Union seeks fairness on CAP cash
NFU Scotland has secured commitment from Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, to organise a meeting with Defra Farming Minister George Eustice over the allocation of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) convergence money.
Since 2013, NFU Scotland has pressed for movement on the allocation of the UK’s €230 million convergence dividend from the European Union (EU). Scotland, with the third lowest pillar 1 (direct support) payment rate per hectare in the EU, was the reason why the UK received this dividend due to Scotland’s below average area payment rates.
The UK government, however, chose to share this across the whole of the UK on the basis of historic allocations.
While it is not certain that a fully converged UK area-based payment would have meant all the UK dividend would have been allocated to Scotland, it is certain that it would have been far more than Scotland’s historic 16.3 per cent share.
A delegation from NFU Scotland earlier this month met MPs, amongst them David Mundell, to lobby for movement on the convergence issue.
Mr Mundell agreed to set up a meeting between NFU Scotland and George Eustice to discuss the matter.
NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said: ‘ The union believes that a 2016 review can speed up the process of re-allocating the convergence dividend and put Scottish farming in a stronger place ahead of the next CAP, which starts in 2020.
‘ Work is now in progress to get meetings set up in Scotland in October to maintain the momentum on this vital issue.
‘NFU Scotland has previously called on the UK government to deliver on the commitments made by three Defra ministers to hold a review of convergence in 2016, with a view to thereafter move to similar payments for similar land types across the UK as soon as possible.
‘Now is the time for the UK government to deliver on its promises.’