Our Campaign

Our Land is an initiative created by Common Weal, Women for Independence, Scottish Land Action Movement, Radical Independence and land reform campaigners Andy Wightman MSP & Lesley Riddoch.

Our Land aims to highlight the problems of dereliction in cities and emptiness in the countryside that flow from an elitist system of land ownership that allows a handful of individuals, quangos, insurance companies and trusts based in offshore tax havens to dictate the price, availability and use of land in Scotland - from the remotest islands to busiest city centres.

The Five Asks

1. Transparency

Land is the place where we live and is the place where our children will live. We have a right to know that this generation of owners are looking after it responsibly, both for now and for the future. There should be a registry of all land in Scotland and who owns it, and it should not be legal for land to be owned in secret in tax havens.

2. Productivity

Much of our national wealth is derived from the productive use of land. Failing to use land or preventing its development is against the public's interest. To discourage unproductive speculative behaviour a modest land tax should be introduced and the tax exemptions on derelict land policy should be ended.

3. Affordability

Ordinary people and small businesses should have a chance of being able to afford land and the public should be able to buy land for public good at a reasonable price. A modest land tax will help manage the value of land and a right for public bodies to buy land not at its speculative value but at its current use value should be put in place.

4. Availability

In Scotland it is very difficult for an individual or a small business to buy land because so little becomes available for sale. Existing tenants on rented land should have a right to buy, a land tax should encourage more existing landowners to sell on land they are not using productively

5. Accountability

Local authorities, government and other public bodies own and control substantial amounts of land and grant planning permission for others to use land. There should be much better democratic accountability for how public land is used and in particular when it is sold – and planning should be reformed to emphasise public benefit rather than commercial profit.