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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11324: Jamie Halcro Johnston (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 14 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government by how much the budget for the (a) Crofters Agricultural Grant Scheme and (b) Small Farmers Grant Scheme has been reduced for the next six years, and for what reason it chose to do so.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 28 September 2017

The published budget for the Scottish Government covers 2017-18. There are currently no budgets beyond this. The changes to the SRDP budgets up to 2020 are indicative forecasts to ensure that the EU funds are maximised under the Scottish Rural Development Programme. The Scottish Government had no choice but to amend the SRDP budgets, due to the expectation that Scotland’s overall discretionary budget is expected to be 9.2% lower in real terms in 2019-20 compared to 2010-11.

This has been compounded by the failure of the UK Government to transfer
£160 million of CAP convergence funding which rightly belongs to Scottish farmers and crofters, despite repeated requests to do so, and cross party support from the Scottish Parliament.

The annual indicative budget for the Crofting Agricultural Grant Scheme has not been reduced, and the indicative budget for the Small Farms Grant Scheme remains at a level which will meet the demands of the scheme.