ELAINE MURRAY MSP CONGRATULATES NFUS AND DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY COUNCIL FOR JOINT EFFORT ON CAP TRANSITION SCHEME
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray has congratulated both the National Farmers Union Scotland and the Dumfries and Galloway Council for persuading the Scottish Government to introduce a transition scheme as changes to Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its payments come into force next year.
The announcement was made by Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead during a statement to parliament on the overall changes to CAP. The transition scheme will see the introduction of the full reduction in CAP payments delayed until 2019, when the reduction across Dumfries and Galloway will be €18 million per annum rather than the expected €22 million. A National Reserve will be established to support new entrants and to enable previously disadvantaged farmers to receive the regional average subsidy whilst the transition period is in place. There is to be an 8% beef coupling scheme, a negative list of land users which are not eligible for support to which sporting estates are to be added and an economic activity test, no land which is not being actively farmed will receive Pillar 1 support.
After the announcement, Dr Murray asked the Cabinet Secretary to provide more detail about the profile of the transition scheme such as will the reduction to subsidy going to Dumfries and Galloway be reduced equally each year. However Mr Lochhead was not able to say as it will depend on each farm and what they are able to claim under the new regime.
Commenting on the transition scheme, Elaine Murray said:
“I believe that the introduction of this scheme is to a large extent due to the efforts of both NFUS and Dumfries and Galloway Council. Both organisations lobbied the Scottish Government for the introduction of this transition scheme so that the changes to CAP payment will not be as damaging to the local farmers and the local economy as first feared. However there is no denying that the cut in payments will hurt and we need to ensure that this transition scheme helps mitigate the impact and allow business to adapt”.