Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has written to a Scottish Government-owned ferry owner over its deal to have new ferries for its fleet built by a Turkish shipyard.
Mr Halcro Johnston is seeking assurances from CMAL that its agreement with Cemre Marin Endustri for two ferries is at a fixed cost and will not escalate in the way that the two unfinished ships being constructed by Ferguson Marine has done.
The Scottish Conservative MSP said: “It is extremely worrying that a former Scottish Government shipbuilding advisor now believes that the two uncompleted ferries at Fergusons could end up costing as much as £400m.
“Given that both vessels were originally to cost only a quarter of that, and that they are now many years late and still years away from serving the communities they’re meant to be serving, this is a scandalous state of affairs.
“A Scottish Government minister couldn’t - or wouldn’t - tell me last week if these contacts were agreed on the basis of a fixed cost. So I’ve now been forced to write to CMAL to get some answers.
“It is imperative that lessons have been learned and that the Scottish taxpayer will not be stung like this again.”
Mr Halcro Johnston spoke ahead of a debate on the ongoing ferry crisis, called by the Scottish Conservatives, which is to be held in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.
He added: “SNP ministers have a lot of explaining to do and I very much hope that our debate will throw some light on the decision-making that has led to so many of our island communities being left without a reliable ferry service.”