Farming leaders welcome Government's decision to resist giving Scotland additional CAP funds

The presidents of the NFU, NFU Cymru and the Ulster Farmers' Union have welcomed the Government's decision to keep Scotland's allocation of the UK's 2014-2020 CAP funds as they are.

Farming representatives in Scotland last month (October 2013) sent a cross-party letter to the UK Government urging it to plough its €220m of additional CAP funding - known as the "convergence uplift"- into Scottish farming.

This appeal was, however, rejected last week when ministers announced that the share of both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 funds will remain exactly as it was in the last budgetary period.

A joint statement from the farming presidents said: "We are pleased that Ministers have listened to our representations and have decided ‘to resist pressure from Scotland for an increased share that would have been at the expense of other parts of the UK’.

"We believe this is a fair settlement for farmers across the United Kingdom. The resolution of the budgetary split now allows the four governments to take further decisions on CAP reform with a clear idea of available resources in the next seven-year period."

But Scotland’s rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead slammed the decision.

He said: "This is a disgraceful budget settlement for Scotland’s farmers and crofters and confirms our worst fears. It condemns Scottish farmers and crofters to the lowest CAP payments in Europe and completely disregards both the cross party demands in the Scottish Parliament and the wishes of the European Union."

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