Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 12th November 2020.

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Photo of Colin Smyth Colin Smyth Labour

I thank the cabinet secretary for advance sight of his statement. I also thank all our farmers, crofters, and food producers for keeping Scotland fed in these difficult times.

LFASS is a lifeline for many farmers and crofters, so it really is sleight of hand for the cabinet secretary to use convergence money to plug the gap in his commitment to maintaining LFASS payments at current levels. It is a year since the cabinet secretary allocated the first tranche of convergence funding. Will he tell us how the remaining £70 million will be spent and how much of it he will redirect to plug the funding gap for LFASS? Will he also commit to payments to farmers who are in receipt of LFASS continuing at current levels until a replacement is delivered? When will we have details of what that replacement is likely to be?