Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles has used today's debate on Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee's report into the Construction and Procurement of Ferry Vessels in Scotland to demand that the Scottish Government take forward a series of key recommendations to prevent "islanders and taxpayers being left high and dry"
The committee inquiry revealed the Scottish Government chose the most expensive of six shipyards tendering for the contract to build two new ferries in 2015 and paid well over its initial valuations when selecting Ferguson Marine as the successful company. The ferries have so far cost more than £250m.
In his written response to the report, minister Paul Wheelhouse failed to address the millions of pounds of losses faced by the taxpayer and indicated that the government remains ‘fully supportive of our transport agency Transport Scotland, CMAL, and CALMAC".
Mr Rumbles said:
"This ferry shambles has left both islanders and taxpayers high and dry.
"The committee's unanimous report highlighted catastrophic failures in the procurement process that led us down a path to the ridiculous situation where more than £250m has been spent but there are still no ferries.
"The Scottish Government must recognise the errors made by ministers and their arm's length agencies and take on board recommendations for improving procurement or I fear we will see many more millions disappear beneath the waves."