This week saw the Scottish Government seeking views on its proposal to transfer 9.5% of direct farm support to fund the next rural development programme.
Under the new CAP rules, Scotland has the option of moving up to 15% of our new Pillar 1 ceiling, which will fund the new Basic Payment, Greening Payment and other Direct Payments, across into the Pillar 2 budget, which will fund the 2014-2020 SRDP and following the recent announcement on the budget allocations within the UK, Scotland now needs to inform Defra and the EU how much support, if any, it wishes to transfer.
The Scottish Government takes the view that Pillar 1 payments to farmers and crofters are vital for the survival and success of Scottish agriculture and it states that ideally it would prefer not to have to transfer any funding away from the Pillar 1 budget. However, it also states that unless a transfer is made from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2, the budget for the 2014-2020 SRDP will be insufficient to meet the demands and obligations placed on it. Therefore, the Scottish Government believes that the scenario which gives the most acceptable balance between protecting direct support and supporting the rural development programme is to transfer 9.5% of the Pillar 1 ceiling to Pillar 2, and seek to achieve a target budget for the new SRDP of above £1.3bn.
A transfer of 9.5% of Scotland’s Pillar 1 ceiling would mean transferring around £46m per annum into Pillar 2 on average (using a conversion rate from € to £ of 1.2).
Scottish Land & Estates will be consulting members and providing feedback to Scottish Government next week.
See the Scottish Government press release here: Farm Payment Transfer proposal Press Release