Duke hits out at land re­form

The Oban Times - - News -

THE DUKE of Ar­gyll has de­scribed the Scot­tish gov­ern­ment’s land re­form pro­pos­als as ‘ter­ri­fy­ing’.

Torquhill Camp­bell, the 13th Duke of Ar­gyll, whose fam­ily’s seat is In­ver­aray Castle, told the Fi­nan­cial Times in a re­cent ar­ti­cle that Holy­rood’s plan to im­pose stan­dard rates of in­her­i­tance tax has caused un­cer­tainty over the fu­ture of his 65,000 acre es­tate.

At present, the duke - like some of the coun­try’s great landown­ers - qual­i­fies for the Con­di­tional Ex­emp­tion Scheme, which means he is ex­cused pay­ing the stan­dard rate of in­her­i­tance tax.

The Duke plans to pass his en­tire es­tate to his eldest son, main­tain­ing his fam­ily’s po­si­tion as a ma­jor landowner.

Pro­pos­als to change in­her­i­tance rights in Scot­land are part of a wider process of land re­form, which has led to op­po­si­tion from some of the coun­try’s wealth­i­est landown­ers.

The Land Re­form Bill has been pub­lished by the Scot­tish gov­ern­ment. The Bill’s pro­pos­als - which in­clude a min­is­te­rial right to in­ter­vene in land ac­tiv­ity - have faced crit­i­cism from cam­paign groups for not go­ing far enough to di­ver­sify land own­er­ship in Scot­land.

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