The Scottish Government is to continue to support farmers and crofters in less favoured areas even though this will be the only part of the UK where this happens.
LFASS will continue to be paid but at reduced levels of 80% in 2019 and 40% in 2020. It was as a condition of being in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy that most of Scotland was listed as a LFASS and received payments for its farmers and crofters.
Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy Secretary in the Scottish Government said:
“LFASS is crucial for our hill farmers and crofters operating in some of our most remote and marginalised areas. That is why I am pleased to confirm they will continue to receive payments at 80% and 40% into 2020.
“I fully accept that this is not ideal, but under changes to EU regulations there is no option but to revise payment rates down. Importantly, we are clear this change will not impact on those who receive the minimum payment of £385, which is not being reduced.
“Our hill farmers and crofters continue to face significant challenges from both adverse weather and Brexit uncertainties and we are already seeing reduced livestock numbers and land abandonment.
“Therefore, I will continue to strongly push for further revisions and have submitted proposed amendments to give more flexibility in setting the rates for 2020 – a move I fully expect the UK Government to support.”