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Further CAP progress

Published: 1 Aug 2016 11:02

Vast majority of sheep payments now made.

The rural economy has benefited from another £10.3 million in Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding during July, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy Fergus Ewing has confirmed.

As figures show a total of £313 million has now been paid out in Scotland, Mr Ewing called on the UK Government to provide urgent clarity on plans for the future of subsidy payments which are vital to farmers and the rural economy in Scotland.

Funding payments made in July include:

• £4.3 million made at the end of last week under the sheep support scheme

• £3.9 BPS Greening and Young Farmer payments in July

• £2.1 million from the Rural Priorities Scheme since July

Speaking at the Turriff Show, Mr Ewing said:

"My utmost priority is to complete 2015 CAP Pillar 1 payments as quickly as possible and good progress is being made with £313 million having been paid out so far.

"European funding is vital to our farmers, as these figures show, and it also makes a valuable contribution to the fishing industry and the wider rural economy. That is why we want to protect Scotland's place in the EU, but we also want to know what will happen with subsidy payments in the future and I am calling on the UK Government to provide urgent clarity about their plans.

"Meanwhile, the Scottish Government's focus on processing remaining payments is unwavering and I can confirm that now the vast majority of beef and sheep scheme payments have been made we will turn our attention to other schemes.

"We will continue to work through the remaining Basic Payment Scheme and Greening payments and will now be in a position to prepare for LFASS payments. Around 11,000 farmers and crofters have already received £54 million in national LFASS loans and we will begin settling outstanding payments from this £65.5 million scheme in a few weeks.

"I remain determined to put the system on a proper footing for 2016 payments and will update Parliament in September."