The Land Reform Bill passed its Stage 3 debate in Holyrood yesterday (16 March). It includes a number of changes that the Scottish Countryside Alliance believes will be bad for rural businesses and communities.
SCA director Scotland Jamie Stewart commented: “We are very disappointed in the passing of the bill and more so in that so many well thought through amendments were rejected out of hand. It simply defies logic to reinstate sporting rates on a business where the direct and indirect income generates sustainable employment in some of Scotland’s most fragile communities. This effect is only compounded when competing businesses, many already supported by government subsidies continue to trade exempt from business rates.
“In seems ironic that the passing of this bill will most likely see a net loss of employment for many within the game and game management sector not to mention the effects on downstream businesses such as hospitality, accommodation and local services when the aim of the bill is to have a more inclusive and populated rural population. We will continue to work with Scottish Government in a bid to limit the inevitable damage to the fabric of rural community’s we fear.”
For further information, contact Jamie Stewart on 01890 818554/07825 736903 or [email protected]