SNP MSPs for the South of Scotland Emma Harper & Joan McAlpine have urged the UK Government to provide clarity over the future payment of farm subsidies following the Brexit vote in June. The call comes after latest figures showed a further £10.3 million in Common Agricultural Policy funding was paid out in Scotland in July.
The CAP payments make up a major part of farmer’s incomes – with this fact demonstrating how important it is for the UK Government to provide clarity to farmers across Dumfries & Galloway on the future of these subsidies. The latest figures showed funding paid out in July, which included £4.3 million under the sheep support scheme; £3.9 million BPS Greening and Young Farmer payments; and £2.1 million from the Rural Priorities Scheme.
Commenting on the figures, Joan McAlpine said:
“This European funding is absolutely vital to farmers across Dumfries & Galloway and throughout Scotland – and the UK Government must provide our farmers with clarity over the future of these subsidies which are important to our rural economy.
“These subsidies provide a vital element of our farmer’s incomes, and it is absolutely vital that the UK Government makes its intentions clear, and commits to continuing to fund these subsidies.
Emma Harper added:
“Given that CAP falls under the remit of one of the key players of the Leave campaign, Andrea Leadsom, whose new UK Government role is Rural Affairs Secretary, there is no excuse for clarity not to be given so that farmers in Dumfries & Galloway can plan for the future.
“CAP payments are one of the multitude of reasons why protecting our place in the EU is integral to Scotland’s interests, and I’m delighted that the Scottish Government is taking all necessary steps to protect Scotland’s place in Europe – action that farmers across Dumfries & Galloway will benefit from.”