FIRST minister Nicola Sturgeon has appeared to confirm that the Scottish Government’s air discount scheme will continue beyond this year.
The scheme, which provides 50 per cent discounts on air fares to and from the Scottish mainland for islanders, is due to expire on 31 December.
No formal confirmation has yet been given from the government about the continuation of the scheme, leading to concerns among politicians.
Orkney MSP Liam McArthur raised the matter in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, with Sturgeon appearing to confirm the scheme will continue.
“We have supported the ADS scheme and we continue to see the virtual importance of that,” she said.
“The support of the Scottish Government is well known and continuing.”
Speaking afterwards, McArthur said he was “pleased that the first minister has put fears to rest in response to my question and look forward to seeing more details of the government’s plans shortly”.
“As the UK leaves the EU next month, it may be that aspects of the scheme need to change, but it seems clear that this will not affect those in Orkney and elsewhere who will continue to benefit from the fare reductions,” he said.
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