SNP accused of “class war” over land reform
Proposals could affect food industry warns RICS
Land reform proposals designed to revitalise Scotland’s tenant farming sector have been criticised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), saying they could “trigger unintended consequences”.
The Scottish Government’s Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review and Land Reform Consultation would lead to disputes between landords and tenants, RICS warned. It also could affect the food industry, it said.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the Government had no practical case for the land reform proposals.
“We know the SNP is trying to hide behind shooting estates to turn this into a class war. But this isn’t about the landed gentry – this is about family farmers, it’s about ordinary rural workers. It’s also about how much food Scotland produces and how much it costs to buy a Scotch beefburger in the shops,” she said. The Conservatives have proposed a land ownership register.
However the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association called the RICS response “entirely unrealistic,” and would “cut no ice” with the Scottish Government.
Chairman Christopher Nicholson said: “Such damning criticism of the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group’s Final Report is irresponsible and out of kilter with the wider industry recognition of the need for change. Furthermore, it is of great worry for the tenanted sector to see RICS Scotland take this defensive position given that their membership primarily represent landlord interests.”
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