Decide how much support we want to give to island and remote communities

Participants at the event felt strongly that the level of support given to island and remote communities is insufficient and unsustainable. Island and rural communities are currently very vulnerable and are struggling due to a lack of funding. They suggested that there needs to be a commitment to ensure there are adequate support mechanisms and services to sustain island life.

They suggested that people in Scotland need to ask themselves that if they want to have people living in islands and other remote communities, this must be resourced with significant financial commitments.

Norway was cited as an example of how things can be, with support for rural areas to provide the same level of services, regardless of where people live.

Participants noted that the cost of living is higher in rural communities. They also noted that old houses are not energy efficient, yet this is not considered a poor standard of housing. This means heating and energy bills are higher for these people, and they felt that this amounted to discrimination. People also felt that islanders are disadvantaged, as people on islands cannot build the same quality of housing as on the mainland for the same cost.

They noted with concern that the older population on the island are facing issues around fuel poverty. They also were concerned that there is not sufficient housing for young people. They want to encourage young people to stay in the local areas, but it is currently too expensive for them to build adequate housing.

Why the contribution is important

This is important because the current situation is unsustainable for rural communities. People consider it to be unfair that they face a higher cost of living in rural areas, and feel there needs to be greater support from the Scottish Government for island and rural communities.

by FairerScotlandAdmin2 on December 14, 2015 at 11:59AM

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