David Stewart MSP

Highland MSP’s Delight as SNP Trees Policy Felled

13 March 2009

David Stewart, Highlands and Islands Labour MSP has expressed his delight at the massive u-turn by the SNP Government decision to ditch its proposal to lease large tracts of Scotland’s forests to foreign investors.

Mr Stewart said, “The proposals to allow leasing and cutting rights to private investors was flawed and ill-considered from the very outset. This is yet another humiliating policy u- turn from the SNP.

Under the scheme, 25 per cent of the forest estate would be leased out over a 75-year period.

He said,
“I lodged a series of parliamentary questions on the subject and also raised the issue a number of times, including in the recent parliamentary debate.

“From the answers that I have received, the bottom line is this: the idea came from City of London bankers Rothschild, which was Margaret Thatcher’s favourite privatisation bank.

“The proposal has been widely condemned across the political fold and the vast majority of consultation responses were extremely critical.

“But no one should forget the SNP were prepared to dispose of our forests to foreign investors if Labour had not intervened.

“Together with colleagues Rhoda Grant and Peter Peacock I raised an e-petition against the proposals which has received over a thousand signatures.

“Similarly, many concerned constituents have written to my office.

“There has been little support for the plans, apart from the SNP.

“The unions and rural and urban communities, too, have widely condemned the proposal.

“From the outset I have been convinced the leasing proposals would be disastrous for rural communities and cost jobs.”

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Written by davidstewart

March 13, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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