LAND REFORM: JOHNSTONE URGES GOVERNMENT TO BE BOLDER
Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian and rural affairs spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, is welcoming the publication of the Scottish Government’s Land Reform (Scotland) Bill, but is urging ministers to be bolder.
Today’s publication includes positive measures that would end tax relief for shooting estates, provide a community right-to-buy land to further sustainable development, and force the sale of land where owners block development. But it does not include recommendations made by the independent Land Reform Review Group such as placing an upper limit on the total amount of land that can be held or giving consideration to a land value tax.
Alison Johnstone MSP said:
“We still have a long way to go if we aspire to truly reform our undemocratic system of land ownership, and end the vast inequalities where half the country is estimated to be owned by as few as 432 people. This Bill can allow us to begin to address some of the deepest problems of land ownership in Scotland, but we cannot pretend it is now job done.
“Scottish Greens have long advocated the introduction of a Land Value Tax as an example of how we can improve conditions for both urban and rural Scotland. Last year’s report by the independent Land Reform Review Group recommended that LVT be given serious consideration and that there be an upper limit on the total amount of land in Scotland that can be held by a private land owner. I would urge ministers to reconsider these ideas, so we can pursue a truly bold land reform agenda.”