Farmers welcome CAP payments move

NFU Scotland regional chairman Roddy Catto addresses the Thainstone meeting.
NFU Scotland regional chairman Roddy Catto addresses the Thainstone meeting.

Farming leaders have welcomed a pledge by the Scottish Government to provide a cash advance to farmers affected by delays in processing 
EU subsisdies.

Up to £200 million of national funds will be used to give financial support while Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) claims are being dealt with.

The log jam has broken

Allan Bowie NFU Scotland President

Payments have been hit by major problems with a £178 million IT system set up in Scotland to administer the new CAP.

The move on cash help was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday ahead of a meeting with NFU Scotland officials to discuss the deepening financial crisis in the industry.

She said: “I very much recognise the cash flow issues facing Scottish agriculture, which underpins our £14billion food and drink industry.

“That is why the Scottish government has earmarked up to £200 million of national funds so that any farmer or crofter who has not received an instalment by the end of March receive a nationally-funded payment from the Scottish government in April.”

NFU Scotland president Allan Bowie gave his reaction: “The log jam has broken. For months NFU Scotland has been looking for focused thinking and clear leadership from the Scottish Government to resolve this farm payments crisis for the benefit of the whole rural economy.