With the ink hardly dry on the report from the Smith Commission, it is bizarre to note that the UK Crown Estate will be able to build up a new portfolio in Scotland after the devolution of the existing function to Scotland (your report, 6 March).
It appears that following an agreement with the UK Government, the UK Crown Estate would still be able to make new investments and build up a new portfolio of land in Scotland – the surplus revenue of which would flow to the Treasury rather than to the Scottish Government.
Despite what was agreed by all the parties in the Smith Commission, the Westminster Government has unilaterally decided that the UK Crown Estate should be able to continue to buy up land and assets in Scotland – with all the revenue flowing to the Treasury in London rather than benefitting people in Scotland.
In effect, the UK Government’s plans would mean there are two Crown Estates operating in Scotland at the same time, a quite ridiculous state of affairs.
The UK Government simply can’t get away with this ludicrous plan which goes entirely against the spirit of the Smith Commission proposals.
It is vital that full responsibility for the Crown Estate and its assets are in Scotland’s hands, rather than allowing the UK Crown Estate to continue exploiting Scotland’s wealth and assets as if nothing had changed.