In the first of our series of ideas for Scotland, Mary Kapadia proposes urgent land reform.
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Scotland has the most inequitable land ownership in the west, causing a concentration of wealth and income. Much of the land/property is registered abroad so profits leave Scotland. Land also receives EU farm subsidy, even where there is no actual farming. Just 432 people (mainly absentee) own Scotland.
Solutions to this include the following:
– tax empty/partially empty properties, e.g. 10% per year. Should we start with Balmoral?
– disallow land ownership by absentee landowners
– stop land rent/payments from leaving country
– limit amount of land that can be held by 1 person (by area or value)
– confiscate land that is undeveloped (developers with housing land banks) after 10 years
– EU subsidies (EU) for farmers should be confiscated and paid to state
– wealth/inheritance tax to include land and property (eradication of the seven year rule
– repeal all primogeniture rules (first born son inheritor)
– land owners to pay for police protection of land/property
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