The Less Favoured Area Support Scheme runs from 1 January to 31 December each year with eligible claims being settled in the following year. Since the 2008 scheme, the aim has been to pay the majority of eligible claims from January and complete settlement of all claims as soon as possible thereafter. The following table shows payment performance for the 2007 to 2010 schemes:
|Scheme||Payments Started||Payments Complete|
|2007||11 February 2008||30 April 2008|
|2008||16 January 2009||27 March 2009|
|2009||27 January 2010||31 March 2010|
|2010||28 February 2011||Ongoing|
The start to payments for the 2007 scheme year was delayed due to late approval by the European Commission.
As far as the 2010 scheme is concerned, the Scottish Government has settled 90% of potential eligible claims, worth some £54 million. After a delayed start, this means around 9,900 farmers and crofters across Scotland have been paid and the aim is to settle the remaining claims as soon as all the required eligibility checks have been completed.
The delayed start to the 2010 payment process was due to the disruption caused to inspection work by the severe weather from November to January: it is a condition of the scheme, put in place by the European Commission, that payments cannot start until all inspection work has been finalised.