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Scott: Ministers unrepentent over uncertainty facing tenant farmers

June 25, 2013 5:30 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesperson and Shetland MSPTavish ScottTavish Scott Tavish Scott today criticised the Scottish Government for being unrepentant about the uncertainty it has created in Scotland's farming communities.

This comes after the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead announced without any discussion that Absolute Right to Buy (ARTB) would be one of the issues under consideration in the Agricultural Holdings Review. The timetable for that review is unclear.

Mr Scott asked the Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse today whether he accepted that the government's position has created uncertainty for Scottish agriculture. Mr Scott went on to ask what the Minister planned to do to repair the essential relationships between stakeholders such as the Scottish Tenant Farmers' Association needed to deliver effective land reform.

Commenting after Topical Questions in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Scott said:

"The Scottish Government is unrepentant about the uncertainty it is has created throughout Scottish farming. The Minister accepted that so long as ARTB is on the table, the SNP government's position will do little to boost tenant farming in Scotland. This announcement has sent shockwaves to the many stakeholders who felt that steady progress was being made towards having more farms available for rent across Scotland.

"Scottish Ministers have started the fire and only they can put it out. We need to see clear steps being taken to repair the relationships needed for sustainable and constructive reform. Reform that all of Scottish agriculture can support and wants."

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