I'll put my foot into another pan full of hot potatoes, this time good old RET.
RET means that ferry trips are charged according to the number of seamiles covered by the ferry, multiplied by 60p and augmented with a £5 surcharge. According to newsreports out today, this will cover all ferries TO the Western Isles. Note, not WITHIN the islands.
Although it is nice to anticipate that fares will be slashed by up to half, there is a sting in the tail. Calmac operates its ferries at an annual operating loss of £32 million. This is covered by government subsidies. If Calmac's fare revenues are decreased courtesy RET, you'd expect the subsidy to INcrease. Subsidies are ultimately funded by taxpayers, and, yes, that includes residents of the Western Isles.
I'm not totally sour grapes about this scheme, it should entice more visitors and businesses to the islands. And that might offset Calmac's reduction in revenue. Problem is that ferries have a limited capacity, and can carry only so many vehicles at a time.
Perhaps the Sunday sailings will now be introduced on the Ullapool to Stornoway route to make up for that deficit, yes, I can now see the reasoning behind this.