SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed “radical” recommendations published yesterday in a report by the Scottish Government’s Short Life Working Group on Economic and Social Opportunities for Gaelic.

Their recommendations cover population and infrastructure, public sector and Gaelic plans, communities, education and key sectors.

Commenting following the report’s publication, Alasdair Allan MSP said:

“This group have been both radical and pragmatic in the way they have taken up the Scottish Government’s call for views on how best the Gaelic language and Scotland’s economy can be strengthened by mutual support measures. These substantial recommendations, developed from within the Gaelic speaking community itself, will now be considered and, I hope, taken forward by ministers.

“Gaelic belongs to all of Scotland but, as recognised within this report, there are key areas of the country (for example, where 20% or more of the population are Gaelic speakers) which require additional focus and support in order to secure and strengthen Gaelic’s continued use as a community language.

“Many of the recommendations outlined in this report align closely with key themes from responses to the Scottish Government’s recent consultation on the Scottish Languages Bill.

“Robust and targeted action is needed for Gaelic, and there are a number of bold recommendations made by the Working Group, including: housing grants for Gaelic speakers on low or modest incomes in Key Gaelic Communities; enhanced support for Gaelic entrepreneurs; the exploration of ‘Gaelic Economic Zones’, offering tax breaks; the establishment of a network of properly resourced Gaelic Officers; the designation of public sector roles within Key Gaelic Communities as Gaelic-essential; and compulsory Gaelic language learning for S1-3 pupils in secondary schools in Key Gaelic Areas.

“I welcome the report published today by the Working Group, containing carefully considered yet ambitious recommendations from respected figures within the Gaelic-speaking community.”

The group’s membership consisted of Agnes Rennie, Arthur Cormack, Cllr Calum Munro, Faye MacLeod, Iain MacRury, Iseabail MacTaggart and Joanna Peteranna. The working group met 18 times due to the scale of the task, and their recommendations will now be considered by the Scottish Government.

The report can be viewed here:



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