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A written report of

:

AGRARIAN REFORM IN SCOTLAND
(Group #3)

I.

General Situationer
A. History of Scottish Land Reform
Land ownership in Scotland was originally based on the feudal system. It is highly visible
during the middle ages to the early modern age but was slowly declining since then. During the 17 th –
19th century the Scottish Agricultural Revolution started. The Agricultural Revolution gave way to
new technology in Scottish farming as well as property rights to small landowners and free tenants.
Enclosures began to displace the run rig system and free pasture. The result of these changes were
the Lowland Clearances, by which hundreds of thousands of cottars and tenant farmers from central
and southern Scotland were forcibly moved from the farms and small holdings their families had
occupied for hundreds of years. The Highland Clearances saw the forced displacement much of the
population of the Highland as lands were enclosed, principally so that they could be used for sheep
farming. The clearances followed patterns of agricultural change throughout the UK, but were
particularly notorious as a result of the late timing, the lack of legal protection for year-by-year
tenants under Scots law, the abruptness of the change from the traditional clan system, and the
brutality of many evictions.
The Feudal relationship in lands was only eradicated with the Abolition of Feudal
Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000. It effectively abolishes the feudal system of land tenure that
has been in existence in Scotland in various forms since around the 12th century. It simply states that
no feudal relationship will be permitted in the future, existing superiorities will be abolished and
existing vassals will cease to be vassals and will become straightforward owners of land.
B. Current Agrarian Reform Policies
 Common Agricultural Policy (Implemented 2014)
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the agricultural policy of the European
Union. It implements a system of agricultural subsidies and other programs. Although farmers
in many European Union countries are efficient and produce high yields, land, input and fuel
costs make them uncompetitive with farmers elsewhere. Without additional financial support,
many farmers would be unable to sustain their businesses and the overall rural economy
would suffer significantly.
 Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003
The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 is an Act of the Scottish Parliament. It has three
parts: it formalised the tradition in Scotland of unhindered access to open countryside, it
introduced rights for communities to buy their land when it comes up for sale, and gave
crofting communities the right to buy their land whether or not it has come up for sale.
The first part created a framework for responsible access to land and inland water,
formalising the tradition in Scotland of unhindered access to open countryside, provided that
care was taken not to cause damage or interfere with activities including farming.
The second part of the Act established the Community Right to Buy in order to allow
communities with a population of less than 10,000 in Scotland to apply to register an interest
in land and the opportunity to buy that land when it comes up for sale.
The third part of the Act gives crofting communities the right to buy,[5] in other words to
acquire and control the croft land where they live and work and to acquire the interest of the
tenant in tenanted land (interposed lease).

 Stamp Duty Land Tax (Will be replaced by LBTT by 2015)
Operates a 'slab' system of taxation, where the amount of the consideration determines a
single rate of tax which is applied to the whole amount.
 Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Act 2013
The Scottish Government has proposed a progressive tax structure, similar to the
current income tax system, where slices of the transaction price will be taxed at increasing
percentages.

II.

Specific Issues
a) Change from Stamp Duty Land Tax to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax

Concerns have been raised from those involved with commercial property that the
progressive nature of the tax will inevitably lead to increased tax for those operating at the
upper end of the spectrum

b) Arguments for and against the Common Agricultural Policy

AGAINST CAP

III.

By ignoring the rules of supply and demand, 
the Common Agricultural Policy is hugely
wasteful. It leads to overproduction, forming 
mountains of surplus produce which are
either destroyed or dumped on developing
nations undermining the livelihoods of
farmers there.
Eighty percent of CAP aid goes to just 25
percent of farms. The biggest slice of the
subsidy pie is handed to the landed gentry,
environment- destroying mega-farm and
vast agro-industrial conglomerates.

FOR CAP
It gives food security
Increasingly CAP is used to protect the rural
environment. Farmers get more if they sign
up to agro-environment commitments –
using fewer chemicals; leaving boundaries
uncultivated; maintaining ponds, trees and
hedges; protecting wildlife.

Conclusion
The Scottish government projects a view that their agricultural economy is in the
“transition” period but as it is, it is also hemorrhaging. It would seem that all the agrarian
issues seem to pile up instead of being directly resolved, because instead of directly
answering problems they introduce new policies that will only cause more confusion to the
system. We understand that drastic measures must be made to step up with the growing
issues, it is also the reason why the change must be slowly done and not abruptly.
Imperfections of policies must also be according to the kind of need of the people specially if
it is at first generally used among other countries (CAP).

Group #3:
Valila, Mary Grace
Castillo, Rennier Ian
Platon, Alyssa Mae
Geronimo, Marrol
Perez, Carolyn
Caparal, Santiago
Magbitang, Zher
Calma, Ievan