Eala­said MacDon­ald

Labour, Western Isles

The Oban Times - - Election Special -

I be­lieve that the ref­er­en­dums over the past three years have added to the in­sta­bil­ity which is af­fect­ing the is­lands’ econ­omy.

The con­tin­ued dis­cus­sion adds to this un­cer­tainty and is pre­vent­ing in­vest­ment and growth. We have busi­nesses for sale in the is­lands which should be at­trac­tive to lots of buy­ers, but they are lan­guish­ing on the mar­ket.

And the is­lands are lit­tered with empty houses or hol­i­day homes.

My pri­or­ity as an MP will be to fo­cus on the key eco­nomic driv­ers which will pro­vide sta­bil­ity and en­cour­age growth. In or­der to ad­dress the real threat of de­pop­u­la­tion, we must see jobs in the is­lands. We must pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for our young peo­ple to stay in the com­mu­ni­ties where they grew up - and we must at­tract new fam­i­lies who want to en­joy the fan­tas­tic life­style we have here.

We must see in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture to pro­vide a base from which we can flour­ish.

I will be a strong voice for the is­lands, some­thing which is very much lack­ing. It is in­creas­ingly ev­i­dent that not only is our voice not be­ing heard but that noone has been co- or­di­nat­ing the case for the is­lands. We have to work to­gether to take our is­lands for­ward.

I prom­ise that, if elected, I will put the is­lands first. I will take ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to en­hance our rep­u­ta­tion and pro­mote our as­sets. I will make sure that there will be no- one at West­min­ster, or beyond, who is not aware of the Western Isles for all the right rea­sons.

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