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Labour MSP to launch ‘land justice’ Bill consultation to limit wealthy landowners

A LABOUR MSP has called for a “land justice” Bill to limit the land wealthy landowners are allowed to hold in Scotland.

Scotland North East Labour MSP, Mercedes Villalba, responded to the launch of a Scottish government proposal on land reform in a “net zero nation.”

The Holyrood Minister for Environment and Land Reform Mairi McAllan launched the government consultation and said: ”We want to see the benefits of land ownership shared fairly.”

The Scottish government hailed their plans as “ambitious” and said the Bill would address long-standing concerns about the highly concentrated pattern of land ownership in rural areas of Scotland. 

Ms McAllan said: “We want a discussion about how land is owned, bought, sold, managed and used.”

But Ms Villalba said: “It’s welcome that the government has finally accepted the law on land ownership needs to be reformed.

“However, there is nothing here to address one of the greatest symbols of inequality there is, with the huge concentration of land in the hands of a small number of wealthy individuals.

“Little will change under these very vague proposals from ministers. The centuries-old entrenched inequality of land ownership in Scotland would remain.

“I would encourage campaigners to engage with this consultation, and make their feelings known about these ridiculously inadequate proposals and to make the case for real ‘land justice.’

“It’s also disappointing that ministers have opted to launch this consultation just days after the start of the parliamentary recess, meaning that there is little chance for immediate scrutiny by MSPs.

“Meanwhile, I will continue to prepare a consultation on a Land Justice Bill that would introduce a cap an ownership, and allow community representatives to manage land for the benefit of all.”

The consultation on the Scottish government’s proposals end on September 25.

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