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22 October 2013

Scottish Farmers Losing Out on CAP Funding says Stevenson

Stewart Stevenson, MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has highlighted figures produced by the Scottish Government which show the full extent to which Scottish farmers are losing out as a result of the Westminster Government’s failure to negotiate a favourable deal on the Common Agricultural Policy. The figures demonstrate that payments to Scottish farmers are likely to be the lowest in Europe for both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2.

Mr Stevenson commented:

“These figures really do show the extent to which Westminster is letting down Scotland’s farmers. The analysis shows how the UK Government negotiated Scotland down to the bottom of the league tables of EU funding.

“Scotland went into the negotiations with the third lowest level of farm support in Europe for Pillar 1. The EU then agreed a formula to close the gap between the countries with lowest payments with those of the highest.

“Scotland is now likely to be leapfrogged by Latvia and Estonia, whose Ministers sit at the top table and make their farmers a priority. In contrast, we are looking at being rooted at the bottom of the league.

“Scotland didn’t benefit from the new funding formula because it only applies to member states. As a result, Scottish farmers have lost out to the tune of a massive £850 million over the whole budget period.

“In the same negotiations, 16 out of the 28 countries negotiated an uplift in their rural development budgets. But Westminster didn’t lift a finger for Scotland – the country with the lowest share of that fund in Europe.

“Our farmers are getting a raw deal from a CAP budget which was negotiated without Scotland’s agriculture sector in mind. This potentially has huge implications for a very rural area such as Banffshire & Buchan Coast, particularly given the importance of agriculture to the region’s economy.

“It is clearer than ever before that Scotland’s farming industry needs a voice at the EU’s top table, standing up for its interests.”

The analysis can be found here: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural
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