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24th May 2022

These Scottish Islands want to ‘bribe’ you with £50K to move there

Danny Jones

Scottish islands £50k golden hellos

Firstly, sign us up – secondly, are the energy prices any better there?

A group of Scottish Islands are trying to convince Brits and other families from around the world to move there by offering ‘golden hello’ bonds of £50,000 to those who choose to relocate.

In a push by the Scottish government to combat depopulation and rising house prices across the nation, bonds of £50,000 are being offered to the first 100 people who are willing to resettle in the Western Isles and Orkney.

The collection of islands and archipelagos are situated off the west and northeastern coasts of Scotland, respectively, and the so-called ‘golden hello”s, first reported on by the Times, aim to ensure island communities survive while helping people “buy homes, start businesses and otherwise make their lives here for the long-term.”

Orkney golden hello scheme

The SNP’s Alasdair Allan, MSP for the Western Isles, told the outlet that: “depopulation is one of the biggest threats to our island communities. Anything we can do to reverse depopulation trends should be encouraged.

The ‘golden hello’ scheme has actually been used by the government before, with the country having previously called upon it to coax new junior doctors to practice in Scotland back in 2016 – but not everyone is so convinced it’s a good idea.

Lib Dem Liam McArthur believes that the £5m being reserved for this population push will only benefit “a small minority” and potentially even “open up divisions rather than tackle the root causes of depopulation in island communities.”

Scotland offering £50,000 to move to Western Isles and Orkney

Instead, he suggests that “rather than offering bribes to individuals”, ministers should be focusing on addressing “poor transport connections, non-existent broadband and unaffordable housing” – just some of the factors he believes are holding the local economies back.

Meanwhile, Rural Affairs and Islands Minister Mairi Gougeon has defended the move, insisting, “it’s not a bribe; it’s not a gimmick” and is a step in the right direction as prospective Scottish homeowners faces doubts they’ll even own their own home amid a 20 per cent price increase on the property market.
Would you relocate to a remote island community for £50,000?

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