How many owner-occupier crofters?

How many owner-occupier crofters?Several posts on the Crofting Law Blog in recent times have concerned the number of owner-occupiers who are not owner occupier crofters:-

But what about the number of owner-occupier crofters? The Crofting (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill, after all, affects them and has nothing whatsoever to do with owner-occupiers who are not owner-occupier crofters. The Scottish Parliament seems keen to get to the bottom of exactly how many owner-occupiers exist but, on the face of it, they are happy to accept a fairly wild estimate as to the number of owner-occupier crofters in existence. The two are surely linked. Increase one and you decrease the other and vice versa as we saw in ‘What happened to the six non owner-occupier crofters?‘. So if the Scottish Government is able to refine and clarify the number of owner-occupiers (even if it is taking them some time to do so) can they not also do the same with owner-occupier crofters?

Throughout the progress of the Crofting (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill the best estimate we seem to have, in the evidence given to the Scottish Parliament, is 3,000 to 4,000 owner-occupier crofters. So we have a possible margin of error of 1,000 or 25%.

If the actual number is say 3,000 does this add 1,000 to the number of owner-occupiers who are not owner-occupier crofters? Thus could that figure be 1,808 rather than 808?

I hope this point can be clarified before we have a Crofting (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2013 so that we know how many crofters are actually affected by that Act.

Brian Inkster

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