§ Mr. Hamish Gray
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to ensure that the entitlement to crofting assistance of occupiers of holdings comparable with crofts is not impaired by rising land rents.
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell
The change in the level of rents of crofts and comparable holdings through the years has 279W tended to jeopardise the eligibility for assistance of certain non-croft holdings which is determined by the £50 rental limit prescribed in the Crofters Acts. Until a suitable opportunity offers of amending legislation to meet this difficulty the eligibility of such holdings for crofting assistance will be preserved by paying grant on an extra-statutory basis in the case of any non-croft holding where, but for the rental qualification, the statutory requirement for eligibility are otherwise fully met and the holding is considered to be in all respects comparable with crofts in the same area. The eligibility of existing crofts is not affected by increases in rent levels.