2007 - 2021

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  1. Dougie Blackwood says:

    These films are tragic and the circumstances are repeated throughout Scotland. The bigger picture is that we are losing our feedstock of young people throughout the country as they move to where that can find somewhere to live.

    The obvious solution is land reform. In Scotland we have lots of land that is hoarded and very little that is available to build affordable houses. There are large areas of land that are not being used productively and the people that own them pay little or nothing towards the infrastructure that they benefit from. Introduce a payment in place of other taxes to be paid on every square metre of Scotland’s land. This would encourage those with land that is not being used to sell and the price would naturally fall. Introduce a presumption that approval for house building will be granted rather than, as now, bowing to the NIMBYs who do not want ANYTHING built within 100 yards of their place.

    Time we In Scotland used the powers we have and took radical action to benefit the whole population rather than listening to the top 10% who hold the rest to ransom. If it requires an independent Scotland then so be it but I think we could do much more right now if we were not afraid of the outcry from those that control the media.

  2. w.b. robertson says:

    the SNP govt are too timid to tackle any radical land reform, likewise separate schools, control of quangoes, the question of our own fishing waters, upsetting the Established bodies etc. etc ( the NHS may be in crisis financially but,, hey ho, baby boxes are promoted as a nice and safe investment!) About time the party leaders learned that (to create a new Scotland) you cant make omelettes without breaking eggs.

  3. Graeme McCormick says:

    I think there is a bit of wishful thinking amongst campaigners against second or holiday homes in rural Scotland. It seems to be a badge of honour to discourage such home owners , and the Scottish government’s has embraced it by increasing council tax, imposing a 3% LBTT surcharge on the purchase price. Taxation of Second home ownership is fast becoming a behavioural one like tobacco, betting and alcohol. Why, when we encourage hutting like Norway where huts are in many respects much more luxurious than most second homes in Scotland? Why, would it not be better to encourage folk to have a holiday home in Scotland than spend their holiday money in foreign countries ?

    My fairly extensive knowledge of holiday homes in Scotland is that they are very often old and even if modernised are not be the sort of place people would be comfortable in living in all year round. History shows that many have been abandoned by their local inhabitants for a more modern and a spacious house often supplied by social housing or a self build by them since the War.

    When Right-to-Buy was offered to council house tenants it was inserted in some deeds of conditions that these houses could not be used as holiday homes or holiday lets. To my knowledge no former social landlord sought to enforce that condition; thus these houses were lost as permanent residences in their communities. These homes regulalry were left by the first owners to their disparate families and still are in their ownership.

    To resolve the housing shortage new energy efficient homes must be built. Annual Ground Rent will force land owners both in the private and public sector to divest themselves of land which has become a liability. Planning authorities must also be far more liberal and encouraging of housing applications.

    To my knowledge the incidence of rate of mortgage repossessions in rural areas is considerably lower than urban areas. Yet mortgage lending criteria for one off style houses is stricter than the usual urban scheme house. the Scottsih government should request lenders to be more ameniable to mortgage applications in rural areas since they have been shown to be a better risk. The government could underwrite the top 25% of mortgages for a limited period under certain conditions to support first time buyers and builders in rural Scotland. The risk would be minimal.

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