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Holyrood has been accused of shortchanging Gaelic and undermining its new languages bill by Isles MSP Alasdair Allan.

The MSP hit out after reports that the Gaelic Officers Scheme will not continue beyond April. 

Expressing concern, he said: “The scheme has been running for two years, made possible by a funding uplift for Bòrd na Gàidhlig from the Scottish Government. While BnaG’s core budget remains steady for the coming year, it seems as though this additional uplift in funding is not being renewed, which is extremely disappointing.”

Dr Allan has now written to Scottish Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth to press the issue.

He added: “While every budget is under extreme pressure at present, a loss like this would go against the aims and principles of the new languages bill, as well as immediately affecting the areas where these Gaelic Officers have been working hard to promote and encourage Gaelic language use.”

The Gaelic Officers Scheme created by Bòrd na Gàidhlig aims to support organisations to employ an officer to undertake Gaelic development work.

It is reported that the contracts of two language planning officers and an education manager will not be renewed, and the organisation’s Gaelic Development Officer scheme will be axed in the next financial year. 

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is set to receive £5,125,000 from the Scottish Government. However, unlike in previous years, there will be no additional funding in the forthcoming financial year.

In 2021/22, the organisation received an extra £400,000; in 2022/23, £500,000; and in 2023/24, £354,000.

Meanwhile, consultations on the Scottish Language Bill are ongoing until Friday, March 8.

The legislation states that the Scottish Government must promote Gaelic and Scots education in schools while giving ministers powers to set language standards within education.

It would also change the responsibilities of Bòrd na Gàidhlig to include reports on Gaelic language strategy, as well as whether public authorities are complying with their duties to promote the use of the language.

Funding of Bòrd na Gàidhlig has been a bone of contention since it was established in 2005. Then, the body was recommended to receive £10 million per annum. However, it has never received more than £5 million annually, with no increase to cope with inflation.