To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has for shipping subsidies for sea transport services to Scotland in 1988–89; and if he will make a statement.
Subject to parliamentary approval of the Estimates, I propose to make available in 1988–89 total subsidy provision of £11·84 million. The deficit subsidy provision for Caledonian MacBrayne will reduce in line with recent trends in the company's improved performance to £6·54 million. The estimated requirement to continue the fare reduction support for P and O services to Orkney and Shetland is increased to £4·1 million. On the basis of budgets submitted by coastal bulk shippers within the tariff rebate subsidy scheme, the funding requirement next year will be £1·2 million.The proposed level of subsidy provision reflects the Government's continuing commitment to assisting the essential sea transport services to the west coast islands and the northern isles.