Unfair aid for foreign fishermen Published: 30 April, 2008
SHETLAND MSP Tavish Scott has hit at the unfair advantage gained by European fishermen who are receiving government help with fuel costs, unlike their Scottish counterparts.
Mr Scott’s comments come as fishermen prepare to meet fisheries secretary Richard Lochhead next month to look for help with the current crisis caused by rising fuel bills.
Mr Scott has written to the Minister demanding the government act to ensure local fishermen did not face higher fuel costs than their competitors.
“Fishermen in France and Spain are reported to be receiving government help, which is limiting the fuel cost increases they face,” Mr Scott wrote.
“Our fishermen deserve equal treatment. If the aid packages in France and Spain comply with EU rules, then similar packages must be introduced in Scotland. And if they break EU rules, they must be challenged. What is not acceptable is for Scottish fishermen to be put at a competitive disadvantage to the French and Spanish fleets.”
Mr Scott said that when he raised the matter in Parliament, Mr Lochhead “ignored completely” his request to match French and Spanish support schemes.
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