Immediate release 28/10/10
Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has accused the Liberal Democrats of setting back renewables industry by a minimum of 3 years in a dangerous political games.
Speaking in a debate in Parliament today Mr Gibson said that the UK Government's attempt to make the money in the fossil fuel levy the seedbed for the new green investment bank was
unacceptable and would severely hamper the Scottish Government in funding the infrastructure which is needed to support the industry now.
Mr Gibson said that the Scottish Secretary of State Michael Moore had given the game away by saying that Scottish Ministers could only access the vital funds before that by paying 100%
pay back to the Treasury.
Mr Gibson said that this decision would affect jobs and development in Caithness and beyond….
"This is smoke and mirrors -pretending that they care but refusing to make Scotland’s money available when it is urgently needed without a penalty of equal amount to the Scottish Block
Grant. Tell that to the people of Caithness. Tell that to the enterprising board of Scrabster Harbour trying to facilitate the renewables revolution."
"This very week the Crown Estate announced the new seabed lease on the Inner sound between the Caithness coast and Stroma island in the Pentland Firth. Scrabster Harbour is the
preferred base of operations of the chosen bidders Atlantis."
"How are harbours to launch tidal and wave machines, offshore wind mills or firms to get the kick start projects to realise our huge marine energy potential? Into the bargain this week
the UK announcement that £60m harbour development would not be available in Scotland."
He also lambasted Lib Dem Environment Minister Chris Hune who snubbed both the Scottish Parliament committee on climate change and Scottish Minister earlier this year.
"Scottish LibDems must answer for Chris Huhne - he snubbed the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee due to meet in public session on 5th October. He snubbed the Cabinet Secretary, John Swinney."
"Respect for the Scottish Parliament? –zero from London. In reality our efforts to promote renewables - set back by over three years! What a record for five months of LibDems in the UK
Mr Gibson ended by saying…
"The UK Green Investment Bank should be set up quickly and based in Edinburgh. It should not be funded by looted Scottish FFL funds which at this crucial stage are needed to keep the
Scottish Government's and Scottish Parliament's agreed climate change targets and renewable energy delivery on track."
Speaking after Mr Gibson said…
"It is clear that the Lib Dems on both sides of the border are more interested in sinking the SNP Government that re-floating the Scottish Economy. They are acting in a shameful way, what
they should be doing is working with Scottish Government to help create a new economic future for Caithness and other areas in the Highlands and Islands and Scotland. What they are doing
is playing petty games which will do nothing to help create jobs or grow the economy. It is a disgrace."