Bold reform is needed to realise Scotland’s potential
Bold action is needed to transform Scotland’s economy to achieve a ‘fair and green recovery’ following Covid-19 and the ways we own and use land are central to this, according to the Scottish Land Commission’s new, three-year strategic plan published today.
The plan focuses on where land reform can make the biggest difference to promote recovery and renewal including action to reduce inequality, support climate action and give people and communities in Scotland the ability to bring about positive change.
The Land Commission will work to:
- Reform land rights and ownership to encourage a more diverse and productive pattern of land ownership, facilitating new models of control to widen the range of people who can benefit from land rights
- Drive change on the ground in how land is owned, managed and used, helping people and organisations to implement in practice the principles of the Scottish Government’s Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement
- Reform land markets including potential changes to the tax system to support recovery and renewal, reviewing how land is valued and identifying practical options to ensure land is better used in the public interest.
Speaking about the Commission’s three-year plan, Andrew Thin, Chair, said that it is more important than ever that everyone benefits from Scotland’s land. He said: “Land is central to Scotland’s economy, and to building a fair and just recovery from Covid-19.
“If we want to ensure Scotland meets its ambitious climate targets for net zero by 2045, changing the way we use land is critical.
“We must ‘up’ the pace and scale of change and ensure it happens in ways that are fair and creates economic opportunities. Our new strategic plan sets an ambitious agenda to shape reforms that will improve the way land markets work, tackle inequalities and take action on climate change.
“So much of Scotland’s wealth and potential is held in our land. But without reform, Scotland will not be as successful as it could be.”
Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:
“Since their establishment just three years ago, the Scottish Land Commission have delivered a huge amount, and helped put a renewed focus on the role of land in tackling the big issues facing Scotland and how we respond to those. The Commission’s next strategy sets out a bold vision for how that will continue over the next three years, and beyond.
“The coronavirus pandemic has been an unprecedented global crisis, with its effects felt most acutely in local communities. It has also highlighted the urgent need to ensure that our recovery from the pandemic is a green recovery. Through their new strategic plan, the Commission have provided an important blueprint for the role Scotland’s land can and must play in tackling those challenges and realising their opportunities – delivering a green and inclusive economy, tackling inequalities, and ensuring a fairer net-zero society, particularly in our most fragile communities.”
The Scottish Land Commission’s Strategic Plan has now been laid in Parliament.