Imagine a Country Where 432 Families Own Half the Land. Welcome to Scotland.
|November 13, 2013||Posted by Staff under Inequality / Concentration|
The country’s vast estates are under threat of being broken up and sold to small farmers. The laird’s response? Get off our land.
Scotland currently has the most concentrated pattern of private ownership in the developed world with just 432 individuals accounting for half of all non-public land.
Submissions by the aristocracy and their representatives to the Land Reform Review Group, which was set up by the Scottish Government to consider the stalled question of redistribution, reveal deep-seated opposition to change.
Among those to challenge the proposals was an estate belonging to the 10th Duke of Buccleuch – a title created in 1663 for the illegitimate son of Charles II – who is now Europe’s largest landowner with holdings valued at more than £1bn.
Mark Coombs, the manager of the Duke’s 33,000 ha Queensberry Estate said there was no call for the ownership structure to change.
It’s the first time they have addressed head on the fact that so much land is held in so few hands. They are denying it’s a problem but they are conceding it is one of the central issues which is very interesting because they cannot win in the long term.