First the Labour motion:
S4M-01750 David Stewart: Road Equivalent Tariff for Commercial Vehicles—That the Parliament notes with concern the Scottish Government’s current proposals to remove road equivalent tariff from commercial vehicles using ferries that serve the communities of the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree; notes that in some cases the fare increase for small haulage companies from Tiree would more than double the fare and in the Western Isles may be up to 175% of the current fare; considers that in the current economic climate these fare increases are both extremely damaging to the local economy and completely unjustifiable; calls on the Scottish Government to urgently withdraw these plans, and believes that, if the Scottish Government chooses not to do so, this would seriously question its commitment to Scotland’s most fragile island communities.And now the Government amendment, which - in the spirit of representative democracy - SNP MSPs have to have approved by the Whips (my emphasis).
*S4M-01750.1 John Finnie: Road Equivalent Tariff for Commercial Vehicles—As an amendment to motion S4M-01750 in the name of David Stewart (Road Equivalent Tariff for Commercial Vehicles), leave out from "with concern" to end and insert “the ongoing representations by the haulage industry in the Western Isles to the Scottish Government to ensure the fairest possible system of fares for commercial vehicles on ferries in the islands on a basis that recognises the economic fragility of this part of Scotland; believes that, if a system of discounts is to replace the present road equivalent tariff (RET) fares for larger commercial vehicles, it must be on a fair basis that benefits small as well as larger companies and must operate more equitably than previous discount schemes for commercial vehicles; welcomes the indication in the ferries review that the Scottish Government will look at extending the definition of a small commercial vehicle on Hebridean and Clyde ferries from a maximum of five to six metres; understands that RET fares will continue for all passengers, cars and small commercial vehicles on routes between the mainland and the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree and that the Scottish Government will extend the scheme in the course of the current parliamentary session to cover other islands, starting with Colonsay, Gigha and Islay in 2012, as well as inter-island routes such as those on the Sound of Barra and Sound of Harris, and welcomes what it considers the contrast between these policies and the situation during eight years of a Labour-Liberal Democrat administration, when not one of the longstanding demands for RET in the islands was met."So, despite the vigorous spin to the contrary, and as anyone who has read the policy
On the upside, there is a call to give discounts to all commercials - but that's a bit giving the option of having a kicking from the left foot or the right foot, after you've been clubbed to the ground.
Remember that CalMac are ultimately owned and controlled by by the SNP Government, who seem content to let this change be implemented.
|Cpt Pugnatious (A Salmond) announces that RET cuts are all the fault of Westminster, |
watched by the adoring Roger the Cabin Boy (A Allan)
whilst the evil Blackbeard (Cllr MacSween) tries to spoil their fun.