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Scottish Land & Estates calls for delay in SAF deadline

Scottish Land & Estates today appealed to the Scottish Government to use the available extension to the Single Application Forms deadline.

The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development has signalled that the deadline could be moved to 15 June.

Douglas McAdam, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The Scottish Government is having to deal with both a new CAP regime and a new IT system at the same time. It is to be expected that there will be issues as farmers grapple with the new rules and the new system.

“It is good that we have a new IT system because it is needed, but it is bound to encounter technical problems in the first year. We believe it would be pragmatic to extend the deadline so that both farmers and Scottish Government officials can ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

“Many of our members have been experiencing technical problems. The Scottish Government is doing its best to keep on top of the issues being raised with them but extending the deadline would help towards making correct applications.

“The Scottish Government has signalled that any SAF deadline extension would be very likely to have a knock on effect in terms of payments, with the effect that farmers would be unlikely to receive the money in December as usual. However, it is prudent to expect and plan for late payment anyway given that the government is dealing with an entirely new CAP regime, including the complexities of greening. If the industry is likely to receive delayed payments anyway, perhaps it makes sense to give ourselves more time to make sure we get it right.”

 

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