In a statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, the Rural Economy Cabinet Secretary ignored calls from Scotland’s crofting community and ignored clear recommendations set out in a cross-party report by the Rural, Economy and Connectivity Committee, to bring an end to piecemeal crofting legislation and produce a comprehensive crofting bill during this session of Parliament.
In questions to the rural secretary, North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles highlighted that the committee’s report was published 30 months ago and officials have only now been asked to work with stakeholders to identify priorities for legislation.
Mr Rumbles and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have been calling for the Scottish Government to move away from the haphazard process of legislative reform, which has seen several crofting Acts passed in recent years.
Mr Rumbles added: “The evidence we heard from crofters in committee and our cross-party report made it absolutely clear that yet another piecemeal approach to crofting legislation was not the way to go.
“We have waited two and a half years for the Scottish Government to bring forward these proposals and now, with only 18 month left of this Parliament, the plans set out today completely fail to address the problems with the current crofting legislation.
“The Cabinet Secretary has completely ignored the most fundamental point of the committee’s crofting enquiry. That any proposed Bill should be comprehensive not piecemeal.”