Union calls for support payment flexibility

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NFU Scotland has written to the Scottish Government calling for a more flexible payment system to be factored into future support payment arrangements.

The Scottish Government has a good track record in prompt delivery of key support payments including Single Farm Payment (SFP) and Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme (LFASS). However, a small number of SFP payments remain outstanding and the union would welcome an examination of current arrangements to see if these can be fine-tuned to help those still waiting on SFP.

In addition, given that reform of the CAP has the potential to bring increased complexity to schemes, NFU Scotland also believes it is appropriate that work starts now on systems that could deliver part payment if required in the future, thus preserving cash flow onto farms.

NFUS is urging the Scottish Government to give serious consideration to this request and open a dialogue with Europe that would ensure the appropriate provisions could be put in place.

Writing to Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, NFU Scotland’s president Nigel Miller said: “For many of those still to receive their SFP, delays have been related to re-mapping procedures and inspection processes and, as a result, these have created cash flow issues for some businesses.

“Providing all the eligibility checks have been made, provision does exist within the existing rules that may allow a paying agency such as SGRPID to either bring forward the payment window to an earlier start date than 1 December or pay out SFP in two separate installments. “