asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, on what basis he decided the general increase in rents which he is requiring of smallholders; and if he will state the highest percentage increase agreed with his Department during the last 12 months.
The rents were out of line with current values and a general revision was put in hand two years ago. Increases were necessary not only to maintain some relativity with agricultural rents generally, but also to keep pace with the costs of upkeep and to encourage the proper use of land. The highest percentage increase agreed with the Department during the last 12 months was 227 per cent, which represented a rise in the rent of a six acre holding from £8 11s. 2d. to £28.