Carmichael comments following DVSA debate: “finding excuses and casting aspersions”

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has reacted further to comments from the government during today’s debate on the operations of the DVSA in Shetland. During the debate the responding minister, Trudy Harrison MP, suggested that while the DVSA was working hard to ensure services were kept in the isles, the problems with test sites were primarily due to high costs from local businesses and intransigence from Shetland Islands Council, something which Mr Carmichael noted was inaccurate given the Council’s efforts to work with the DVSA and others since 2016.

Speaking after the debate Mr Carmichael said:

“The intent from the government at this point seems to be more about finding excuses for the DVSA and casting aspersions on the council, local people and anyone else who can be blamed for the agency’s failure to plan and their plans for further failure.

“The simple reality is that it is complacency from the DVSA that has been the barrier to progress on testing issues in the isles. They had years to fix the problems that were coming down the track and they did nothing beyond what they were forced to do by myself and others who took a measure of care about the issue. The least we should expect is a degree of humility that it has come to this point.

“It feels as though we have taken a step backward rather than forward, with the minister not even acknowledging that there is a problem in the culture of the DVSA. Something has to give in the tug of war between the blithe assertions of officials and the reality on the ground.”

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