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Scottish Land & Estates Comment in Response to STFA Press Statement

 

The following comment was released in response to STFA press statement. 

Chairman Luke Borwick said: "The STFA is provoking the demise of the tenanted sector by continuing to call for an absolute right tobuy when it has been rejected by the farming industry.

"ARtB has been comprehensively rejected for good reasons - it does nothing to encourage the letting of land, nor  assist new entrants gain their first foot on the farming ladder. It also removes land from the let sector.

“A survey by the STFA of its membership showed 61% were against ARtB – it is completely disingenuous of the STFA to suggest anything other than the fact that the majority of tenant farmers are not in favour. The analysis of the LRRG call for evidence also states that four-fifths of respondents opposed the right to buy for tenant farmers. There were numerous public meetings where tenant farmers and others were very vocal in their views during the gathering of evidence for LRRG, as well as opportunities to provide their views in private both orally and in writing. There is a big difference between views being ignored and views being taken into account with a decision reached that the STFA doesn’t like. It is also very disappointing to see the STFA one day agree that the Tenant Farming Forum is the appropriate forum to resolve industry issues, then the next   change their position again.

“Now, we challenge the STFA to show real evidence of a climate of fear and a sector riven by poor relations. That is not the experience of the vast majority. We have repeatedly offered to intervene where concerns involve our membership and when called in, it is soon established the difficulties are caused by both sides, as you would expect in any sector. ”

"At a recent conference on land tenure organised by NFUS the message was clear that greater flexibility of contract arrangements and less political interference were what the sector needed. Surely the STFA would better serve its members by engaging positively with the rest of the industry to improve rather than destroy the let sector. Scotland needs a vibrant tenanted sector and all involved with the support of government can bring about  a situation where people have confidence to  let land and explore new letting opportunities.”

 

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