MSP’s anger at bill for ferry consultancy fees

NEARLY half a million pounds has been spent on consultancy fees as part of the SNP government’s Scottish Ferries Review, according to information obtained by Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor.

Mr McGrigor has received written answers from transport minister Keith Brown stating that £440,600 was incurred in consultancy fees in relation to the Scottish Ferries Review itself between 2009 and 2011, and that the review’s draft ferries plan is expected to result in a consultancy bill of around £53,000.

Mr McGrigor, a regional list MSP for the Highlands and Islands since 1999, said: “Many will feel this money would have been better spent supporting the communities in my region which depend on lifeline ferry services.

“The SNP government’s ferry review has been like the Never Ending Story. Sadly it is a story that is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“First we had the Scottish Ferries Review, then after a number of years a Draft Ferries Plan. While consultation is important, many constituents think that the SNP are simply trying to delay making any decisions on the future of ferry services.

“At this time of pressure on public expenditure, ministers will find it hard to justify this very significant expenditure on consultancy fees and so will my constituents.”