£200m to offset Scotland’s BPS delays

A meeting of Scottish farmers and supply trade representatives was held at Thainstone in Aberdeenshire last week, ahead of the NFU Scotland national rally planned for the Scottish Assembly at Holyrood on Thursday this week. The rally will call on the Scottish Government to take immediate action to address the cashflow crisis in the rural economy.

The North East regional meeting with political representatives spelt out the impact that the Scottish Government's failure to deliver the new Basic Payment Scheme monies on time is having on the whole rural economy in the region. There have been similar meetings in other regions of the country.

Despite Scotland’s £178 million investment in a new IT system, to date only £100 million out of a total BPS pot of £400m has been distributed, leaving a £300m hole in the Scottish rural economy when compared to the same period in 2015.

Ahead of the rally, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has since authorised £200m from national funds to ensure those affected by the delay get a part payment in April.

Trade businesses supporting the Thainstone meeting included Norvite; Harbro/Feedmix; WN Lindsay, Inverurie Vets and the Agricar, HRN, AM Phillip and Ravenhill Tractors equipment businesses.

• EU Agriculture ministers will discuss the ongoing farm incomes crisis in Brussels on Monday next week, while in England, Farmers For Action plans a march and rally in London to draw attention to the situation on Wednesday March 23rd.