Scotland’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) allocation has been announced by Owen Paterson today. The allocations for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will remain the same for the next funding period.
The UK government has announced that farmers in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland will receive the same proportion of the €27.6 billion CAP budget over the next seven years as they currently receive. Following extensive consultation with the devolved administrations, the government has concluded that the change in CAP funding on the current seven year period will be shared equally between the four UK administrations.
The announcement means that Scotland will receive a pillar 1 (direct payment) allocation of around €4,096 million, and a pillar 2 allocation of around €478 million.
On direct payments, this announcement is a disappointment for Scotland because many across the industry have lobbied hard that the uplift the UK is due to receive, as a result of Scotland’s low payment rates, should all come to Scotland.
On rural development support, Scottish Government figures suggest that Scotland received around €443 million over the 7 year period of the current SRDP. Today’s pillar 2 allocation of around €478 million therefore represents an increase of 7.8% (although Scotland is still likely to be at the bottom of the pillar 2 league table).
The announcement should now allow the Scottish Government to move forward with more certainty as it seeks to hammer out the details of the structure of agricultural support from 2015. The most immediate question relates to how much support Scottish Government might need to move from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2. A decision has to be taken by the end of the year.
Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for the Environment, said:
The UK government fought hard for the best-possible deal on CAP, and we’ve worked closely with farmers and ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to make sure that this is fairly allocated across the UK.
Alistair Carmichael, Secretary of State for Scotland, said:
This announcement is the latest confirmation that Scottish farmers get a better deal on CAP as part of the United Kingdom.
Commenting on Twitter, Mr Lochhead said: “UK refusing to pass 220m euro uplift from CAP budget to Scotland which UK gets because of Scotland’s low payments! An outrage!”
Alyn Smith tweeted a response: “A disgrace. UK gets €220m extra CAP funds because of Scotland's low payments. Today UK refuses to pass on to Scots farming. Outrageous”…. “For any farmers thinking we're better together with UK, today we've seen UK slap ALL Scots parties in the face over CAP uplift. Disgraceful”.