Land reform threatens jobs

A proposed land reform introducing a tax on sporting estates in Scotland is threatening jobs and conservation.

BASC Scotland have warned that the reintroduction of business rates for shooting estates could have a huge detrimental impact on 8,800 jobs and even 4.5 million hectares of conservation land. The first minister estimates the tax to bring in £7million per annum, but this has been seen as a bad move by Alan Balfour, chairman of BASC’s Scottish Committee: “The reintroduction of business rates, after they were scrapped in 1994, would be a step backwards.”

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An SGO spokesperson said: “It is highly important, when considering land reform that Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish Government should see it as a duty to protect jobs of rural workers in fragile areas. Should it make land reform an ideological vehicle to punish landowners on sporting estates, the real affect will be to sacrifice the jobs of working people such as gamekeepers, stalkers and land and river ghillies, and their families, who will be the first people to suffer if investments are withdrawn and taken elsewhere.”

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