Results 141–160 of 8600 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The apparatus for holding my notes has broken; I will just operate without it.

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Yes. If I could just find where I was in my notes, that would probably help. As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, it is ironic that had Scotland been staying in the EU, we would be moving into a period of continued stability from 2021 to 2027, like all other EU states, and we would know what means we had to support our farmers and crofters. Boris has made a boorach of...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Where do I begin? First of all, the statement announced new information about very important matters for farmers and crofters. It has told them when they can expect to get their money. As someone who has been in business—I do not know whether Mr Mundell has been anywhere near business—I can say that it is very important to know when the money is coming in. Just as we are fortunate to get...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I thank Mr Smyth for his remarks about farmers, which I appreciate—as, I think, do we all. With regard to LFASS, I have made it absolutely clear that the basic requirement is that those who farm on our hill land, on extensive holdings, on our islands, and in our most remote and rural parts, require to be supported for what they provide for Scotland as a whole: for the food that they provide...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I thank Maureen Watt for that question. I am extremely grateful for the work of Jim Walker, Claire Simonetta and the rest of the forward-thinking members of the suckler beef climate group. The report shows how the sector can take a lead in being part of the climate change solution while, at the same time, delivering as a world leader in efficient beef production. I will give more details of...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I do not accept the thesis, and I have already answered the question. Let me re-emphasise that, with the benefit of those two reports, which have been so warmly welcomed, my duty is to drive things forward as quickly as possible and to work together with those groups to deliver programmes that will include funding support to deliver the best-quality farming and the best environmental practice...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Yes, I can. The letters that set out the details of reductions in claims for land and animals have been delayed as a result of the uncertainties of Brexit. However, some progress has been made: I confirm that voluntary coupled support scheme reduction and exclusion letters will start to issue this month and will cover all years. Further to that, RPID is currently working on the next tranche...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I emphasise that a great deal of work that uses CAP funds in both pillar 1 and pillar 2 for the advancement of environmental matters is already happening, and we support it. The additional work to which Claudia Beamish alludes includes our investment in forestry—£150 million of additional resource, which takes the rise in new plantings further upward from 11,000—and in the restoration of...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I thank Mr Finnie for his remarks and his recognition of the importance of the payments to farmers and crofters. He raises an important issue that has not been raised thus far. It is absolutely correct that the bureaucratic, practical and logistical problems that are posed by borders, and by being out of the EU, are legion. In the interministerial group meetings and the EU exit...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I recognise the good work that Ross Finnie did and which he is now doing as chairman of Food Standards Scotland. We work closely with him. On the timing of the report, I am afraid that I cannot be more precise than that it will be later this year. I stress that it is an independent report. I am not writing the report—I do not think that Parliament expects me to, and I do not think that I...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Throughout 2020, I have pressed for clarity on funding, but engagement from HM Treasury started only at the end of September, when it presented the devolved Administrations—not ministers, but officials—with a farm support paper. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have common and significant concerns on the proposed funding settlement. The present approach that has been taken by the UK...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Although I am not a farmer, Mr Chapman is, and I hope that he has received his payment on time. We have suspended the three-crop rule and have no plans to bring it back. We suspended it because we did not think that it was applicable to the particular circumstances of Scotland. In doing so, we recognised that, for a long time, there had been a clamant call from farmers to tackle it. I was...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Support (Tourism and Hospitality) (11 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: There is surely no member who does not recognise the scale of the devastation that the virus has wreaked on Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sector. Since March, when Covid struck and the lockdown began, the impact on individuals, businesses and lives has been devastating. I doubt that there is any member who has spent more time since March than me in engaging with and reaching out to...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Support (Tourism and Hospitality) (11 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We will continue to provide urgent support to the tourism sector, which I care deeply about.

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Support (Tourism and Hospitality) (11 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I have worked with people such as Jackie Baillie on numerous occasions, and I will continue to do so, even if I cannot take her intervention.

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Support (Tourism and Hospitality) (11 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I move amendment S5M-23299.2, to leave out from “calls” to end and insert: “acknowledges the significant contribution that tourism and hospitality makes, not only to the economy but to the health and wellbeing of workers, and to the cultural vibrancy of Scotland; notes the funding packages and job retention schemes offered by the Scottish and UK governments so far, but recognises that...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Support (Tourism and Hospitality) (11 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I assure Mr Rennie that I entirely agree with what he has said thus far. The Scottish Government is committed to providing further lifeline assistance to businesses. It recognises that that is necessary in addition to the furlough scheme. It is working as a matter of urgency, and with that aim as its top priority, on providing a fair package to achieve that objective.

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Hospitality Businesses) (27 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: On 21 October, the First Minister announced an extension of the restrictions that were imposed on 9 October and further additional financial support for the businesses that are affected by the restrictions. More than £40 million will now be distributed through the Covid-19 restrictions fund, including grant support for hospitality and other businesses that are required by law to close.

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Hospitality Businesses) (27 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I do not see it in that light. The grants will be available from 2 November. As is outlined in the strategic framework that was announced on 23 October, grants of £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value, will be available to businesses that are required by law to close. A hardship grant, depending on rateable value, will be available for businesses that remain open but are directly...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Hospitality Businesses) (27 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Since the crisis began some considerable time ago, a substantial amount has been provided to support the hospitality sector. I am pleased that local authorities and the enterprise agencies have stepped up to the mark and are working extremely hard to get that money out. We have sought at least to match the funding that has been available down south. I am acutely aware of the impact on hotels...


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