Agricultural Support (Pilot Schemes)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

I am always acutely aware of the importance of providing long-term assurances to farmers. That is precisely why we set out in our document an approach that will take us to 2024. It is most unfortunate that the United Kingdom Government is to take an annual budget approach to replace the seven-year programme that the European Union provided in respect of rural support. That is exactly the opposite of the approach that farmers require.

Happily, farmers—who include some of Mr Mountain’s colleagues—have received the first tranche of their convergence payments. More than 17,400 active farmers have received £86.2 million. I think that farmers are very pleased that we are dealing with the day job effectively and getting that financial support out to them.