I am very disappointed at the course which this debate has taken. It is worth recalling the last debate in this House on a Land Bond Bill—the Land Bond Bill of 1978—discussed here on Second Stage on 14 June 1978. The first contrast between the present debate and that one is that on that occasion the then Minister, Deputy Gibbons, thought it worth his while, at least, to come here himself and introduce the Bill. In the course of his introductory statement he dealt in a very detailed way with the various possibilities of restructuring our land policy and introducing new means of making sure that the land, which is our single greatest national resource, is used properly.
The fact that the then Minister spoke in the debate and that he canvassed a wide variety of options showed that he, at least, at that time, took this matter seriously. He concluded his statement on that occasion—and I am quoting from column 1071 of the Official Report of that date—by saying: "As I have said, I hope to put proposals before the Government before the end of the year —in relation to land policy as a whole—and subsequently to bring legislation before the House."
Since then, and in this debate, we can say that we can see a retreat under the new Minister from the policies which were being pursued in relation to land. The only reference we have by the present Minister on the question of land policy was in a very brief reply which he made to the debate on that subject at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis which I listened to on television. I remember very well his saying in February of this year that he at that time hoped in the near future to be putting proposals to his colleagues on the subject. Indeed, he used almost exactly the same words that his predecessor, Deputy Gibbons, had used over a year and a half previously when he said that he, in June 1978, hoped that he would be putting proposals to his colleagues within the reasonably near future or before the end of that year.
It would seem that in a year and a half there has been little or no progress in relation to land policy formulation under the present Government. The fact now that at the first opportunity when this matter could have been discussed in the House Deputy MacSharry did not think it worth his while, as did Deputy Gibbons on a Bill of precisely the same content, to come in here to the House to discuss the matter is, in my view, an indication of a downgrading of the importance of land policy as far as the activities and priorities of the Department of Agriculture are concerned. That is indeed very regrettable. There are vast acres of land here which are simply not being used to their potential, not in one part but in every part of the country. In every county in Ireland there are tracts of good land, or land which with modest improvement in drainage, removal of stones and so on could be brought to a very high level of production, which are simply not being used properly.
I had the privilege not long ago of visiting the part of County Leitrim where the McCartin brothers had done extensive land reclamation. On some of the most unpromising land in the country, perhaps the very worst—the drumlin soils of Leitrim—they have reclaimed that land and are achieving outputs of milk equal to those obtained in the Golden Vale, simply because they made the effort to use the land properly and put fertiliser and stock and reclamation into it. There are millions of acres of land throughout the country which could be used to a significant extent but are not being so used because of a bad land structure at present. The basic problem is that the people in control of the land in many cases have not the motivation or the skill to use it to the full. In many cases they are people who have other responsibilities which do not enable them to give to the management of the nation's single greatest resource the time which it must be given. If our land were treated in the same way as, for instance, a much less important national resource—the seabed—is being treated, a far greater urgency would be attached to land policy legislation than is being attached to it by the present Government.
The Government should realise that land, its use and what it can produce, are far more important than our seabed. It is far more important than whatever deposits of lead or zinc we have under our terra firma or seabed. The surface of the land can produce far more wealth than any of these things. Yet all the discussion about natural resources is about oil, zinc, lead and so on and there is no discussion about the utilisation of our most important asset, our land. The words used by a New Zealand visitor to this country approximately 20 years ago are still completely true today. He said that Irish land was producing almost as little as it could conceivably produce under Irish climatic conditions.
Some people may think there has been a dramatic improvement in land use since we entered the EEC. They hear about some farmers who have done very well and who have expanded their numbers, invested in buildings and so on. The urban perception of agriculture is that since we entered the EEC all farmers are doing very much better than they were before we entered. This picture—I support what I am saying by reference to the farm management survey—is not true. Whoever is to blame we are not doing very substantially better now than we did before entering the EEC.
There are fewer cattle on our land now than before we entered the EEC notwithstanding the most favourable circumstances we have ever had in our history for agricultural expansion between 1973 and 1978. Could anything be more disgraceful? While some farmers have seen their incomes improve during that period farmers in the west and small farmers have seen their incomes increase during the same period at far less a rate than the average rate for people in other occupations. The average income being derived from the land in the west in many cases does not exceed the amount that people can derive from the most basic and minimal of social benefits obtainable by those who are poorest in the country. People who are deriving that income from the land are in control of our greatest single national resource.
We must make sure that our land produces a lot better than it does at present. If we do not increase stock numbers and if the people who are nominally in control of our greatest national asset are not able to use it to earn a reasonable income for themselves let alone for the country we are in a serious situation. It is against that background of under-utilisation of our greatest resource that the retreat in respect of the urgency of land policy by the Government is most disquieting. The fact that we are no further on than when we last debated this subject in June 1978 in relation to the formulation of a land policy under this Government is nothing short of a disgrace. All the work that was necessary to be done to formulate such a land policy was done for them. They were presented in May 1978 with a comprehensive report on land policy. Since then they have not introduced legislation to give effect either to that report or to other measures of this nature. The fact that we are now contemplating a land bond Bill providing an additional £25 million for the purchase of land by land bonds clearly indicates that the Government intend to continue with existing policies and do not in the foreseeable future, certainly for the duration of the operation of this Bill, intend to do anything about bringing in new and better systems of land policy.
It has been stated by all commentators in the House and by every farming organisation that the present policy, of which land bonds are an integral part, is a failure and totally inappropriate to our present conditions. The evidence I have cited of our land not being properly used bears out that contention.
As regards the proposal in the Bill to provide £25 million more in land bonds for the purchase of land, it has been stated before but cannot be repeated often enough that land bonds are an immoral way of buying land. They are totally contrary to the provisions contained in the Constitution in relation to the protection of the right to private property. If these bonds were properly tested in the courts, particularly in the current climate of judicial interpretation of the Constitution as referenced in the recent court case in relation to married women where the applicability of the provisions of the Constitution has been significantly widened as far as the court is concerned, it would be found that land bonds are unconstitutional and discriminatory. The basis of the decision in the income tax case was that the provisions were discriminatory. Land bonds would be found to be unconstitutional on the same basis. They are discriminatory because this is the only situation where an asset is compulsorily acquired by the State without full compensation in cash being provided. For example, if the State acquires a building because it wishes to have space in a city area for the building of a new road or if it acquires land in an urban area for housing and it does so compulsorily the land owner is compensated in full in cash. However, if the State through the Land Commission, decide to buy agricultural land in a rural area for redistribution the land owner is not compensated in full in cash. He is given bonds which are not worth their cash value. That distinction between compulsory purchase in urban areas where people get the full cash value and compulsory purchase in rural areas where they do not get cash value is discriminatory and unconstitutional.
The Minister should seek advice from the Government law officer on this matter. If he has sought such advice, what was it? The question of whether land should be acquired from anybody by means of bonds was discussed in detail in the interdepartmental committee report on land structure reform presented to the Government in May 1978. This Bill is flying straight in the face of the advice given to the Government by an independent committee which reported on this subject as recently as May 1978. By going ahead with the introduction of land bonds they are showing that they do not accept the advice given to them by an expert committee on that occasion.
The membership of that committee consisted of Mr. Dowd, who was then Assistant Secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach, who acted as chairman; Professor Bob O'Connor, ESRI; Mr. Commins, An Foras Talúntais; Mr. McNamara, CAO, County Limerick; two officials of the Department of Agriculture, two officials of the Land Commission and two officials of the Department of Finance. All of those people are officials of the Government. None of them could be described as raving radicals or people who would be considered to be unsympathetic to the needs of Government to act responsibly as far as finance is concerned, particularly the people from the Department of Finance. Their considered opinion, delivered to the Government in paragraph 11.5 of that report, was:
We are of the opinion that the use of Land Bonds as a payment medium for lands purchased or acquired for land structural reform purposes is no longer justified and should be discontinued.
That was the advice given to the Government in May 1978. Now, two years later, the Government come in with a Bill to give us £25 million more in land bonds after receiving that advice from an independent body well qualified to advise them.
The committee described land bonds in a very fair fashion. They said on page 86 of that report:
Land Bonds amount to a forced loan without guarantee of repayment date.
Instead of getting money for the purchase of land the Land Commission find out what the real cash value of the land is and then offer the person the same figure in land bonds. For every £100 that a person's land is worth those bonds are worth about £90. The person who sells his land is getting the equivalent of at least 10 per cent less than the actual cash value of his property. There is no guarantee about any time when those bonds will be redeemed at their full value. There is no provision in the Bill which says either the rate of interest at which those bonds will be issued or the date at which the new issue of bonds will be redeemed.
The committee also said:
In the future situation, we envisage that all lands coming into the hands of the agency will be disposed of on a cash basis.
The committee made it absolutely clear that they were of the opinion that the purchase of land by land bonds should have been stopped there and then. In defiance of that independent advice by a body set up for the purpose the Government in this Bill are going ahead to prolong for a still longer period this iniquitous system of the payment for land by land bonds.
I consider that land bonds are totally immoral and unfair. Practically everybody in the country owns some property, whether it is a house or a car. This country attaches considerable importance to the right of people to own some property and to seek to own more by the result of their efforts. The idea that the State can come along and force a person to sell his property to the State is something most of us would find very difficult to accept in the first place, but we recognise that there are circumstances when the State must have the right to compulsorily acquire property from anyone. It is to add insult to injury that not only should the Government come along and compulsorily acquire property from anybody but that they should also acquire it by means of a fraudulent system which does not give the person the cash value of his property.
The Minister tells us that it would cost a tremendous amount of money if the Government were to pay cash for the land being acquired instead of paying it by land bonds. It would cost a considerable amount of money but the Minister will recollect that the provisions of the report, in relation to land policy, envisaged that the Government would cease using the compulsory acquisition of land as their main means of controlling the land market. If the land policy system were to be reformed along the lines contained in this report there would be very little need for the compulsory purchase of land and it would cost very little to ensure that in all cases where land has to be compulsorily acquired cash is paid. I believe that disposes of the argument put forward by the Minister. If he was prepared to accept the other recommendations contained in the inter-departmental committee report there would not be any need for the substantial amount of money which the Minister says is necessary to purchase land by cash.
What exactly do the Land Commission and the Government intend to do with the land they acquire by using the £25 million worth of land bonds? I draw the attention of the House to another recommendation of the committee on land policy when they said:
We now further recommend that the initiation of new land acquisition activities by the Land Commission should cease forthwith and the Land Commission should disengage themselves to the fullest degree possible from the acquisition cases at present being processed.
Obviously the Government have again decided to disregard that recommendation made to them. The committee went on to say:
In so far as the Land Commission have land on their hands the land should be divided in line with the criteria outlined by them in relation to their proposed register of priority entitlements to land.
They also said:
We recommend that whatever measures are necessary be taken to ensure that, in the main the selection of allottees and the resale terms be based on the criteria we have set out in Chapter seven for inclusion in the proposed Register of Priority Entitlement Land Applicants.
The criteria set out were that anyone getting land should be working to a specific, documented farm plan, should be keeping records, should be a fulltime farmer or, if a part-time farmer, should only have a part-time job taken on for part of the year on a temporary basis. Land should not be given to people with permanent pensionable jobs outside agriculture. We should ensure that the land given out will be used substantially better than it was being used by the previous owner. In many cases where the Land Commission have given out land, the land is used in a worse way than when it was used under the previous owner. In many cases also within a short time after land has been distributed by the Land Commission at considerable public expense it is redistributed on the 11-month system by the person who got the land from the Land Commission.
I know of a case in the west where not so long ago three single working ladies owned land which they farmed part-time. There was considerable agitation in the area by local people who felt that these ladies should not have the land. The land was taken over by the Land Commission and they were paid in land bonds. Every £100 they received in land bonds would now be worth £80. The land was divided and given to men who also were part-time farmers. Could we have anything more ridiculous than to take land off people because they were part-time and then to give it out to people who also had other jobs? These ladies came to the conclusion that the land was taken from them because they were women and part-time, even though it could be given out to men who were part-time because it was felt that in farming part-time men were better than part-time women so far as farming is concerned. I do not accept that. The day when brawn was the guiding criterion in working the land has long since passed and women are able to work the land as well as men. The idea that public money should have been used to almost confiscate the land from these ladies on the grounds that they were part-time and then to give it to part-time farming men is totally unjust. Public money should not be used, whether in cash or in land bonds, for that sort of thing.
Would the Minister make a clear statement on what criteria will be used by the Land Commission in giving out land? Will they use the criteria that existed for years, whereby it was considered that 45 adjusted acres was the target acreage and that anybody who had more than that would not get any land? It was all related to this magical figure of 45 adjusted acres. That policy existed for the last 20 years. Will that be the policy or will it be the policy in this report of the interdepartmental committee on land structure reform which sets out detailed proposals which do not restrict the matter to acreage but are based on whether or not, on their record or planning, people are capable of working the land properly regardless of the acreage?
There is nothing in the Minister's speech which sets out what policy will be pursued in relation to the allocation of land. The Minister says that it will be acquired almost as if people should know without being told what it will be acquired for and what sort of people will get it. Everybody realises that the criterion of the 45 acres which was appropriate 20 years ago is not appropriate now. In modern farming, with the onset of mechanisation and with the standard of living which can be expected by people if they leave agriculture, an acreage level which was acceptable 20 years ago is out of date now. There is a growing situation now, because people are getting married younger, where a farm must support two families. There are many cases where the father of a family is 50 years old with a wife and a number of young children and the son to whom the farm is being left is 25, married with a number of children, and both families have to be supported by the farm. To say that two families can be supported fulltime on a farm of 45 acres is rediculous, although that apparently is the policy the Land Commission are pursuing in relation to the distribution of land. There is no feasible level of intensity in agriculture that would enable a reasonable income to be derived from a farm of 45 acres for two families. The policy should be to distribute the land to people who will make substantially better use of it than the previous owner.
At the moment when the Land Commission acquire land they are under pressure from local interests, and the only way that a Land Commission official can get out with his scalp intact is to divide the land and give a little bit to everyone. The person who is a road ganger gets a bit of land, the fulltime farmer gets a bit and the fellow with a job 20 miles away gets a bit: they are all treated the same regardless of their capabilities. The official does not want to be on bad terms with any of the people so the land is divided equally regardless of whether it will be properly used or not. In many cases within a few years the land is set on the 11-month system and the man who should have got all the land in the first instance, because he would have made proper use of it, finds himself taking the land on the 11-month system from the other people. The situation is back to square one. The farm is not properly used because the man cannot invest in it since he only has it on an 11-month basis.
The whole idea behind the compulsory acquisition and distribution of land seems to be that the Land Commission treat it as if the land was a social good where they give out little bits of it to everyone to keep everyone happy. That is not the proper purpose of the land policy, which should be to make sure that the land is used properly and is producing the maximum amount to give employment and income. Land should not be used as a means of rewarding deserving people because they were good in the past and it should not be given out just to keep everybody happy. Land should be given on the basis that it will be used properly but we have not had from any Minister an unambiguous statement that that will be the policy followed by the Land Commission in distributing land. Neither has there been any mention of any such policy by the Minister today when he is asking us to agree to the provision of an extra £25 million for purchasing land. He has not seen fit to tell us effectively how the money will be used. We should insist on a clear statement from the Minister in this regard and if such a statement is not forthcoming in reply to the Second Stage, I shall press him again on the matter on Committee Stage and, if necessary, on Report Stage.
We must bear in mind that by far the largest proportion of land changing hands in any years is by way of transfers within families. Only 0.3 per cent of the land changing hands is sold in the market place. Unfortunately, in many cases the transfers are much too late. There are many farmers who do not inherit the farms on which they have been working until they are as old as 45. This happens because a father who may be 80 may be afraid to pass on his farm to his son because of not trusting the son not to send him to the county home. Consequently, the son does not inherit the farm until the father dies. In such a case the son is not likely to be married because he could not be sure of the father passing the farm to him eventually and, therefore, had not the confidence in himself to be able to support a wife and family. The result of this situation has been that in many parts of rural Ireland men did not marry. The supposedly loving fathers were either too mean or too untrusting to hand over the land or, alternatively, the son had not won the confidence of the father to a sufficient degree to encourage the father to hand over the farm and to be confident that, having handed it over, he would not be sent to the county home in the event of disagreeing with the son later. This situation is a very sad commentary on family relations in what is supposed to be the most Christian of societies. In addition, there is the problem that the older generation have not enough confidence in the younger generation in regard to the working of the land. This is a sad state of affairs and one which goes much deeper than simply considerations of agriculture. It is something that affects the whole structure of the community in rural Ireland.
I do not claim to understand the situation fully but it is most unfortunate that people can misunderstand and distrust members of their families with whom they have lived for many years to the extent that they are not prepared to transfer land to them.
A step towards rectifying this situation of late transfers was taken by the previous Government when they introduced the farm retirement scheme. That was a very attractive scheme. It still is attractive in many ways but it is not being sold by this Government to the degree to which it should be sold. One fault I find with that scheme is that the pensions have been indexed to the cost of living whereas other pensions have been indexed to general incomes in the community. The result of this situation is that pensions under the farm retirement scheme have increased by about 60 per cent since the scheme was introduced, whereas old age pensions in that time have increased by about 115 per cent. The pension payable under the farm retirement scheme should have been increased to the same extent as pensions payable to any other category of pensioners. I know that the letter of the law has been adhered to because at the time at which the last pension rate was set—about a year ago—the 60 per cent figure reflected approximately the increase in the rate of the cost of living from the time that that pension had been introduced but it was not related in any way to pensions being paid to other people. This is unfair since pensioners in either category have similar expenses. Therefore, the terms of the scheme should be amended in a way that would ensure that the pension will be linked to the old age pension rather than being linked to the cost of living which is not an adequate criterion to which to relate the level of pensions.
There is a need also to devise legal arrangements which would encourage the transfer of land from older farmers to younger farmers. Share farming is a concept that should be pushed very hard. Already, in a number of parts of the country, there have been legal arrangements in this regard between fathers and sons, between uncles and nephews and between people who are not blood relations. Under these arrangements the younger farmer works on the farm in conjunction with the older farmer. Perhaps the younger farmer will provide the stock and there is a sharing of profits between him and the older person though the younger farmer will do most of the work. The great merit in this sort of arrangement is that there is no possibility of the younger farmer sending the older one to a county home since the older one retains the ownership of the land and there are provisions usually which ensure that the older person is maintained properly in his own home. But the younger farmer has certain assurances also that the older farmer will not break the agreement and give the land to someone else. The Minister should draw a number of model farm partnership agreements on those lines, envisaging the various problems which could arise in different systems of farming where different types of agreements would be appropriate. Having drawn up these model leases to encourage the transfer of land from older to younger farmers, the Government should provide a financial incentive, perhaps a cash payment, to the older farmer to enter into such an agreement. If he entered into an agreement which would comply with broadly derived characteristics, such as I have mentioned, the money would be paid.
The Minister might say: "If this idea of share partnership between younger and older farmers as a means of transferring land from the older to the younger farmer is such a good idea, why is it not going ahead?" The only way it could go ahead would be if two people thought it up on their own and went to a solicitor who was some sort of a genius and knew all the different possibilities and problems that could arise and had a ready-made agreement which he handed to them and said: "Here is your agreement. Sign it here and the job is done." We all know, without any disrespect to the other branch of the legal profession from the one of which I am a member, that solicitors have not got this sort of agreement waiting on the shelf to be handed to farmers, because there is no demand for it.
The first man who goes into the office will come up against a blank wall in getting effective assistance towards entering into an agreement. The only way in which this blank wall can be broken down is for the Government to take the initiative and do the legal work, and come up with a variety of model share farming agreements. They could then say to the solicitors: "The work has been done for you. Interview your clients and, if they want to change some of the terms, you can change them. Basically we have done most of the work for you and, if you can get them to agree to terms of an agreement along these lines, we will give a cash grant to the older farmer to encourage him to enter into the agreement." That would have a tremendous effect in getting some of the land better used.
Deputy O'Toole mentioned some other cases in which this could be done. All over the west of Ireland, acres and acres of land are owned by people living in England, America or Dublin, or in some other way distanced from the land. They have it set and are getting the minimum income they could possibly get. They are getting grazing or letting money from it. In some case they probably have not got it set and they are getting nothing at all for it. Admittedly it is costing them nothing, because many of them do not pay rates. If they are in any way normal, they would like to get something from it, but there is no way they can do that. If they let it on the 11-months system they will not get an income.
If there are one, two or three progressive young farmers in a parish in which there is absentee owned land they should be offered the possibility of entering into some sort of agreement to enable them to get a far more substantial income from the land. By virtue of the land being properly used, as it would be by a young farmer who was assured that the agreement would last for a considerable period, he would get a substantial income. If he could enter into an agreement with three or four absentee landlords, as we will call them for the sake of description, the production of that land would be increased tremendously. The income derived by the local farmer and by the absentee landlord would be improved substantially, and the production and the employment in the food processing industries as a result of the increased production would be substantially improved. To get this sort of thing going the Government must take an initiative and say: "We will offer a tax incentive to the absentee landlord and to the younger farmer to enter into this sort of agreement. We will provide a model agreement to assist in this type of transfer." Obviously the model agreement for a young farmer entering into an agreement with three or four absentee landlords in his area would be different from the type of model agreement I described earlier which would be between a father and a son, or an uncle and a nephew, because the eventualities which would arise would be different. The Land Commission have the resources and the legal expertise to draw up agreements to suit that situation too, and that is what they should do.
Some people have great faith in the idea of long-term leasing of land. Personally I do not believe long-term leases are the answer. They may be the answer in some cases. I started out from a position in which I was very much in favour of them, but there would be problems about the repossession of land by the landlord at the end of the period. The outgoing tenant would have made improvements to the land and would not want to leave it. Political pressure would build up on the part of tenants who did not wish to give the landlord the right to repossess. This would be so great that the landlord could lose the right to repossess and if it were thought once that the landlord could lose the right to repossess, he would never let it in the first place. The only way in which long-term leasing of land will get going is if castiron guarantees are given that, at the end of the lease period, the landlord will definitely get the land back.
There would be political difficulties in giving the type of castiron guarantees which would be necessary to get long-term leasing really going. I do not think it is the answer the inter-departmental committee thought it would be. The type of share agreement I envisage, where both parties would share in some sense in the management and in the profit, rather than one party receiving a fixed rent regardless of what happened, would have an attraction which long-term leasing would not have. The fact that they were sharing the profits would create a community of interest between the two partners which would be such that the problems of the termination of the lease would not be as acute as they would be under a long-term leasing system.
Therefore, I urge the Minister to press ahead with share farming arrangements along the lines that I have mentioned. We in the Fine Gael Party are working on a policy on this matter. If the Government do not do it pretty quickly, we will come up with a policy. I put the Minister of State on warning that, if he does not come up with a land policy pretty quickly, we will do it for him, and we will do it much more quickly than his Government's record of inactivity since they took office would indicate. Perhaps I should not give the Minister of State that warning, but I am giving it to him in the interests of the country.
I believe that there are votes in this. If a policy is produced on land structures, and if it is seen to be a fair one, and one which will use our land properly, votes will be won on such a policy. If the Minister's party do not do it quickly, we will do it. The fact that they have introduced this Bill suggests that they have no intention of doing it with any speed. They have that warning now. If they do not do it, something to their disadvantage will occur.
I should like to raise with the Minister the question of the division of commonages. I think the figure is that there are 50,000 hectares or about 150,000 acres of land which are held in commonage. Whether there are three, four or five owners, common land is never used properly. Nobody has an interest in fertilising it. If you fertilise part of it, there is no guarantee that stock owned by somebody else will not eat all the grass in the area you fertilised. It is not divided and nobody ever fertilises it. Nobody ever reseeds it. It gets very badly run down and is never used properly.
It is also very dangerous from a disease point of view. Herds are mixing, some of which have disease and some of which do not, with the result that the disease spreads from the diseased herds to the clear herds. When the cattle from the clear herds which have been mixing with diseased cattle are brought back to their own farms at the end of the season, they mix with clear cattle and the disease spreads still further. From the point of view of utilisation and animal disease, commonage is a bad thing. Action must be taken by the Government to divide the commonages.
I should like to ask the Minister if he would consider removing the present provision in the law whereby one commonage holder has the right to veto an arrangement for the division of a commonage. If one person objects to a voluntary agreement for the division of the commonage that is the end of the matter. The commonage cannot be divided. There should be a provision to ensure that where a substantial majority of commonage holders want to divide, simply by forming that majority and by agreeing to the matter they should be able to enforce a scheme of division of the commonage. I am thinking of something on the lines of a group water scheme system. At present the only way commonages are divided is when the Land Commission acquire them. We should not have a situation where the Land Commission have to get involved bureaucratically by becoming the owner of the commonage and dividing it. It would be far better if the people themselves could divide it. If we could change the law to remove the unanimity rule that exists and if we set out certain criteria to be used for the division of commonages, a considerable amount of land would be used properly.
I regret that this Bill has been introduced. We should have a Bill introducing substantive reforms with regard to land policy. This Bill is a prolongation of the existing system, in particular a prolongation of the land bond system of land acquisition. In my view this is nothing more than the legalised expropriation of land from people who justly own it.