£160-million boost for Scottish farmers
Farmers in Orkney will be among those to benefit from a £160 million windfall after a flawed decision on agricultural funding was addressed.
Described as a red-letter day by industry body NFU Scotland, the payment is in relation to historic allocations of Common Agricultural Policy convergence funding.
It is the largest uplift in Scottish agricultural funding in memory and now NFU Scotland’s board of directors will discuss how the massive uplift should be allocated to best benefit Scottish farming and crofting.
NFU Scotland president, Andrew McCornick said: “A fundamental wrong has finally been corrected.
“For the past six years, we have argued long and hard for the convergence funding injustice to be addressed.
“The long-standing view of NFU Scotland is that it was exclusively as a result of Scotland’s low CAP support payment rate per hectare that the UK was awarded the convergence uplift of £190 million in 2013 as part of the European reforms of the CAP.
“The UK Government chose to share this dividend across the whole of the UK based on historic allocations, seeing only £30 million awarded to Scotland, a decision that was deeply flawed.
“Today’s landmark announcement recognises the historic injustice in allocation of monies and, since 2013, numerous DEFRA Ministers have regularly attended NFUS events and promised a review.
“That review of future intra-government funding allocations, carried out by Lord Bew, is awaiting publication and it is our expectation that the forthcoming conclusions will ensure that fairness underpins any future funding settlement for agriculture from now and beyond Brexit.
“The £160 million represents the biggest single uplift in agricultural funding in memory and is a genuine victory for NFUS lobbying, supported by many other allies.
“In terms of how NFU Scotland believes the funding should be allocated, we will call an emergency meeting of our board of directors to finalise our views before discussing the outcomes further with the Scottish Government.
“This is a red-letter day for NFU Scotland lobbying.”