From Birnam to Holyrood.
Scotland has the most concentrated land ownership patterns in Europe and significant reform is long overdue claimed Radical Independence Campaigners today, the final day for consultation on Government land reform proposals.
“RIC welcomes the consultation and the bringing forward of proposals as the first, vital step in achieving significant land reform in Scotland. It is encouraging that the government see their proposals as part of a process rather than an end-point.” said RIC’s Duncan McCabe.
While supportive of most of the proposals, especially the development of an open, public register of land ownership and restrictions on ownership by legal entities registered in tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, the Birnam submission goes much further and looks at longer-term measures to address large-scale land ownership.
Birnam workshop coordinator Simon Brooke said;
“A highly progressive form of land taxation should be investigated as a replacement for council tax and as a mechanism for tackling the present grossly unequal land distribution.
“It is also important that third parties, individuals and communities, should have access to land justice through being able to challenge land owners in the courts if they are not acting in the public interest.
“Land underlies all the reforms that must be made to make Scotland a fairer, more cohesive society. We must treat our land with respect, ensuring that we act in best long-term interests of our environment and our communities.”
RIC activists, Commonweal supporters and other land reform campaigners met at Birnam in January to discuss the proposals in an open, participative forum. Significant concensus was achieved and the findings of the workshop have been presented as a response to the consultation.
RIC, as a national organisation, endorses the birnam-land-reform-workshop-response to the Government’s land reform consultation.