‘Look to Wales’: Labour call on SNP to look at Welsh language example to save Gaelic

25 Jun 2021 2 minutes Read
The bilingual border sign on the M6 motorway crossing from England into Scotland. Picture by DeFacto (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Labour in Scotland have called on the SNP to look at the Welsh language as an example in order to save Scottish Gaelic.

One MSP, Rhoda Grant, said the Scottish Government had done “nothing but cut funding” and were ignoring and underfunding the language.

During a debate on Gaelic in the Scottish Parliament, the Labour MSP urged the SNP Government to “look to Wales” and how the Welsh Government treats the Welsh language.

She said ministers “ignore the fact that Gaelic is dying because Gaelic-speaking communities are dying, and often that is at their hands”.

She added: “The Bòrd has faced a cut in real terms of over 30 per cent of their budget in the last decade.

“In the 22 years of this parliament, we’ve legislated only once. In 15 years of SNP Government, they have done nothing but cut funding.”

‘Do more’

Another MSP compared the amount of funding available for BBC Alba with S4C in Wales.

Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said: “We see around £20 million being spent on Gaelic television and radio annually, and MG Alba has consistently argued for greater resources.

“Comparatively, the total budget for the Welsh-speaking channel S4C last year was just over £95m. Clearly that’s an area that should be looked at.”

Scottish Government Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the language remains a priority for the Scottish Government. They were looking at the creation of a recognised Gaelic-speaking area, or Gàidhealtachd, she said.

“There are good initiatives in place, and I’m happy to continue the work on this – but I recognise the call that has come from across the chamber to do more, to do it quickly and to ensure that we are supporting people that want to support the Gaelic language,” she said.

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