Scottish farmers are missing out on their rightful CAP convergence uplift from the EU. Of the £190 million they should have received, Scottish farmers have only been awarded £30 million – the rest has been retained by the UK Government.
For our hard working hillfarmers this amounts to £14,000 over a 6 year period.
Under the last CAP reform, the EU set out to redistribute direct payments more equitably across Europe based on average Euros per hectare. Member states receiving less than 90% of the EU average would be awarded an uplift in order to move towards a minimum rate per hectare.
This would have seen up to £190 million over 6 years returned to Scotland. Instead Scotland received around £30 million under the UK Government’s allocation.
Rural Secretary in the Scottish Government Fergus Ewing said:
“Despite repeated requests, there is no evidence the UK Government are taking action to deliver a fair share of the additional convergence funding to Scotland.”
“Without the Scottish rate, there would have been no extra money for the UK. For example, had the full allocation been delivered to Scotland, instead of being shared across the UK on a historic basis, our hill farmers could have an extra £14,000 over the six year payment period, a significant amount for farmers, although of course the actual amount would depend on the scale of the business.”
“There is currently no level playing field north and south of the border. Farmers doing the same job in different parts of the UK, do not presently receive comparable levels of payments for their hard work. This money rightly belongs to Scottish farmers and should be returned to them immediately.”
This increases the fears of many in the Scottish Farming Industry that current CAP payments from the EU will not be maintained by the UK Government and that significant powers over agriculture will be put under UK control.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame