Call for protection of croft properties in care charge assessments

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Western Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil has asked the Scottish Government to intervene to protect croft properties and crofting tenure from being used by local authorities as part of the assessment of crofters’ liabilities for care charges.

In a statement, the MP called on the Scottish Government to clarify the legal position on the matter and “to do everything in their power to protect crofting and the security of tenure that crofters currently enjoy.”

The MP also revealed that he was currently dealing with a case where a constituent “is being pursued for the disposal of assets”, and concluded: “I just cannot understand how this case can be viewed in this way, particularly given the family circumstances. Like many other people, the person in question does not actually own the croft – he is a tenant.”

Earlier this month the Comhairle’s Policy and Resources Committee considered a report on the inclusion of croft tenancies ‘in the financial assessment of capital for the purpose of establishing liability for care charges croft properties’, and agreed to give the matter ‘further detailed consideration’ with recommendations being presented to Comhairle committees.

Councillors had taken part in a seminar on the issue in August and the report of that event stated that the Comhairle’s practice of including crofting tenancies in care charge assessments followed legal advice provided to the authority in 2004.