Almost 90 per cent of Scottish farmers have now received their Single Farm Payment, delivering a welcome festive financial boost.
The 2011/12 payment window opened on December 1 and the latest statistics show:
- 87 per cent (around 16,500 farmers) have received their Single Farm Payment
- £401 million has been paid out to date
- 18 per cent (around 3,500) have opted for payments in Euros, accounting for 47 per cent of funds paid to date
- 49 per cent of claimants opted to submit their application form online - up nine per cent on last year
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
"Now in its seventh year, I know the Single Farm Payment is important for many of Scotland's farmers which is why we make every effort to make the payments promptly.
"It's great news that nearly 90 per cent of claimants will have received their payments in time for Christmas, with £400 million paid out to date.
"Thanks to Rural Payments Online, farmers have - for the first time - been able to view their payments seven days before they arrive in their bank accounts. I hope more people will sign up for this service in future, allowing them to submit their applications online as well as view payments. In the last month alone, we have seen 370 new businesses sign up to use this service.
"Farmers who have not yet received their payments should be assured that every effort is being made to process these promptly by Scottish Government staff.
"I urge those producers yet to receive payments to work with Scottish Government staff and respond promptly to requests that will assist us in settling claims quickly. Rather than telephone area offices unnecessarily, farmers could help us by checking that they have completed all paperwork and responded to any follow-up enquiries."
The European regulations fix a payment window that means payments can be made between December 1 and June 30. The single farm payment is paid in Euros and the exchange rate for this year's payments will be 86.665p.