Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has raised concerns about the cost to taxpayers of two new CalMac ferries which have been ordered from a Turkish shipyard.
Questioning Business Minister Ivan McKee in Parliament, the Scottish Conservative MSP said it was “extraordinary” that Mr McKee wouldn’t say whether CalMac had entered into a fixed price contract or if there was a risk costs could increase.
Mr Halcro Johnston said: “Inflation in Turkey is currently running at 54%, with costs for raw materials and fuel prices all increasing. And exchange rates are always a factor that have to be considered.
“I wanted the Minister to confirm that it has been agreed that these ferries will be built on a fixed price – which will not change - or if there was mechanism or flexibility within the contract for the price to increase to recognise some of these variables.
“Unfortunately, the Scottish Government Minister appeared to be completely clueless about the contract that their own Scottish Government-own ferry company has entered into. Either that or he’s not prepared to be transparent about the potential for increased costs to the Scottish taxpayer if the variable costs to the yard in Turkey increase.
“Given the SNP’s disastrous track record with ferry procurement, this lack of transparency is quite extraordinary and just a little concerning”.