NFUS Seeks Key Land Reform Bill Amendments

NFU Scotland has received cross party MSP support for a significant number of its proposed amendments to Scotland’s landmark Land Reform Bill.

The Bill is currently at Stage Two of its progress through the Scottish Parliament and contains significant legislative proposals that would have an impact on all farmers, crofters and land managers.

Whitebred Shorthorn X Highland Cows

Land Reform proposals have seen NFUS undertake a lengthy and extensive consultation exercise with its membership and this is still ongoing. Amendments to the Bill, proposed by Scottish Government at the end of 2015, means that a further round consultation with members, focussing on the elements of the Bill that relate to the assignation of agricultural tenancies, is already underway.

On 15th January the Union submitted further written evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee on the Land Reform Bill. It also intends to provide updated evidence to MSPs following the conclusion of its discussions with members and ahead of the Committee’s examination of the agricultural holdings proposals, likely to begin on 10 February.

NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said:
“The Land Reform Bill will have far reaching consequences for all farmers. That is why we continue to consult widely with our members and welcome the support of MSPs across the parties for a number of our suggested amendments to the Bill.

“The amendments we are putting forward at this time focus on the Land Reform element of the Bill and reflect the strength of feeling within our membership regarding the negative impact the Bill could have on farming.

“Whilst there are some positive elements to the Bill, farmers feel particularly vulnerable given the lack of detail provided and view it as essential that Scotland’s ability to produce food is not unintentionally undermined.

“It is important for Scottish farming that this Bill, once made law, is fit for purpose. All too often we have seen legislation rushed through and not delivering what was hoped for. We welcome the recognition from MSPs of the pressing need to get the legislation right from the outset.”


Related Links
link Farmers Should Act Now to Defer January Tax Bills
link The Farming Recovery Fund is Now Open for Applications
link RIDBA Warns Farmers to Build Fit for Purpose
link Oxford Real Farming Conference got off to a Flying Start