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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11320: Jamie Halcro Johnston (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 14 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made into the effects of reducing the budget for the (a) Crofters Agricultural Grant Scheme and (b) Small Farmers Grant Scheme.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 28 September 2017

The Scottish Government has taken a strategic approach to maintaining and protecting the SRDP 2014-2020 budget, ensuring that we maximise the EU funds. The Scottish Government had no choice but to makes changes to the budget due to the expectation that Scotland’s overall discretionary budget, as set by the UK Government, is expected to be 9.2% lower in real terms in 2019-20, compared to 2010-11.

The Scottish Government remains committed to building growth all across rural Scotland.

The annual indicative budget for the Crofting Agricultural Grant Scheme has not been reduced, and remains at £2m per annum. The reduced Programme budget is due to the lower than forecasted uptake from earlier years in the programme.

Similarly, the Small Farms Grant Scheme budget remains at a level which will continue to meet the demands of the scheme.

We will continue to monitor scheme performance and demand, along with the impact of future Spending Reviews, to ensure that the SRDP continues to deliver.