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

Friday, March 07, 2008

What Des McNulty said:

Make your own judgement on his comments at Col 6727:

Road Equivalent Tariff (Mull and Islay)

4. Des McNulty (Clydebank and Milngavie) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive on what basis it was decided that services to and from Mull and Islay should not be included in the pilot of the road equivalent tariff scheme that was recently announced by the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change. (S3O-2540)

The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change (Stewart Stevenson): Mr Swinney announced details of the road equivalent tariff study during his visit to Stornoway on 13 August 2007. That announcement made it clear that we would carry out a study into RET in the context of ferry fares in Scotland and that the study would include a pilot exercise on one or more of the Western Isles to mainland routes.

I am pleased to say that we are able to include all the Western Isles to mainland routes in the pilot exercise as well as the Oban to Coll and Tiree service. Focusing on those routes initially will allow us to reach a view on the potential costs and benefits of the scheme and to take informed decisions on its potential impacts across other routes. Consideration will be given to the roll-out of RET across the Clyde and Hebrides and northern isles networks once the impact of RET has been evaluated.

Des McNulty: Some of the minister's responses are beginning to resemble the justification that was provided by comical Ali during the Iraq invasion. Such things will be picked up—[Interruption.]

The Presiding Officer: Order.

Des McNulty: People in Arran and Cumbrae will be extremely annoyed that significant reductions in ferry fares will be available to others, but not to them. People in Mull and Islay will be annoyed that significant reductions will be available to others, but not to them. People in Orkney and Shetland will also—

The Presiding Officer: They would probably like a question as well, Mr McNulty.

Des McNulty: Had the Government followed Labour's approach of implementing a 40 per cent reduction in ferry fares—

The Presiding Officer: Can we have a question, please.


Anonymous said...

Not funny, not big and not clever. But not offensive.

The press release from the muppet is the only truly offensive part of the whole (non)event.

He is the one trying to drag dead Kurds into the argument and insulting our intelligence.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 10:47. AA has made a fool of himself (again).

Anonymous said...

Des MacNulty dug his own grave in that debate. No need for AA to echo.

Anonymous said...

AA: Ignoratio elenchi

Anonymous said...

Lets see now....interruption by the parliamentary MSP's and a call to order from the Presiding officer. Obviously some people on here are not in tune with the national Parliament. Alasdair Allan was only echoing the views of the elected MSP's. Quite right too. Labour's bitterness has still not subsided. Much to our (the SNP's) advantage. They are too bitter to see straight.

Anonymous said...

Des McNulty: Had the Government followed Labour's approach of implementing a 40 per cent reduction in ferry fares—

The previous government had the opportunity to implement RET and did NOTHING! They should stop bleating about the fact that the current government has managed to achieve in under a year what they failed to do in 8 years.

Stewart Stevenson: Every user, no matter where they reside—whether their journey is for business or pleasure or for the purposes of local education or health—who travels by ferry to and from the Western Isles will benefit from the £22.5 million that will be invested in the pilot over the 30-month period starting in October.

Labour's proposed 40 per cent cut was a narrow scheme that would have been limited to residents. The key difference between the two schemes is that our pilot will be a way of bringing new people to the islands and supporting the islands' economic potential—I have already given some numbers on the median salary in the Western Isles. It is clear that there is potential to be exploited.

Can anyone confirm or deny that Labour's proposals for RET only applied to locals. Surely the RET scheme being piloted is of more benefit to the tourism industry of the Western Isles.

Anonymous said...

Whatever Labour promised, lower fares for all travellers to and from the islands is in the long term interest of the islands. What we need now and the sooner the better is a 7-day ferry service like every other major island served by CalMac. There are rumours that this will start October. Can anyone suggest a reason for this? Surely it would be more sensible to start during the main tourist season?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:57,

There are some questions & answers about RET on CalMac's website:

One of the Q&As is:

When and how will the pilot scheme be introduced?

The pilot exercise will start on 19 October 2008, which is the start of the CalMac winter timetable. This will allow CalMac time to prepare new ticketing systems and avoid the need for refunds. CalMac’s busiest time for bookings for the summer timetable is normally between January and March. An earlier start would potentially involve a large number of refunds due to customers who had booked at pre-RET rates. CalMac also needs to have time to prepare various logistical issues such as revised ticketing systems, information and promotional material.

Hope this is of use.

Anonymous said...

I can understand the need for a long lead-in period for RET fares but not for additional sailings on Sundays. Pretty sure the Sound of Harris Sunday service was introduced at short notice.