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Support Payment Run Starts Bang on Time

NFU Scotland has welcomed the announcement from the Scottish Government that almost three-quarters of eligible Single Farm Payment (SFP) recipients in Scotland will start to receive their payments from Thursday, December 1.
 
In addition, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has announced that at least 70 per cent of payments would be made within 15 days of the payment window opening.

The Union is delighted that the Scottish Government has maintained its good track record in getting SFP payments out on time.  However, with CAP Reform looming, and support moving to an area-based payment in the future, the Union has urged consideration to be given at an early stage to ensure changes in support arrangements don’t disrupt the payment timetable.
 
NFU Scotland’s Head of Policy and the Regions, Jonnie Hall said:

"It is great news for more than 20,000 farming and crofting businesses that the Scottish Government is maintaining its excellent record in getting SFP into bank accounts early in the payment window. 

“With many of the costs associated with farming at historic high levels - feed, fuel, fertiliser and bedding - and snow or flooding in many parts of the country, it will be a comfort to many heading into the winter knowing that these lifeline payments will be made in the first few weeks of December.

"Since the introduction of the SFP, the Scottish Government has put in a system of applications, inspections and approvals that has successfully delivered payments on time and at a comparatively low administration cost. 

“As we start to work towards a CAP Reform deal for 2013 and beyond, it will be a real challenge to retain the simplicity attached to the successful delivery of the current SFP in Scotland. The move to an area-based support system in the future, with a likely transition phase, means that work on an effective, robust delivery programme needs to start as soon as possible if the difficulties others have experienced delivering area-based payments are to be avoided."   Ends

Notes to Editors
 The European regulations fix a payment window that means Single Farm Payment (SFP) can be made to eligible recipients between December 1 and June 30. The SFP is paid in Euros and the exchange rate for this year’s payments will be 86.665p.
 Farmers registered with Rural Payments Online, will be able to view their Single Farm Payment on line up to seven days before it is credited to their bank account.  To register for Rural Payments Online go to: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/grants/Online-Services/18909

Date Published:

News Article No.: 190/11


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