Friday, 29 June 2018 11:45

SCOTTISH FARMERS TAKEN FOR GRANTED BY UK GOVERNMENT

DELAY TO FARM PAYMENTS REVIEW “UNACCEPTABLE”

The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford MP, has said delays to a £160 million farm payments review show that Scotland’s farmers are being taken for granted by the UK government.

Ian Blackford MP has written to Michael Gove to raise concerns and to seek clarity for Scottish farmers. 

There was outrage at the Royal Highland Show last week when UK Environment secretary Michael Gove failed to give the Scottish farming industry any assurance that the long-promised review into the allocation of £160m of convergence funding would go ahead.

Rural Economy secretary Fergus Ewing had expected a commitment that cash for Scotland’s per hectare subsidy support would be brought more in line with the European average; this was also a target of NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick.

However, Mr Gove made no commitment to a review and punted responsibility to the Treasury.

Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:

“There are deep concerns about the indefinite delay to the £160 million farm payments review. I have written to Mr Gove asking for a timetable for a review – it is unacceptable for farmers to be asked to take decisions on the post-Brexit period without the full facts.

“The issue here is one of certainty and trust, and for this review to be delayed yet again sends the message that Scotland’s needs in agricultural funding discussions are of insufficient priority to the UK Government to merit any form of prompt action. 

“The Scottish Government has confirmed less favoured area support scheme (LFASS) payments in Scotland will continue into 2019."

Note:
A copy of the letter from Mr Blackford to Mr Gove is available on request. 

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