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Union Call for Entitlements to Follow Activity on Let Land

NFU Scotland has reiterated calls that entitlements for the new CAP direct support scheme should, in principle, remain with those actively farming the land.

NFUS is concerned that some owners of land, who traditionally let out land on a permanent or seasonal basis, are choosing not to do so this year in order to claim entitlements under the new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

The Union believes this approach will impact on active farmers and risks damaging agricultural production in Scotland.  It reminds those that choose to go down this route that, as well as meeting activity criteria, they will carry cross-compliance and inspection liabilities.

NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said:
“The principle of support being targeted at those taking on the risks that are inherent in farming the land is embedded in the European regulations and delegated acts. Allowing the active farmer to use the land to claim support payments upholds that principle, and that is something to which NFUS is totally committed.

“Any grab for entitlements risks damaging and undermining agricultural production in Scotland. Those who choose to do this should be aware that they may lose out on the ability to claim LFASS on that land, and will be obliged to meet cross compliance rules.   Failure to meet those rules could result in severe penalties.

“We firmly believe that the direct payments should be going to the person who actively farms and not just to someone who owns land.   The owner of the land can still secure a fair return from the price at which they are able to negotiate the rent.

 “By leaving arrangements as they are, with the tenant claiming the new BPS, greening and possibly LFASS, then the land itself should attract sufficient support to reward both parties for their respective contributions, with the owner of the land - often another farmer - receiving an appropriate rent based partly on that support.

“We would encourage those who traditionally let out land at this time of the year to do as they would normally do.   Some arrangements have been going on for many years and should not be broken simply because of a support system.”  

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 44/15


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