We found 1 Reddit comments about Who Pays the Ferryman?: The Great Scottish Ferries Swindle. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
Maybe some luxuries have been removed on the northlink ferrys to reduce the burden to the tax payer. A round trip passage from aberdeen to the northern isle and back costs the tax payer £350 per passenger. It is the most highly subsidised ferry in the world.
I have worked on several calmac vessels in the past and have seen first hand how highly inefficient they are. You might have to pay a good wage to get a high standard of skipper or engineer who would save you money through the damage done by an amateur, but calmac grossly over pays its stewards and ratings and over man the boats, because the wages are guaranteed by the subsidy and aren't subject to market forces like they are in other areas of shipping they have the tax payer by the balls.
Popular opinion seems to be in favour of calmac winning the contract, but if people were really aware of how much tax payer money is wasted by current inefficiency I'm not sure they would. There is a well written book on the subject I have linked below: