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5 September 2019

Stevenson Welcomes UK Govt's Change of Mind on Farming Cash

But Tory Attempts to Claim Credit Akin to Pickpocket Returning Wallet and Asking for Thanks

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the announcement that £160 million worth of convergence funding from the European Union originally intended to benefit Scottish agriculture will be paid to the Scottish Government after Westminster refused to hand over the money in 2013.

While local Conservatives attempt to hail the return of the funding which was withheld from Scottish farmers by the Conservative UK Government as some kind of victory for the Conservatives, Mr Stevenson likened their attempts to that of a pickpocket seeking thanks for returning a stolen wallet.

Mr. Stevenson commented:

“Better late than never.

“This money was given by the EU to the UK Government in 2013 with the express purpose of uplifting the low per hectare payments received by Scottish farmers. I was delighted to note Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid’s own observation that the decision by David Cameron’s Conservative Government to withhold this money was wrong – and that the payment will be made after all.

“His announcement follows on from cross-party pressure at both Holyrood and Westminster to right this long-running injustice against our farmers – including from members of the Conservative Party at Holyrood who, I note, are today spinning the line that this somehow represents a generous gift from Westminster.

“My constituents in the farming sector will, I’m sure, reach their own conclusions on how much weight this spin should carry. And, indeed, the appropriate level of gratitude due to the pickpocket who returns your wallet six years later.”

Stewart Stevenson
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