A UK GOVERNMENT assurance that farmers will continue to receive the same level of Common Agricultural Payments in the immediate period following the UK exiting the EU has been welcomed.
Highlands MSP Rhoda Grant, whose responsibilities include Moray, said that the payment was “absolutely vital” to farming and crofting communities throughout the region.
However, she criticised government ministers for taking so long to announce the decision that EU CAP payments would be matched until at least 2020.
The Labour MSP said: “The current EU-funded payment is absolutely vital to farming and crofting incomes across Scotland, supports and encourages those workers who are the foundation of this country’s food and drink sector.
“It is my hope this guarantee from the Treasury can offer some security in a currently very uncertain political climate. However, it is a shame it has taken several months for this assurance to be made, during which time the farmers have been living in doubt of the future, on top of the stresses of the problems with the allocation of CAP payments from the SNP.
“Following continued delays and IT issues that the CAP payments we have witnessed under the Scottish Government, we now need to focus on what assistance and funding can and will be in place post-2020, including ensuring that farmers and crofters are not made to endure the same fiascos under a new system.”