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Schedule 1 — The Crofting Commission

Part of Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:06 am on 1st July 2010.

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Photo of Liam McArthur Liam McArthur Liberal Democrat 11:06 am, 1st July 2010

Like the issue of the map-based register, the question whether the commission should be able to charge crofters in certain circumstances divided the committee down the middle. SNP and Tory members were supportive of the principle and, like the minister, set out their case on the basis of instances in which crofters might benefit from the decision that was reached by the commission. Less convincingly—and, perhaps, more worryingly—some Government back benchers seemed to suggest that it was part of a process that would lead, ultimately, to the commission being entirely self-financing. That goes a good deal further than the minister has been willing to go, but it perhaps betrays the direction of travel. Amendments 100 and 139 are modest proposals that put in checks and safeguards in relation to the commission's power to charge. In that respect, they meet the Government's objective, albeit fettering that power in ways that may give crofters at least some reassurance.