Scotland’s first ever Islands Bill is being debated in parliament today.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Islands Minister Humza Yousaf said: “This is a landmark
piece of legislation for Scotland, enshrining the interests of our unique and diverse
island communities within the legislative process.
“It is designed to build islands awareness into decision making across the public
sector, ensuring interests of island communities are firmly at the centre of future
legislative, policy and service considerations.
“The bill builds on our work to enhance island communities and economies, such as
our investment of over £1 billion in ferry services, £270 million in airport facilities
across the highlands and islands - including over £60 million in the air discount
scheme - as well as £5 million in the Islands Housing Fund to deliver affordable
He added: “It also complements our wider policy agenda, which addresses island-specific
challenges including depopulation, energy, housing, transport, digital, and supporting
sustainable economic development.
“It is greatly encouraging to see the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee support
the general principles of this Bill and I look forward to working together to refine
it, delivering the best support for our island communities.”