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Scottish government delivers on April payment pledge

Staff writer |
NFU Scotland believes that Scottish Government has virtually fulfilled its pledge to ensure any Scottish farmers who had not received any support payment by the end of March would receive a nationally-funded payment from the government in April.

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NFU Scotland understands that virtually all eligible businesses have received, or are about to receive, an element of their support equivalent to approximately 80 percent.

The Union believes that of those businesses as yet unpaid, the majority will receive a notification letter before the end of the month.

There are a small number of complex applications which Scottish Government is struggling to process and they are unlikely to receive any funding by 30 April. The Union is extending an offer to help any member who finds themselves in this position.

The support payment pledge, made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to NFU Scotland in March, was in response to the catastrophic delivery of new CAP support to the Scottish industry.

Investment of £178 million in a flawed IT delivery system meant that the vast majority of Scottish farmers and crofters saw payments significantly delayed and a huge hole develop in Scotland’s rural economy.

As part of that pledge, there was a commitment for beef calf scheme payments to be made before the end of April and NFU Scotland also understands that those scheme payments are now underway. March also saw Scottish Government deliver part payments to those farming in Less Favoured Areas with payments based on 2015 claims.

While the gap in Scotland’s rural economy is slowly being filled, NFU Scotland will be looking to the new Scottish Government after the elections on 5 May to finish the job.

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