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‘Don’t leave SAF form to the last minute’ urges Ewing

Fergus Ewing MSP

The Scottish Government’s Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has said that it is more important than ever to keep money flowing into rural communities and has urged crofters and farmers to submit that Single Application Form (SAF) in time.

The deadline for the SAF is May 15 and it can be filled out at the rural payments website, here.

Mr Ewing said: “I want to thank everyone who has already submitted their SAF application. Many farmers and crofters have already responded to our call not to leave it to the last minute – but we need more of you to do so.

“Now, more than ever, it’s crucial we keep money flowing into our rural communities and keep funding our crofters and farmers.

“We know that crofters often seek the support of our area office staff to complete and submit their SAF applications and, usually, that has involved a last minute rush in the first two weeks of May. In normal times, this is manageable – but these are unprecedented times.

“Our staff are working incredibly hard and are still directly helping customers by phone, but the changes to our usual way of working mean that we cannot currently offer face-to-face support, or for people to simply drop by their local office. Phone support will inevitably take longer and I would therefore encourage you to consider submitting your application online.  Area Office staff can support you to access our online system and ensure you have access to up to date information to help you in completing your SAF. The online system will also provide checks to ensure basic errors are avoided.”

“So I am asking crofters in particular to schedule an appointment now to progress their applications by phone. We still have the option of extending the SAF window beyond 15 May but the current rate of applications suggests that should not be needed – providing people respond to this request.

“Whatever else you were planning to do today and this week, please make time to submit your SAF or make an appointment to get support to do so.”