Derek Mackay MSP, Finance Secretary in the Scottish Government has announced plans to deliver £580 million through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for as long as it applies to Scotland. Also to maintaining payments at the maximum permitted level for the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme, to offer stability for crofters in the most rural and remote areas.
86% of Scotland is designated as a Less Favoured Area.
Other funding outlined by Derek MacKay includes:
- £74 million to the Rural Enterprise budget, which funds Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership.
- £35 million investment in the Scottish Government’s Rural Services budget
- £5.9 million for Scotland’s marine and coastal communities to encourage employment, innovation and investment in communities.
Welcoming the funding local MSP Maree Todd, SNP said:
“With this inept UK government incapable of offering any assurances to our rural industries, the Finance Secretary’s draft budget proposals will come as great news for businesses and communities across the Highlands and Islands.
“While dragging Scotland out of the European Union against its will, the Tories have proceeded to sell-out rural Scotland – placing jobs, businesses and livelihoods in Orkney at risk in the process.
“I would urge politicians from across the Highlands and Islands to get behind the Finance Secretary’s plans and secure much needed support for our rural communities in this time of deep uncertainty.”
The proposals are set out in the Scottish Draft Budget and will be voted on next month.