Monday, 14 February 2011

A Scottish view

Today The Herald, Scotland have come out with an article in favour of the proposed forest and woodland sell-off. I have said I would give links to the pro as well as the anti, so here it is (you have to register to read all of it):

One interesting comment is that "in 90 years of existence, the Forestry Commissions have never made a profit, despite being the single largest suppliers of timber in the UK. If you take into account the capital costs as well as the cashflow, public forests lose between £200m and £250m annually. Whereas if they were all sold off at market rates, they could bring in almost £5 billion, which is the total reduction in debt interest payments over the course of the spending review, or the saving made by raising the pension age to 66."

That makes me wonder why any private individual would want to buy them other than to own a personal fiefdom. If it is true it also makes me wonder why many of the FC properties that we know and love are described as 'small commercial woodlands'. The 'commercial' bit would seem to be a misnomer, but I am sure potential buyers would not be fooled into thinking they had invested in a money spinner.

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