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15 September 2010

Stevenson Urges Farmers To Ensure Farm Payments Are Not Put At Risk

‬‪‬‪Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has called for farmers in Banff & Buchan to ensure that their claims are accurate if they are in receipt of Single Farm Payments (SFPs) or Less Favoured Area Support (LFASS).

An EU audit of the penalty system in Scotland is requiring the Scottish Government to enforce existing rules on land eligibility fully and classify any claim made on ineligible land as an intentional breach.‬‪Farm businesses that have mistakenly claimed on ineligible land and have not made efforts to rectify their claim are at risk of losing the entirety of their SFP or LFASS funding as a result.

The NFUS is contacting its members to point out the steps that farmers can take to ensure their claims are valid, specifically that the land claimed in column I of 2010's SAF form is accurate.‬‪

Anyone that finds they have incorrectly claimed for payments should contact their local SGRPID office in Inverurie urgently to correct the situation.‬‪ ‬‪

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:‬‪‬‪‪

"I would encourage all farmers in Banff & Buchan who are in receipt of SFP or LFASS payments to take the time to check that their claims are valid. If a business is mistakenly claiming for land it should not be and no effort is made to correct the situation, then the cost to farmers could be steep.‬‪

"Information on what to look for and what to do in the event any errors have been made is on the NFUS and Scottish Government websites. If an error is found then there is time to rectify matters by contacting the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (SGRPID).‬‪

"The consequences of not taking action could be severe, so I sincerely hope that all farm businesses in Banff & Buchan will make the necessary checks and avoid being forced to pay the price of inaction."‬
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