Image: Berwickshire News

In a parliamentary question on Wednesday 29 April, Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party) asked the Scottish Government for what reason businesses associated with shootings, deer forests, fishing huts and game larders are ineligible to apply for the small business support grant to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

Kate Forbes replied:

We are determined to help keep companies in business and our financial support now exceeds the £2.3 billion passed on from the UK Government and actively works to fill the gaps in the UK scheme. In designing the relief and grant system we had to balance helping as many businesses as
possible against what was affordable. Where possible these decisions
prioritised traditional businesses occupying small properties over more generic lands and heritages such as huts, sites and bare ground.

Does generic mean big, vast?

Readers may remember Hamilton from this in 2018:

Tory MSP is facing a standards probe over allegations she argued for lower business rates in the Scottish Parliament without declaring she owned a hotel. Rachael Hamilton spoke out in favour of cutting tax for firms during First Minister’s Questions last November. But the exchange with Nicola Sturgeon prompted a complaint to ethics watchdogs. Hamilton owns the ­Buccleuch Arms Hotel in Melrose, in the Borders, with her husband Billy.

From the report in the Daily Record:

Hamilton has previously been criticised for asking ­tourism minister Fiona Hyslop “what action the Government is taking to support hotel ­businesses”. In 2016, the SNP claimed Tories had asked 24 questions relating to their ­personal business interests in just eight months. An SNP source said: “This isn’t the first time Rachael Hamilton has used her position as an elected politician to lobby for lower business taxes – which her own business would just so happen to benefit from.

Does she have shares in shootings? A game larder?