Thursday, 15 April 2010

Gibson calls for great Crown Estate accountability

News release
Immediate release

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP has backed up calls from the Scottish Government to see the Crown Estate Commission become more accountable to the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Gibson was commenting after Cabinet Sectary Richard Lochead said (in response to a question by Mr Gibson) that since 1999 the CEC had extracted around 100 million pounds from rents in Scotland.

Mr Lochead went on to say that he wanted to see the money raised in Scotland back in Scotland. At present the money goes directly into the UK Treasury.

Mr Gibson said...

"The figures which Richard Lochead talked about are mind boggling, it is a clear that Scotland, especially harbours and rents from the sea beds in the Highlands and Islands are paying out vast sums of money to the CEC. Yet very little of that is coming back for investment in these areas or the country as a whole. That is unjust in the extreme and further accountability from the CEC to the Scottish Parliament is an excellent way to deal with the problem."

"There is going to be a rents bonanza for the Crown Estate once the marine renewable revolution takes off. They will be extracting rents from sea beds to the outer regions of the territories. Therefore the money flowing into their coffers and those of the UK Treasury will be vastly inflated. However this money needs to be invested in places which are going to support this industry."

"That can only be done if there is more local control and accountability of the CEC. There is a will from the Scottish Government that this be the case. I hope that other opposition parties will join with the SNP in calling for this."


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