New Generation Calls for Scottish Government Action

The newly appointed chairman of NFU Scotland’s New Generation group has called on Scottish Government to speed up payments to those who have applied to the new basic CAP support scheme under the National Reserve and Young Farmers top up.

In a letter to Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead, Stirlingshire tenant farmer Mark Donald said that many of those farmers applying for basic support through these routes have been operating without Single Farm Payment for a number of years but appear to have been put to the back of the queue as the Scottish Government’s flawed £180 million IT delivery system continues to toil with processing applications.

Mark Donald

Mark Donald

Mr Donald said: “It is a real kick in the teeth that despite assurances from the Cabinet Secretary to provide a level playing field, support for new and young farmers has not arrived and once again we are being disadvantaged.

“These payments are vital for businesses in their infancy and many of the farmers applying for support through the National Reserve or Young Farmers top up have been locked out of the system for years. If Scottish Government wants young, new, vibrant and dynamic farmers coming through then it needs to get payments out the door.”

“These applicants are justifiably expecting to be put on an equal footing with established businesses who have benefitted from historic payments but I have received a number of calls from new and young farmers, from across the country, who are yet to receive a single pound in CAP support. I am very concerned that the next generation are at the bottom of the pile once again.

“Obviously, the failure of Scottish Government’s £180 million IT delivery system is the worst possible start for a popular, progressive and flagship reform which was supposed to create a level playing field for all.

“But for the sake of those relying on funding from these schemes, I am calling on the Cabinet Secretary to clarify the situation by providing some figures on the percentage of National Reserve and Young Farmer applications which have received full or part payment.

“If, as we suspect, many of those at the start of their farming careers are being left at the back of the payment process, then I want a clear statement from the Cabinet Secretary on how and when he will address this.”


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