This week saw the Scottish Government release figures that suggested that Scotland is expected to end up at the bottom of new league tables of EU farming subsidy, but hose figures were subsequently challenged by George Lyon.
The Scottish Government analysis highlights the fact that under the new CAP deal negotiated by the UK Government, payments to Scottish farmers are likely to be the lowest in Europe in both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“The analysis I am publishing today shows how the UK Government negotiated Scotland down to the bottom of the leagues tables of EU funding. Scotland went into the negotiations with the third lowest level of farm support in Europe for Pillar 1 – Europe then agreed a formula to close the gap between the countries with lowest payments with those of the highest. Scotland is now likely to be leapfrogged by Latvia and Estonia whose Ministers sit at the top table and make their farmers a priority. In contrast, we are looking at being rooted at the bottom of the league. We didn’t benefit from the new funding formula because it only applies to member states. As a result, our farmers have lost out big time - indeed, to the tune of a massive £850 million over the whole budget period. In the same negotiations, 16 out of the 28 countries negotiated an uplift in their rural development budgets. But the UK Government didn’t lift a finger for Scotland – the country with the lowest share of that fund in Europe. Our farmers are getting a raw deal from a CAP budget which was negotiated without Scotland’s agriculture sector in mind. It is clearer than ever before that decisions about Scotland’s farming industry should be taken by the people who live and work here – it is better to decide things for ourselves than to have others decide for us.”