At this week’s CAP Stakeholders meeting a range of topics were covered including updates on current BPS and SRDP payments, the loan scheme, the Scottish Government’s Brexit hub, Climate Change work and SRUC’s Rural Scotland in Focus report.
We have provided below a summary of the main points from the Payments and Loans and Brexit discussions.
Scheme payments backlog
SGRPID officials gave an update on payments as of that date. Basic Payment Scheme 2015 payments are all but complete. There is a small tail of more difficult cases to finalise. Rural Priorities payments are 88% complete and remaining Land Management Options payments are 68% complete (all measured as cases rather than monetary value).
In terms of the 2016 scheme, loans to the value of £263m have already been made, which covers c. 12,000 businesses. This leaves 4,500 eligible businesses not having claimed their loan. These tend to be the lower value claimants and on ringing a sample of 200 of these, SGRPID have concluded that it appears in many cases that those businesses are content to wait for their actual payment rather than take the loan.
Overpayments were made to 166 people. They have been contacted and invoices sent out to ask for overpayment amount back.
Beef voluntary coupled support applications
SGRPID point out these have been slow to come in and urge claimants to meet the end of year deadline.
Forestry annual recurrent payments
These in many instances are still awaited. In terms of priorities they are sitting behind BPS payments.
The Group asked for greater clarity around a payments timetable and the vital importance of them to some businesses was also highlighted. Information on the remaining 12% of rural priorities payments and when forestry IT will be up and running was also requested. We were advised that the Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing MSP would be updating Parliament on the situation after Christmas.
LFASS 2015 balance payments
Most were completed at the end of October, with the remainder to be out before end of year.
We now have funding guarantees up to point of Brexit for SRDP multi-annual contracts.
Small technical modification going to European Commission this week, with a larger modification likely to be made next year.
SG to come back to confirm AECS/ECAF scheme window 2017.
Move from LFASS to ANC – SG is still considering options for progress given Brexit.