable, which will really benefit the tourists this summer.

Finally, the one bit of sanity is that the pilot will last three years (or until the next election) which is a wholly necessary period of time to evaluate the impact on the local community and to establish the capacity problems that RET should cause.

The message is clear, start the campaign NOW for real RET after the next election. Last time we managed to get Labour and the SNP fighting it out to offer the best deal - let's now up the ante and demand more, if they want our votes.


Reiver said...

It will be interesting to see the full proposals. I can't imagine that commercial vehicles will be charged at 60p per mile.
It will also be interesting to see how this saving is then passed on to local business. The current pallet rate is approx £45.00, I wonder what this will drop to.

Anonymous said...

The reason that the mileage charge is 60p and not 40p is due to the higher costs of living - particularly fuel - in the islands, and consequently a higher rate is appropriate.

In other words we are already being ripped off so it's ok for the Scottish Government to continue rip us off, great.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe even the SNP would be stupid enough to implement the tariff system you've outlined. It would be the equivilant of a suicide note for their political ambitions, of holding on to both seats, in the Western Isles.

Anonymous said...

Angus, why are these 3 comments noted as just one in you blog?

Anonymous said...

Good work Angus! Wonder if the Minister will make the effort to visit the Western Isles this Tuesday now that you have stolen all of his thunder?

Ahoy Sailor!

Anonymous said...

Latest news- ABM has tabled a mot
ion in the HofC condemning the SNP Government for their proposal to have a punitive RET surcharge ( to take account of the hight cost of fuel in the Islands- a double whammy of gigantic propotions,) leaving us to flounder about in the ever rising ( or is it lowering ?) economic water table!

Constructive Criticism said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You won't see our MP next week. He's far too busy putting down early day motions praising the potato (seriously - go see), rather than dealing with the economic problems of the Outer Hebrides.

Laudrup said...

Constructive Criticism:

Amen agus Amen

Anonymous said...

Constructive Criticism-

I think you should be more circumspect in what you wish for- think of the effect on "the economic water table" if both windbags jumped ship in mid Minch!

Ahoy Sailor!

Anonymous said...

Our MP is also too busy discussing scams such as pyramid schemes, fraudulent mailings and other illegal activities.

Or as he thinks, the fact that shops sell consoles and games together is a scam. Presumably he tried to buy one for Christmas and was too tight to pay a reasonable sum.

Asking why the OFT hadn't responded to his letter about the scam, Anne Begg made the suitably patronising remark that his idea of a scam was so off the wall that the OFT had quite rightly ignored him. Jesus, can he get more embarrassing?

Anonymous said...

Angus have you seen what the link is to Constructive Criticism I suggest you remove it.

Anonymous said...

"gormless twat", "Dumb and Dumber", "gratutious, scantimonious, party-line bullshit", "the combined intelligence of a five year old"

Hardly 'constructive criticism'.

Why on earth does local politics descent to such playground arguments so often?

And no surprise that Laudrup lends his support to such a posting. Do you have anything positive to add to the political debate? This is an opportunity to offer something useful, rather than your usual automatic criticism of all things SNP. What would win your vote at the next election?

Anonymous said...

Labour was in power for 7 years and didn't deliver RET but the SNP have in under a year. Labour are actially in power in the UK and have done nothing for these islands in the last 11 years. Enough said - Labour are finished.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angus said...

It is not possible to edit comments after they appear here. Nor, I have discovered, is it possible to change the link in a poster name. Having had my attention drawn to the posting by "Constructive Criticism", I have deleted it and the posting that mentions the site it is linked to.

I have then reposted the comment, so if it all appears out of sequence, that is why.

Constructive Criticism said...

Ahoy Sailor!

If Angus' blog posting stops the Minister coming here on Tuesday then he has done us all a favour.

The possibility of seeing the gormless twat accompanied to the news conference by Dumb and Dumber makes me feel physically sick.

If we do not have to face their gratutious, scantimonious, party-line bullshit coming over the airways as they utter banal and empty statements without the first idea of what is actually going on, then Angus has done us a favour.

Perhaps they might actually consider going to work to something to help the local community, but they haven't the combined intelligence of a five year old, so that is asking a bit much.

If they are at a loose end on Tuesday when the Minister cancels, can I ask that they get on the Stornoway-Ullapool ferry (tickets paid for by the taxpayer) and then get off half way across. The world will be a much better place, and it will stop me taking a hammer to the radio everytime I hear their latest stupid press release.

Eyoop! said...

"constructive criticism" 9:15:

...and you wonder why NuLabour lost the last two elections?

The infamous ABM 'scandal in a teacup' last April backfired spectacularly on NuLabour and lost them the seat here. This I know. I heard many people in town saying that though they'd voted Labour previously, they were now going to vote SNP because of the cynically-timed 'news' (possibly released by some of the very people commenting on this blog). The public criticism was mainly of Labour rather than the SNP. The scandalmongers (plus the LWP "windfarm") lost Labour the election. Natural justice.

Now the SNP are delivering what Labour never delivered: RET. They may well also deliver soon the people's verdict on the LWP windfactory, which has been ringing out loud and clear for the past five years (though some councillors were apparently hard of hearing). They're well over halfway there already, being "minded" to refuse, and I hope they don't knuckle under to political pressure. They might even get the Sunday ferries going, which is the most urgent thing to do that will help get the economy on the up again.

Your comments, 'constructive criticism' must be immensely embarrassing to the local Labour branch, who must read your and your buddies' comments here with a very nervous amusement, I would have thought. But you carry're making a fine job of losing them the next election as well.