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Animal Declaration Link to Outstanding LFA Payments

ScotGov reveals 1300 farmers still to complete form from October 2009

While many Scottish hill and upland farmers have now received lifeline support through the Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme, it has emerged that many of those still awaiting payment for the 2010 scheme may not have completed necessary paperwork, due to have been returned in October 2009.

LFA producers were asked in October 2009 to complete an Animal Declaration Form to update information on stocking densities and livestock ratios.  Without that information, Scottish Government cannot process claims made in May last year to the 2010 scheme.

NFU Scotland is disappointed that a major reason for payment delays is only emerging now, late into the current LFASS payment run.  The good news though for those who did not complete the form 17 months ago is that payments under the LFASS scheme will still be honoured providing the applicant did have eligible livestock in October 2009.  However, payments can not be released until the Animal Declaration Form has been completed and returned.  Those who think they may be in this position are advised to contact their local SGRPID office for advice.

NFU Scotland President, Nigel Miller said:

“The Scottish Government has picked up the pace in getting lifeline LFASS payments in to bank accounts this spring and by next Tuesday, almost 10,000 claimants will have received support, totalling almost £55 million. That is the good news.

“The disappointing part is that, following questions posed to the Scottish Government by NFU Scotland, it is now apparent that many of those experiencing a delay in payment may not have completed all the necessary paperwork.  Given the cash flow pressures on farmers, for such an important detail to emerge from Scottish Government so late in the current payment run is a let down.  Earlier notice and we would gladly have worked with Scottish Government to ensure that affected farmers addressed the problem and payment delays for many could have been avoided.

“It is now clear that the first question that those who have still to receive their LFASS 2010 payment must ask themselves is if they completed and returned the Animal Declaration Form in October 2009?   That form updated stocking densities and livestock ratios and without that re-basing info, SGRPID can not process a LFASS claim made in May 2010.

“There is no need for panic.  Failure to complete the form will not affect a farmer’s LFASS payment so long as they had eligible livestock in 2009 but they will have to complete the return before payment will be freed up.   

“NFU Scotland also understands that in the next fortnight, the 1,300 LFASS applicants who have not submitted an animal declaration form will receive a letter from the Scottish Government that explains that without the declaration they can not be paid LFASS.  It will clearly state that SGRPID will still be able to accept a declaration at this stage and would be able to re-process their LFASS claims.

“In the meantime, if a farmer is in doubt, and they have yet to receive their LFASS, then they should contact their local area office today and seek reassurances over the reasons for the delay and, if necessary, complete and return the required form.”

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

 

 

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