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SNP to reform property rights

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20/05/2015
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has proposed changes to property rights to better reflect public interest.

The party, which won 56 of Scotland’s 59 UK parliamentary seats in this month’s general election, said it would make the changes to tackle inequality.

The Telegraph reported Aileen McLeod, the Scottish Land Reform Minister, told a conference in Edinburgh that the party wants to shift the law so that the ‘public interest’ is given greater precedence.

It said this would be at the expense of individual’s rights and would be for the benefit of the country in the long-term.

A Land Reform Bill is expected to be tabled at the Scottish Parliament in the next few weeks. One measure could see property owners forced to sell their property if it is deemed a barrier to development.

McLeod told the Scottish Land & Estates conference that this would not mean ‘arbitrarily taking land away from landowners or about growing the public sector’.

At present a minority of households own almost half of all wealth.

“We have to ask ourselves is this right in a modern Scotland? Will it entrench the sense of shared interest and common purpose on which all successful and purposeful society must rest?” she said.

“In my view, this doesn’t reflect the kind of society to which we in Scotland collectively aspire. Instead I see the Scottish Government’s approach to land reform as one mechanism among others for tackling the causes and the consequences of inequality that blights our society and limits our potential as a country.”

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