Land Reform Bill panned

Scottish Land & Estates, which represents landowners in Scotland, has released a statement warning of the negative consequences of Scottish land reform.

The controversial Land Reform Bill has caused concern for sporting estates in Scotland, threatening to remove tax exemptions that could directly impact those employed on such estates. But MSPs are still trying to make it more radical.

David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee (RACCE) has, along with other Parliamentary Committees, subjected the Bill to close scrutiny – which we welcome – and has made recommendations on issues such as transparency of ownership and non-domestic business rates for sporting businesses, which we support. The RACCE has made a very important intervention regarding the need for much more information on the impact of ending the rates exemption for sporting business and we appeal to the Scottish Government to take heed of this recommendation.

“However, we are concerned in other areas that any attempt to make the
Bill even more radical than it already is will not help achieve the aim which is surely shared by us all – improving the prosperity of rural communities and the people who work in them.”

The Land Reform Bill continues through parliament. It can be read in full at www.scottish.parliament.uk.

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