UK Government urged to reconsider 2016 distribution.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has written to Defra Secretary of State Liz Truss urging her to set out the timetable for the review of the internal allocation of UK CAP funds that was promised for 2016 by her predecessor, Owen Paterson.
Mr Lochhead said:
"During the last round of the CAP budget negotiations, the UK qualified for a Pillar 1 convergence uplift, which amounts to around €223 million over the current CAP period. The UK Government only qualified for this uplift due to Scotland's low payment rate, however they refused to pass on the full allocation to Scotland, in what was a bitter blow to Scotland's farmers and crofters.
"At the time I argued – and received cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament – that it was only right that Scotland should receive the full convergence uplift, however the then Secretary of State decided to apportion CAP funding according to historic allocations, for reasons which bore no relation to the European Commission's CAP redistribution aims or methodology.
"That decision left our farmers and crofters outraged, and left Scotland firmly at the bottom of the EU league table in terms of our Pillar 1 Euro per hectare rate. Scotland's rate of around €130 per hectare will be overshadowed by those of new Member States that will see their rates rise to the EU minimum of €196 per hectare by 2019.
"The only concession offered at the time was the then Secretary of State's intention to hold a review of the internal allocation of UK CAP funds in 2016 – the time has now come and I am urging the current Secretary of State to set out a timetable for this promised review as a matter of urgency."