Scottish Land Fund could treble to £10m


23rd June 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Cash raised from ending tax breaks for wealthy landlords could go towards the Scottish Land Fund – trebling it to £10 million.

Following a 10 week consultation which ended last February, the land reform bill will end tax relief for shooting estates and also force landowners sell land if it is in the public interest.

The Scottish Government has set a target of doubling the amount of land in community ownership from the current 500,000 acres to one million acres by 2020.

One proposal is to use the proceeds from the increased taxation to boost the Scottish Land Fund which currently gives out £3m a year to communities bidding to buyout local assets.

First Minister Nicola Strugeon set out the vision for land reform as part of her programme for government saying that Scotland's land “must be an asset that benefits the many, not the few.”

The bill aims to ensure the correct balance of land rights to achieve this vision. 

We want to ensure that future generations have access to land required to promote business and economic growth

Other proposals in the bill include measures to clarify information about land, its ownership and its value; encouraging better information and greater transparency on the ownership of land, through the land register; and improvements to both systems of common good land and right to roam.

Land reform minister Aileen McLeod said: "We cannot underestimate the crucial part land reform will play in contributing to the future success of communities across Scotland.

"Through the land reform bill we want to ensure that future generations have access to land required to promote business and economic growth and to provide access to good quality, affordable food, energy and housing.

"The introduction of the bill is a significant step forward in ensuring our land is used in the public interest and to the benefit of the people of Scotland. It will also end the stop start nature of land reform in Scotland that has limited progress."

She added: "Tackling the causes and consequences of inequality is at the heart of this government's work. Land is one of our most valuable assets.

"Owning land can help realise the aspirations and potential of our communities, making a real difference to long-term sustainability and building stronger, more resilient and supportive communities."