Recognising the Gàidhealtachd
An integral part of Scotland
The ALBA Party recognises that the Gaelic language is a crucial part of Scottish history and culture. It is regrettable that the Gaelic language and Gaelic-speaking communities continue to be at high risk of serious decline. This is evidenced by comparing data gathered in censuses. In 1981, 80% of people in the islands reported an ability to speak Gaelic comparedto 52% in the 2011 census.
It is vital that political parties remain committed to preserving a unique aspect of Scottish history and culture. We welcome the positive work that has been done by the Scottish Government and Bòrd na Gàidhlig as the principal public body in Scotland since being established under the Gaelic Language Act 2005. Despite the work already undertaken, data from the 2011 census highlights that there is still more that can be done.
The ALBA Party proposes that:
Extra funding be found for the Gaelic Development fund to correct the 30% real-term cuts to its budget over the last few years.
The core Gaelic-speaking areas where Gaelic speakers constitute a majority or substantial minority of the population be recognised as Gàidhealtachd regions by the Scottish Government, not as a symbolic statement, but using The Republic of Ireland’s Gaeltacht Act 2012 as a model for the required institutional and policy framework.
Recognition also be granted to Gaelic Language Networks in urban areas outwith the Gàidhealtachd, where there is a considerable existing density of Gaelic organisations, community groups, events, and Gaelic-medium education provision, and realistic potential for further consolidation.
We have also established a Gaelic Speakers for ALBA group where members will promote the Gaelic Language and develop up-to-date policies for the party.