Scottish Countryside Alliance

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Potential impact on Rural Employment from the Scottish Governments Land Reform plans

The Scottish Countryside Alliance has highlighted the potential impact on rural employment, business and environmental sustainability through the removal of sporting rates relief.



Amongst other measures, the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill proposes to reintroduce sporting rates for sporting shoots and deer forests throughout Scotland.  Rural Scotland has benefited from a demonstrable and measurable financial and environmental input from those involved in the management of wild and released game and the management of our wild deer.  A large volume of game shooting in Scotland can only be described as a recreation, run on a business footing with many of them running at either break even or run at a loss. This additional tax burden equivalent to an increase of up to 58% on employment related tax burdens, could result in the end of sport shooting in many areas with little or no alternative employment opportunities leading to job losses and potential land abandonment; and would undoubtedly place an overwhelming financial strain on the many downstream businesses supported by sporting enterprises such as game dealers and processors and those serving the food and hospitality sector. Surely this conflicts with the Scottish Governments objectives…


The economic value of the conservation work undertaken by shoot providers in Scotland is estimated in a recent study (The Value of Shooting report) as £35 million and this far outweighs the amount which would be levied by Sporting Rates. If shoots close, this private investment of time and money into conservation work would no longer continue, and would be impossible to replace without considerable Government expenditure.


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