On new proposals on land reform, Scottish Conservative rural affairs spokesman Alex Fergusson said:
“When the Land Reform Review Group published its report, I said it was divisive and damaging for rural Scotland.
“Sadly, the new First Minister has announced that she will take that policy of division forward in announcing the key proposals of the Land Reform Bill.
“She claims to be leading a decentralising government, yet wants to establish a Land Reform Commission to decide matters such as who owns too much land and whether or not the management of that land is appropriate.
“Big Brother is about to be legislated for by a government that said it would govern for all Scotland’s people. It would appear that that is not the case if you own land.
“Furthermore, the First Minister claims to be very supportive of small businesses – unless your business happens to depend on shooting or fishing, in which case your business is going to have a rating system introduced at a cost of some £7 million a year by 2016.
“This is nothing less than a tax on rural business that will cost jobs and do nothing for the management of large parts of rural Scotland.
“The announcement of the programme today simply confirms the Scottish Conservative view that the proposals are damaging and divisive and will have lawyers the length and breadth of the country rubbing their hands with glee.”